AUBURN – Nearly 10 years ago, two-sport legend Bo Jackson called on celebrities, friends and fans to cycle through communities devastated by a string of deadly tornadoes that struck Alabama on April 27, 2011. The five-day ride, coined "Bo Bikes Bama," began as a way to bring national attention to communities in need, to spread hope and to help in recovery.
This year, the 10th Annual Bo Bikes Bama From Home ride will take place on Saturday, April 24, and will look different to participants in light of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Through Bo Bikes Bama’s partner platform Zwift – a global community with group rides and community races for all levels – participating cyclists will choose their own routes through their neighborhoods, nearby parks or trails to ensure personal safety, all while continuing to bring awareness to the cause.
“I’ve always said that I am my brothers’ and sisters’ keeper,” said Jackson in a video to his supporters. “In 2021, that means we will have to ride together – but apart. Even though we won’t be riding side-by-side, we can still make a big impact as one Bo Bikes Bama family.”
In keeping with the last two years, a small VIP ride will be held Friday, April 23, before the main from-home ride the following day. Led by Jackson, this closed VIP ride through the Auburn-Opelika community will take place in person – but with added safety precautions.
Nike, Trek Bicycle, Trek Travel and Big Communications will return as producing partners, allowing the volunteer-led event to keep expenses to a minimum so that funds can be contributed directly to the cause.
Registration for Bo Bikes Bama is open at https://bobikesbama.com/the-ride/ride-details/. Each registrant will receive a Bo Bikes Bama t-shirt, along with other items such as a commemorative bike plate, bracelet, sticker, etc., and will have the opportunity to purchase an exclusive rider jersey. Additionally, top fundraisers will be provided new perks this year. Forthcoming event news and updates will be posted to bobikesbama.com, Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.
Although encouraged to participate and ride on Saturday, the last official day to register is May 2. If interested in making a donation, please visit https://bobikesbama.com/donate/. In order to compete as a top fundraiser and receive prizes, visit https://bobikesbama.com/the-ride/fundraising/.
Bo Bikes Bama became an annual event in April 2013, when Bo returned to Alabama for a one-day ride in Cordova, Alabama, one of the hardest hit cities of the 2011 outbreak. Over the last decade, Bo Bikes Bama has attracted approximately 7,550 cyclists from across the country and raised more than $2 million. Bo Bikes Bama initiatives support the Governor’s Emergency Relief Fund, which has repaired hundreds of homes and provided community storm shelters throughout the state.
GERF helps Alabamians who have exhausted all other avenues of disaster relief provided by insurance, government funding and relief organizations. Through the fund, 600 homes have been repaired at an average cost of $6,482.
GERF has also funded projects to protect the state in future natural disasters, including 68 community safe rooms, 10 emergency warning sirens, and emergency generators for volunteer fire departments.
A nine-member committee reviews requests presented by Long Term Recovery Committees from across the state and votes on funding to help individuals and communities recover.
United Ways of Alabama serves as the fiscal agent for GERF, which is administered by the Alabama Governor’s Office of Volunteer Services (previously Serve Alabama).