Bo knows bikes
How the world’s greatest athlete gives back through cycling
Bo Jackson casts a large shadow, both literally and metaphorically. The former professional multisport athlete and Auburn University standout is known the world over for his athleticism. Even today, he fills a door frame with ease — and that might be intimidating, were it not for the size of his heart.
On April 27, 2011, Alabama was ripped apart by one of the worst tornado outbreaks the US has ever seen. The event left a trail of devastation in its wake, claiming the lives of 64 people and impacting thousands of others.
When one Alabamian suffers, all of Alabama suffers; such is the way in the Heart of Dixie. Bo, a native of Bessemer, could not sit idly by when his brothers and sisters needed help.
Knowing he had to lend a hand, Bo made a phone call to Trek, Nike, the governor of Alabama, and a few more key players. After tossing around a few ideas, he settled on a winner: he was going to ride his bike across Alabama to raise funds and help those affected by the tornados.
Now, eight years later, Bo Bikes Bama is one of the country’s largest one-day charity rides. The ride has raised over $1.5 million for the Governor’s Emergency Relief Fund, money that has been used to repair 585 homes, build 68 community storm shelters, and install 10 emergency early-warning sirens throughout the state.
Throughout those eight years, Bo’s love affair with the bicycle and its transformative and unifying nature has grown in unexpected ways. Though Bo would’ve hardly considered himself a cyclist beforehand — he doesn’t count building slick Huffys with his friends as a kid — the world’s greatest athlete has morphed into a truly passionate cyclist.
Bo’s not just a rider — he’s also a passionate advocate for the bicycle. His love affair with cycling has recently expanded to include the category of bikes that’s exploding for all athletes as of late — electric bikes. After a lifetime spent being the fastest and strongest, even Bo loves a little help now and then.
Tune in to this episode of Better with Bikes to hear about the origins of the ride, how Bo became one of the most upstanding professional athletes of all time, what Bo does to escape being Bo, and much, much more.
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