PORTLAND -- A Portland woman donated her bicycle to a special cause after a bicyclist riding for charity had his bike stolen in the Rose City.
Paul LeBelle and riding partner Adam Burkowske ride 60 to 70 miles each day using the children and the kindness of each community along the way to encourage them along the road. They've woven their way across America from the Iowa corn fields to the Wisconsin dairies. They pedal in pursuit of a mission to bring bikes to the children of America's military families.
They're going through such a really tough time right now. Families are being split apart. Children aren't growing up next to their mothers or fathers, you know, explained Paul LeBelle.
It's love that's kind of helped get us through the kindness of folks all over the country. From the moment we left, the first 50 miles until we wound up here, said Burkowske.
However, some of that love disappeared Monday when someone stole Paul's Cannondale touring bike right off the porch of the Northeast Portland home where they were staying.
But on Tuesday, a woman who saw the story on KGW offered her own bike as a replacement and LeBelle accepted her kind gift.
It was the right thing to do. I have had the bike for about 10 years and Iknew he would really appreciate it and ride it, said Debbie Amara.
We had people coming in and out and we've got a dog that barks at everyone just walking by, explained Burkowske.
They never figured in a bike friendly city like Portland there was any risk. Yet now they're stranded with their ride to San Diego and their efforts for the children on hold.
It just means less time to fundraise in all the other towns were going to pass along the way. It means more work that we have to put towards something that isn't what we've been doing, said Burkowske.
We have to find a way to get a bike instead of raising funds to get bikes for kids, said LeBelle.
Paul and Adam don't harbor any ill will toward Portland, but they do ask the Rose City to be on the lookout. Paul's bike is a forest green Cannondale with blue handlebar grip tape, silver clipless pedals, three black water bottle holders, and a rear rack.
No harm no foul. Just bring it back. It's my horse, explained LeBelle.
If you have any information in the case, you're asked to call the Portland Police Bureau or email Paul directly at BikeFree.Org.