12-year-old loves to tackle a good cause; latest is bike trail in memory of late teen

  • Article by: BRIANNA JETT , Associated Press
  • Updated: July 14, 2014 - 12:12 AM

BYRON, Minn. — With only a helmet and a bicycle, Isaiah Crossfield, 12, has touched the lives of children around the world. So far, he has gathered and delivered more than 1,000 bicycles to countries in need and shipped food to starving children.

This summer, Isaiah is turning his attention closer to home. He is hoping to raise enough money to build a new bike trail in Byron, about a mile long, and name it after Noah Graddy, a Byron teenager who passed away this past winter, the Rochester Post-Bulletin reported (http://bit.ly/1qNtLll).

"People need a reminder of Noah, who died on a railroad track, to follow the right path instead of the wrong one," Isaiah said.

On July 19, Isaiah will host a bike ride from Byron to Pine Island to help raise money for the trail. Isaiah said riders can register the day of the event, and he still is looking for volunteers to help run it.

Dwight Crossfield, Isaiah's father, said the trail will cost between $200,000 and $300,000. In addition to the bike event fundraiser, Isaiah will be writing grants.

"All I want is enough to make that bike trail," Isaiah said.

His father has little doubt it won't happen. He said when Isaiah puts his mind to something, he achieves his goal.

"He'll get it done — it's just a matter of time," Dwight Crossfield said.

If the past is any predictor, not much can stop the 12-year-old.

In 2011, when he was 9, he rode 50 miles to raise $500 for those in need in Haiti. The next year, he shipped 1,000 bikes to the impoverished island. Since then, he and a few of his friends have been collecting donated bikes and biking to raise money and awareness for different causes he is passionate about.

"I've got a ton (of bikes) in my garage," Isaiah said. "It's crazy."

His efforts also have sent more than 200 bikes to Afghanistan and nearly 60 to Somalia.

Isaiah said he and his friends will accept anything people can give, whether it be money, a bike or just bike parts. They even will take a bike that doesn't work.

"If they're broken, it doesn't matter," he said. "We just do a little bit of tweaking."

This summer, he will participate in the seven-dayRAGBRAI ride with his father. The ride is more than 400 miles long. Money he raises will go to one of his projects, such as donating bikes or sending food to children around the world.

"There's people from all over the world that will give," Dwight said about other riders donating money during RAGBRAI. "It's amazing."

Isaiah said even though some people call him too young to be riding so far or gathering so many bikes, he doesn't think of it that way.

"It feels normal, and it feels right," he said.

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