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Belted Blog

Afghanistan By Belt: A Bomb Disposal Technician’s Story

  September 10, 2013

Matt Small Afghanistan District beside big rig 2

Matthew Small is a 15-year Marine Corps veteran serving in Afghanistan as a member of theExplosive Ordnance Disposal team, a high-risk job that involves removing bombs and IEDs (improvised explosive devices) that have claimed many lives in the war-torn country. On Sept. 21 and 22 Small and three other Marines will embark on a charity ride like no other: They will pedal 160 miles through a combat zone to raise money for wounded and fallen ordnance disposal technicians.

The ride will raise money for the EOD Warrior Foundation (, a nonprofit that provides financial assistance to the families of injured and fallen Explosive Ordnance Disposal technicians and family members. The EODRIDE ( was created to honor EOD Technicians, promote healthy healing and camaraderie among supporters. EOD Rides are held annually in locations across the United States and overseas. The Afghanistan EOD Ride will be a first.

Afghanistan EOD Ride memorial photo

Last year, Small led eight fellow technicians on a course through the hills of Okinawa, Japan.

“Upon hearing of my deployment to Afghanistan I began planning for another memorable ride; the Afghan EODRIDE,” Small says. “My sincerest hope is that my efforts and time inspire others to give a little more, push a little farther and never give up when presented with a challenge.”

Learn more about the Afghan EOD Ride at So far Small and his buddies have raised more than $3,000 for the foundation.

Small will ride a custom Trek District with Gates Carbon Drive. He worked with Gates engineers to upgrade his bike with a CenterTrack belt drive system. “With over a thousand miles of training rides on the bike to date, I am pleased with the feel, performance and reliability of the CenterTrack system,” Small writes us.

Stay tuned for an update from Small after the ride. Meantime, consider making a donation at the links above!