BY JORDAN SMITHApr 3, 2020
Bodhi Linde, an avid cyclist, has been riding his bike to school every day since kindergarten. So when his school switched to online learning because of the COVID-19 outbreak, threatening to get in the way of him reaching the milestone of biking 1,000 days to school, the 11-year-old, now in the fifth grade at Grandview Elementary School in Rapid City, South Dakota, had to get a bit creative.
When Bodhi was in preschool, his family would transport him via bike, riding in a bike trailer his parents would pull. But then, he decided to try riding his bike to school for kindergarten—and he rode the 2.1-mile distance with his dad, Dan, on the first day.
“We said, ‘Hey, that was fun. What if we continue into the next week or month.’” And they just kept riding, in rain, in snow, in hot weather, and in cold—sometimes all in one week, Bodhi told Bicycling.
Bodhi rode to school with his dad from that first day of kindergarten until the beginning of fifth grade, before finding a friend to ride with for the remainder of this year.
His original goal was to see how many years he and his dad could make the commute to school and back without using a car. Then, he realized his 1,000-day mark was coming up, so despite schools being closed, Bodhi continued to ride to his school and then turn around and ride back home in order to achieve the milestone, which he hit on March 31.
“It was a lot of short-term and long-term goal-setting,” he said. “We set a long-term goal, but I had to find short-term goals and steps to take to get to that big goal.”
One of Bodhi’s biggest challenges was figuring out how to transport everything he needed to and from school. Bodhi plays the cello in orchestra and the saxophone in band, and had orchestra and band two to three days a week. So, he and his dad created a trailer he pulls behind his bike twice a week—even when there is two feet of snow on the ground.
“He never complains about the weather or the riding,” his dad Dan Linde said. “He does it and loves to be an ambassador for bike commuting.”
For Bodhi, who typically gets in more riding after school and on the weekends past his daily 4.2-mile round-trip rides, the best part of riding to school is being able to set and accomplish goals, and being able to get outside every day.
“You can see all the nature outside and smell all the things you wouldn’t be able to do in a car,” he said.
Daily rides were not out of the norm for him—Bodhi said his family often spends time outdoors and is very into biking, going on family rides on evenings and weekends. To top it off, his dad is an avid triathlete.
Bodhi has a few different bikes he rides. Typically, he takes a Trek bike to school, but sometimes will ride a Mongoose Fat Bike, especially in the snow. He also recently got a deal with Trek, and the company is going to feature him in an upcoming catalog and send him a Trek 920, which he’s excited to try.
“It felt pretty amazing. A thousand days is a lot, I really couldn’t believe it myself,” he said. “Right now, it seems just like a thing you do every day.”
When schools open back up, Bodhi plans to continue riding to school. But for now, he’s going on daily rides that are four miles or longer, perfecting his unicycle skills, and participating in the social-distancing bear hunts—where people put stuffed bears in their window, as part of a physical distancing scavenger hunt—that are popping up nationwide.
“Right now, I’m going to keep riding bikes as much as I can.”
Reposted from Bicycle Magazine JORDAN SMITH Digital Editor. Her love of all things outdoors came from growing up in the Black Hills of South Dakota, and her passion for running was sparked by local elementary school cross-country meets.
Note: This reminds me of my days as a kid delivering the Des Moines Register in all sorts of Iowa weather! Cheers! Larry Dean