Sunday, May 1, 2016

Bo Bikes Bama 2016

As a middle school person, I remember having the hugest crush on The Bo Jackson. When I heard that he has been doing a charity ride in Alabama for the past five years called Bo Bikes Bama for The Alabama Relief Fund, I knew that I had to do this ride that would provide me the opportunity to give back to my home state, and it would also give me the opportunity to possibly meet Bo Jackson.

I decided to stay on the campus of Tuskegee University, my Alma Mater, which is only about fifteen minutes away from Auburn which is where Bo Jackson would be hosting the Bo Bikes Bama ride. I have a niece and great nephew who are both current students at Tuskegee. So, I got the chance to spend time with both of them, as well as, spend time with my nephew and his wife who live a few miles away in Montgomery, Alabama.

Great nephew

Saturday, the day of the ride, I excitedly gathered with about 900 other cyclist to ride the country sides of Alabama. Right before the ride, I had to get out of the lineup to take care of a mechanical issue on my bike, and just as I was finishing the work on my bike, I looked up and was looking right at Bo Jackson who was trying to make his way to the starting line. (Swoon). 

Bo got to the front of the line and thanked us for coming out, and he talked about the fact that he has raised around $1 million dollars in the last five years and has built about 500 homes and quite a few tornado shelters. He went on to tell us that Bret Favre and Lance Armstrong would be riding with us. However, what he said that stuck out the most to me was “Enjoy the ride, and do not complain about things that we have no control over.” This set the tone of the ride for me, and I must admit that I took everything in stride and completely enjoyed the ride.

Being that I was cycling, I was not able to take many pictures, but my people, I had forgotten or maybe never noticed the beauty of Alabama. Lakes, ponds, streams, beautiful trees, and miles and miles of highway with very low traffic. Alabama the Beautiful!!!

And, ain’t nothing like Southern hospitality. There were three rest stops, and the volunteers were extremely happy and friendly. The second rest stop was hosted by a church, and the church members had chairs ready for us and many of the church members were there to greet us. Also, at this particular rest stop, I ran into a cousin through marriage, who is a state trooper, and he was keeping us safe. I felt like I had my own personal protection.

Cousin, the state trooper and protection!

However, true to Alabama style, there was fried chicken at the last stop!! (You got to love Alabama!)

At the finish line there was a live band, plenty of food for the riders, and of course Bo Jackson, which is when I got the opportunity to take the picture with him. There were lots of people gathered around Bo, and he handled all of the attention with such grace. He stood for hours and allowed people to take pictures with him, and he wrote his name lots and lots of times on almost anything that was provided.

My people, the great outdoors, cycling, and being around lots of people make me extremely happy, and this weekend, my happiness level went through the roof. I talked with so many people before, during, and after the ride who all seemed to be equally excited and happy to be riding in the state of Alabama.

My people, if you don’t know what makes you happy, then I am highly encouraging you to try lots and lots of things until you find the things that bring you complete joy, and consider doing those things often.

You know, I’ve learned that I am 100% responsible for my happiness, and I realize that it does not take much to make me extremely happy: people, teaching, books, authors, the great outdoors, exercise, cycling, traveling, rest..... AND, the bonus is that I can enjoy most of these things on a regular basis.

My people, the joy that I had this weekend can not be contained, and I am sure that it will spill over into other areas of my life and all into next week.

My People, find a hobby that you love, and become its slave!


G. Travis Norvell said...

I am writing a small article for a bike event in Portland Or this summer to be held during the American Baptist biennial. I am exploring the role of bikes and the Civil Rights Movement. And the role bikes can provide for racial justice. Do you have any thoughts on this? Any personal stories you can share? many thanks and great blog. I found your blog by looking up stories concerning the 2015 Selma to Montgomery bike ride. thanks again, Travis.

Jacqueline said...

Yes, let’s talk about this and explore some ideas.

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