Bodhi Linde has accomplished more in twelve years than most middle schoolers.
In March 2020, Bodhi celebrated 1,000 days of riding his bike to school. He first made the 2.1 mile trek to Grandview Elementary School six years ago and hasn’t stopped since.
“The first day of kindergarten turned into September, and September turned into Christmas, and Christmas turned into the end of the year,” laughs Dan Linde, Bodhi’s dad.
“My dad was a huge biker, he did a lot of triathlons, and he was a bike mechanic,” Bodhi explains. When Bodhi received his first bike for Christmas, his love for bicycling took off. Bodhi has also tried unicycling, thanks to an introductory class at the YMCA. His favorite bike, though, is his Trek 920 which Trek gave him for biking 1,000 days to school.
He is also the youngest person to have completed the Dakota Five-O, a fifty-mile bike race in Spearfish — quite a feat for then 9-year-old Bodhi.
The now 12-year-old credits his dad for keeping him motivated: “A lot of times it just involves goal setting, and my dad really helps me when it’s hard to persevere,” Bodhi says.
While goal-setting has its place, Dan points out the importance of time management. He says, “create an atmosphere where you’re busy, you’re doing things.” Dan also tries to encourage Bodhi to have a healthy mindset towards failure. “Failure is just fine. It’s good to do stuff you’re not good at,” he says.
Turning to Music
Since reaching the 1,000 day mark, Bodhi has devoted more of his time to other interests, such as music.
A music enthusiast from an early age, Bodhi learned to play the mandolin and banjo. Before long, he started learning how to play guitar, too. In the beginning, Bodhi and his dad went to several bluegrass gigs in the Black Hills.
“I went to a bluegrass meetup and they played a song that wasn’t in the key of G, which is basically the only key that a banjo can play. That’s why I asked to borrow my dad’s guitar, and then I was hooked,” Bodhi says.
Dan says experimentation is key: “We bought every musical instrument we could find and said, ‘here.’ And then finally one stuck.”
Bodhi loves to play jazz and the blues, and he even writes some of his own songs. In the past year, Bodhi has performed at local venues such as Main Street Square, The Custer Beacon, and Loud American Roadhouse, and he plans to continue performing as he grows older.
Pursuing New Goals
In addition to music, Bodhi also excels at math and reading. He was the top scoring sixth grader in math in the state and had the highest Mathcounts score at South Middle School. Although he hopes to pursue a career in music, a stint in college is also a possibility.
The most important thing, Dan says, is to understand that sometimes goals change. “I think you have to be malleable as a parent. Sometimes people get wrapped up in pursuing one certain path.”
As for short-term goals, Bodhi hopes to keep riding his bike to school until the end of middle school. With his penchant for music, a trip to Nashville is also on his bucket list. And who knows — if it involves an amazing kid like Bodhi Linde, anything is possible.
WORDS: AVERY THOMAS
PHOTOS: JESSE BROWN NELSON