Robert Noles/Opelika Observer
By Morgan Bryce
Former Auburn University football star and Heisman winner Bo Jackson made a pit stop at James Bros. Bikes in downtown Opelika this morning, as a part of his fundraising campaign “Bo Bikes Bama”.
Rylee Roquemore, marketing coordinator for the campaign, said that Jackson’s appearance in Opelika was a warm-up for the event, which will begin tomorrow morning in Auburn.
“This year we’re having our first ever VIP experience ride, and we had five riders take advantage of that … so they get a complete weekend with him. We had a 10-mile warmup ride throughout Opelika this morning,” Roquemore said.
Bo Bikes Bama began as a fundraiser for the Governor’s Emergency Relief Fund, after Jackson was moved to help the cities and people affected by the April 27, 2011, tornado outbreak in cities like Tuscaloosa and Cordova.
Since 2012, Jackson has embarked on this annual bike ride, and along with help from celebrities like Picabo Street and Ken Griffey, Jr. and hundreds of Alabama citizens, has raised more than $1.1 million for the fund, which provides funding for the construction of community storm shelters.
A silent auction will be held in the red barn at Ag Heritage Park tonight, with the main bike rides beginning tomorrow. Online registration for the event is closed, but those still interested in participating can register on site at the Auburn University Arena at 6:30 a.m. tomorrow morning. For more information, visit http://www.bobikesbama.com/the-ride/ride-details/.