Local kids feel the freedom of riding a bike on the open road

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KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) -- The freedom of riding a bike on the open road is something special.

"You just feel like you're flying," said national champion cyclist Travis McCabe.

Bedilu Martin, 7, doesn't need to ride a bike to feel that sense of freedom though.

He's from Ethiopia, one of the poorest countries in the world.

America is his home now.

"It felt kind of good," said Bedilu, after the kids' race in Knoxville on Saturday.

The opportunity is a special one, and one he may not have gotten on the other side of the world.

"We're Americans so we're blessed with so much more than other countries. I have no idea where he would be or where he wouldn't be. We're just thankful he's here," said Bedilu's father, Dan Martin.

The kids were joined by professional cyclists in the race.