A sea of helmets gathered beneath an arch as Aubie pumped up the crowd. This is not a football game. This is Bo Bikes Bama.
Bo Bikes Bama is a fundraising event that commemorates those who lost their lives to the tornadoes that swept through Alabama in 2011. The proceeds benefit those who were affected by the tornadoes.
The participants of the eighth Bo Bikes Bama congregated outside the Auburn Arena at 7a.m. to hear remarks by Bo Jackson and Alabama Governor Kay Ivey.
Jackson greeted the crowd with an energetic, “Is everybody ready to ride?”
He spoke of the good that past rides have done for the communities ravaged by the April 2011 tornadoes and the good that they must continue to do in the future.
“That’s what I say, you can’t fight mother nature, but please get out of her way,” Jackson said.
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This is the cause that Bo Bikes Bama supports. He spoke of the tornadoes seen in Beauregard about a month ago, using them as an example of the work that must still be done. The ride will be passing through this area and will observe a one-mile ride of silence to commemorate the victims.
Jackson thanked sponsors, which included Auburn’s own Chicken Salad Chick and Newk’s Eatery, then passed the microphone to Ivey. Ivey spoke of the devastation the tornadoes brought and the lives lost.
“And with all this destruction, the spirit of the people of Lee County was never broken,” Ivey said. “It remained strong, and our state and nation have seen the resilience of the people of Lee County, and we will continue to rally behind these good people for as long as it takes to get them back on their feet.”
Ivey and Jackson held a moment of silent prayer for the victims and their families, as well as those who were left to pick up the pieces.
Before they left, Jackson had a surprise for the participants. He announced that an anonymous donor had promised to match between 75-100% of every dollar raised. Then, led by Jackson and escorted by local police, they set out on a 60 mile bicycle ride.
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