The Ride for his Life
For Pat Seemann, what began as a desire to bike down the Mississippi River from its beginning to end, has become a way to honor the memory of his nephew, support a local nonprofit, and uplift the stories of the indigenous people along the way. Pat knows that like the river itself, life can take unexpected turns.
In mid-May, once the ice melts from the headwaters in Lake Itasca, Pat will begin a 2348 mile bike ride following the Mississippi River down to New Orleans’ Gulf of Mexico. The trip will take about six weeks.
When Pat originally conceived of such an epic bike ride, he had no way of knowing that the ride would take on so much more importance. In November of 2020, his nephew Parker Seemann, who struggled with a devastating cycle of substance abuse and recovery, ultimately succumbed to his demons.
Pat and Parker both struggled with alcohol abuse, depression and anxiety. As Pat followed the path of healing and sobriety, Parker headed the other direction. Pat’s substance abuse was limited to alcohol; for Parker, alcohol and marijuana became gateway drugs that led to overdose and death. The bike ride allows Pat a time to reflect on “where I’ve been and where I’m going.” It’s also a way to give back to his community.
“Parker’s story wasn’t complete,” said Pat. “This is a way to honor his story even though it wasn’t finished. This is a way to find meaning and purpose in Parker’s death.”
Follow along on the journey and check in with Patrick as he travels down the Mississippi River Trail