Cyclist who lost bike to theft during charity ride ‘overwhelmed’ by support
Anas Cheema has seen his anguish turn to jubilation. After losing his bike to theft, he’s seen multiple offers of support in Winnipeg.
In a twist, a viewer may also have spotted his bike online.
Cheema, 22, had been cycling from the west coast to the east coast to raise money for SOS Children's Villages, a charity supporting orphans, when he had his bike, camping gear and wallet stolen in Winnipeg on Leila Avenue Wednesday.
After media coverage of his situation on Thursday, Cheema received an outpouring of support.
“A lot of people have come forward (and) offered me bikes,” he said.
At least seven people, including bike maker Cannondale, have stepped up, offering him a bicycle so he can continue his quest.
“(I’m) overwhelmed right now with Winnipeggers’ kindness and generosity,” said Cheema.
He said he’s decided to take the Cannondale bike and plans to pick it up Saturday at an Olympia Cycle dealer, since they stock the bicycles.
Cheema said he never doubted people in Winnipeg would help him get back on the road, adding Winnipeg will forever be in his heart.
“Winnipeg is taking care of me. I feel like home here too,” said Cheema, who hails from Pakistan but is attending university in B.C.
He hopes to be back on the road in the next two to three days.
Cheema also said his fundraising effort for the charity has seen a boost, with more than $1,200 coming in since Thursday. He also said the McDonalds restaurant where his bike was stolen has kicked in $200 to help.
There could also be a lead on his stolen bike too.
A viewer saw an ad on the Internet with a picture of a bike that resembles Cheema’s one, with text saying it was up for sale for $500 for a “cheap fast sale.”
Winnipeg police are investigating. Officers had previously asked anyone with tips to contact investigators at 204-986-2848.
- With a report by Jeff Keele