Community Rallies Around Chilliwack Mountain Bike Spencer Arnold's Injury Recovery Initiative

Feb 10, 2022
by Ernie Kliever  

"Spenny Wrench"

On February 6th, 2022 local Chilliwack mountain biker Spencer Arnold took an unfortunate crash while mountain biking on Vedder Mountain. Spencer is a co-owner of the local bike shop here in town, Vedder Mountain Bike Co.

Spencer is a staple of the MTB Community here in Chilliwack and many of you might recognize him as the tall guy behind the counter fixing your bike, or giving you the skinny on what trails you should ride.

Road to Recovery and Spinal Research

The crash resulted in him breaking his C6&C7 vertebrae putting pressure on his spinal cord, and he lost feeling and function from his chest down. Chilliwack Search and Rescue was called and Spencer was airlifted off of the mountain. He was transferred to Abbotsford for medical imaging then sent to Vancouver General. This guy leaves no crisis without seeing it as an opportunity and is a part of two research studies to help improve spinal cord injury patients in the future. We are hopeful that this course of treatment will help improve his healing process.

On Monday, February 7th he underwent an extensive 6 hour surgery. Parts of vertebrae were removed and his spine now has a series of titanium rods and plates running from C2-L2. These will remain permanent. When he woke he was able to give his wife Donna Arnold's hand a squeeze.

Spencer has a complete spinal injury at C6, which means that his current level of function is permanent. He has some limited mobility in his hands and arms, and they are hopeful that this can be improved with rehab.

Spencer will spend the next 2-10 days in the ICU while they monitor his condition and prepare to transfer him to the spinal unit, and then for further rehabilitation at GF Strong in Vancouver.

If you know Spencer and Donna, or almost more famous their border collie Fern, they are some of the best humans (and doggo) you could know. They are both very active people and this news is certainly going to be an adjustment for them. They are remaining positive and optimistic, and they are going to fight hard to do whatever they can to improve Spencer's outcome.

MTB Community Driver

Spencer is a fixture of the biking community here in Chilliwack, previously Kelowna and the biking industry as a whole.

He's been involved in the industry for a long time. In his early days working as a mechanic at Jack's Cycle in Chilliwack, to working at Union Cycle in Kelowna, before returning to Chilliwack to open his own bike shop, Vedder Mountain Bike Co. with his long-time friends Rob Friesen, and Jeremy Knoke.

He is the guy to know in town, and is always up for an adventure.

Go Fund Me

We've created this Go Fund Me account to help Donna and Spencer as they navigate this new chapter in their lives. Funds will be used to cover the costs of trips to and from the hospital and rehabilitation centre, stays in Vancouver, accessibility modifications to their home, medical equipment, therapy and anything else they may need to help them moving forward.

The family would like to thank Chilliwack Search and Rescue and all the mountain bikers that were on the scene to assist with Spencer's smooth extraction off the mountain. As well, all the hospital staff who have been compassionate and taken the time to answer questions and provide care for Spencer. We are forever grateful to you, and we can't thank you enough.

If you are able to help donate to this cause we'd greatly appreciate it, and we encourage you to send messages of love and support to Spencer and Donna. They have appreciated all those who have already done so, continue to, and will in the future.

There is no doubt that the road ahead will be challenging and place a new financial burden on them in their immediate future and throughout their lifetime. We don’t know quite yet what the full extent of this will be.

They are absolutely blown away by all the words of love, encouragement and support and all the donations from the community. It means the world to them.

We want to ask everyone to help share their story, send them words of encouragement and support.

We will also be accepting donations over the phone or in person at Vedder Mountain Bike Co. here in Chilliwack.


We encourage you to leave a positive comment below - share a memory, send some love, crack a joke, it all helps!

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  • 40 0
 Spencer is a staple of Chilliwack's cycling community and has always had nothing but smiles and time for me and everyone else over countless years. Heartbroken over this, but he's strong as fuck and will bounce back even stronger. If you've got a few bucks to spare, please consider donating to his GoFundMe.
  • 5 0
 I remember Spencer starting at Jacks cycle as mechanic. He was great! Between Rob and Spencer my bikes were rolling without a glitch. When the day came for them to team up and open VMBC I knew it was going to be a huge success. Now with that same energy, work ethic and community support I have no doubt Spencer and Donna will meet this next chapter with extraordinary results.
  • 10 0
 I can attest that they are really awesome people. Did a bike trip with them last summer and couldn't wait to plan another with them. So stoked to see that everyone has come together and are providing as much support as possible. Donna and Spencer are both really are deserving of it.
  • 7 0
 Spencer is definitely a major part of the MTB community here in Chilliwack! Love going in to the shop just to say hey or ask a few questions... Spencer always took the time to show me a few mechanical tricks and did it with a smile. This is hit our community pretty hard for sure. Thanks for writing this up, Ernie!
  • 9 0
 Wishing you the best in your rehab Spencer! The whole MTB community is behind ya!
  • 6 0
 Remember, too, that Spencer and his partners at the shop were a big part of the fundraising efforts for another local rider that suffered a spinal injury in the not-too-distant past. Now it’s time for the community to rally around Spencer and his family and friends!
  • 5 0
 I've never met Spencer, but it's devastating to know we have a brother down. I recently went through I C5-C7 injury myself, and had some temporary paralysis down my left arm. Very bizarre experience. I can only imagine having to deal with that situation. They say everything is impossible until it's done, so here's to a speedy recovery that shatters expectations.
  • 9 0
 Can we pin this at the top of the news feed for a bit , thanks
  • 4 0
 Spencer, you always were a friendly voice on the phone, and then in person when I've been looking for random and obscure parts. My kids always enjoyed seeing Fern in the store. Wishing you all the best for a strong recovery!
  • 2 0
 Still can’t wrap my head around this news but am so glad the community is showing up to help out those who have put so much of themselves into building it. Thinking of you guys constantly & wishing all the best with rehab 3
  • 4 0
 I don't know you but it sounds as if I would like to. Your headed out on a big climb now but the sun is shining at the top so don't give up.
  • 4 0
 Spencer is a big part of the community out here and runs the best shop in town. Horrible news.
  • 4 0
 bike community comes together for their own, we're all here for you Spencer & Donna.
  • 1 0
 This will be a long trail ahead. And at times it will seem to be an impossible climb. But it is not. It can be done. It has been done. People care and will help. And you are strong. Both of you are strong.
The trail will eventually turn down and, although it will be different than other rides, you’ll make it your own and you will blaze the way for others.
  • 1 0
 the cycling community always comes together for one of its own, when something happens that is so gut wrenching. I don't know Spencer, but don't need to, to want to help in any way.....if you can-please donate to his 'go fund me'. Stay strong and positive and lean on your community for positive energy. And let Fern give dog kisses, as that helps too!! The body and mind can do amazing things.........
  • 1 0
 I crashed hard last May, fracturing my C3. I made a good recovery, some internal damage that has forced some adjustment but I’m still mobile and back on the bike. Took a while to sink in just how lucky I really was. Reading this has brought that back. I’ve donated a little something, I hope they meet their $ goal.

Be careful out there everyone, shit can happen really fast.
  • 4 0
 Spencer is a solid guy. Click the go fund me link and help if you can.
  • 3 0
 Spencer is an amazing guy who would do anything for someone else, now's our time to help him!
  • 1 0
 This sucks. Spencer, you are my favorite mechanic. Hope you heal up and are able to recover from this.
  • 1 0
 Tough situation for the family - I hope he heals well.

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