GREEN BAY (WKOW) — You likely know the tradition of the Packers riding kids bikes into training camp, but what you may not realize is the lasting bond at least one of the players has developed with his bike buddy.
In August 2014, then-rookie Corey Linsley randomly chose to ride Travis Kohlbeck’s bike. A little confusion solidified their bond.
“I went up to him, and he was like, I already have a rider, do you know where Corey Linsley is? And I was like, Travis, I’m Corey. And he was like, oh okay!” Linsley said in a 2014 locker room interview.
“At least he remembered he was waiting for my name, he just didn’t remember me,” he joked five years later in a sit down interview with us.
Corey took to Travis right away because Travis told him, his mom was suffering from a brain hemorrhage. To cheer him up, Corey bought him a new bike.
Corey’s family and Travis’s family got close after that. The Linsleys didn’t know many people in Green Bay at the time, and over the years they’ve shared holidays, birthdays and other big life moments. The Linsleys consider them extended family now.
“They’re truly caring people. They opened their arms to us when we came here, when they didn’t have to,” said Linsley.
In early March, Corey and his wife Anna got a frantic text from Travis’s mom, that Travis’s dad John was being rushed into emergency surgery. John is suffering from necrotizing fasciitis, a flesh-eating disease.
Corey and Anna have kept in touch as John has been life-flighted to Milwaukee and was in a coma. This has all happened during the biggest moment in the Linsleys’ relationship to date — the birth of their first child, Seamus.
“She [Alicia, Travis’s mom] just kept saying, when are you going to have that baby? I need something positive!” said Anna.
During early feedings with Seamus, Anna knew they wanted to do something, so they’re organizing a benefit concert, Rock for John.
“I believe he has two Grateful Dead tattoos, so he’s a huge 80s music fan,” said Anna. “We’ve been really blessed that everyone in the community has kind of rallied around almost immediately, no questions asked.”
Hey Green Bay! We need you to come ROCK FOR JOHN with headliner @johnnywadband on April 17th @BadgerStateBeer from 6:30-10PM. We hope to see you there! Huge thanks to everyone who has made this possible. @packers Follow the link to get your tickets: https://t.co/pJinMLIX8O pic.twitter.com/WqUGpIuLDG
— Corey Linsley (@Linsley71) April 1, 2019
Because of it, Corey put a promise from Travis on the record.
“Travis my bike rider was so touched and thrilled about this Rock for John concert, that he vowed to his mom to stay out of trouble, and concentrate as much as he can on school,” said Linsley. “So we’re just putting that out there.”
Rock for John is Wednesday, April 17 at Badger State Brewing Company in Green Bay. Tickets are available online for $15 or $20 the day of the event. Monetary donations are being accepted through a GoFundMe page. For any other donations you can email firstname.lastname@example.org.