Despite old bike, winds, 11-year-old goes the distance

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, May 8, 2002

Jamie Seedorf himself wasn’t sure it could be done. After all, the odds were against him.

But despite the old single-speed bike with the hard plastic seat and extremely strong winds, the 11-year-old was among the youngest riders to finish the 100-mile Freeborn County Bike-A-thon Saturday. And he finished at 4:55 p.m. &045; well ahead of others who had newer bikes.

Jamie said he got a Bike-A-thon brochure in the mall last Thursday and asked his mother, Michelle Dietz, if he could ride.

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&uot;Both my grandmas died of cancer,&uot; he said.

Within an hour of going up and down the block where he lives, Jamie was able to gather $125 in pledges.

His mother asked what he was going to ride for a bike, and his brother, Jeremie, suggested he ride the bike he used four years ago in the Bike-A-thon. Jeremie also completed all 100 miles on the bike.

It wasn’t easy going, Jamie said.

&uot;I stood nearly the whole way from Myrtle,&uot; he said.

While he started the ride on his own, between Albert Lea and Glenville he met up with two friends, who are in sixth grade at Sibley Elementary. Jamie is a fifth-grader at Lakeview.

His friends let him use their cell phone, and he called his mother from every other town along the route to let her know how he was doing.

At the end of the route, people asked him how he did it.

&uot;There were two older ladies with really nice bikes who couldn’t believe I’d made it on that thing,&uot; Jamie said.

Jamie and his brother are already planning to ride the route again next year. &uot;With a new bike,&uot; Jamie said.