FedEx driver Mike Keach unloads Cole Odenweller's new special-needs bicycle outside Odenweller's Woodland home. Book of Dreams reader donations paid for the bike.

Book of Dreams: Cole rides again with the help of his special-needs bike

Published: Monday, Dec. 24, 2012 - 12:00 am | Page 10A

That old adage about never forgetting how to ride a bicycle came home in a sweet way in Woodland this month.

Cole Odenweller, who has an undiagnosed neurodegenerative disorder, had not been on a bike in a year because he had outgrown his old one. He had ridden it almost daily between ages 6 and 14 as part of his physical therapy.

But a year ago, he finally outgrew it. His family could not afford a new one and his mother, Lori Odenweller, worried as her son's legs grew weaker in the absence of the cycling exercise.

The family appealed to Book of Dreams readers for a new adult-sized adaptive bicycle to help Cole, now 15.

Readers responded generously. And on a chilly December afternoon, Cole found himself pedaling away as though he had never missed a beat, with a bright red bow guiding the way.

Lori Odenweller watched the scene unfold, and later wrote about what it meant:

"This is one of the blessings of raising one of God's special children, we get to meet amazing people and see the good in the world. Not only have they changed Cole's quality of life, but ours as a family. This is a priceless gift."

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Read more articles by Deb Kollars

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