Pippen joins Jackson as Bo Bikes Bama

Scottie Pippen bikes though Alabama with Bo Jackson and others to help raise funds for victims of the devastation left by tornadoes in April 2011

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By Adam Fluck | 04.24.2012

Jackson, Pippen and Griffey
Jackson, Pippen and Griffey are hoping raise $1 million for the Governor's Emergency Relief Fund, which was established to help those in Alabama with unmet recovery needs that unfolded in the wake of the deadly tornado outbreak across the state in April 2011.

Scottie Pippen joined Bo Jackson and his Bo Bikes Bama effort on Tuesday in Alabama, embarking on a 300-mile bike ride through the state to raise funds for victims of last April’s destructive tornados. The participants are riding their bikes along the same path that the tornados took last year.

“I’ve known Bo over the years, as we have both been part of the Nike family for a long time,” said Pippen of Jackson. “So I was excited to get involved in a great cause and it is a lot of fun for us all to be on the bikes.”

Pippen and Jackson, the 1985 Heisman Trophy winner and an All-Star at the professional level for both football and baseball, began the ride in Henagar, Alabama on Tuesday morning.

Following a 50-mile ride on the first day, they’ll begin the second morning in Lake Guntersville State Park and travel 65 miles. The third day will begin in Cullman and consist of a 50-mile trek to Jasper. The next stop after Jasper is Bessemer, another 50-mile day, with the ride concluding in Tuscaloosa on Saturday.

Jackson hopes to generate $1 million for the Governor’s Emergency Relief Fund though registration fees for the race itself, by texting “BOBIKES” to 50555 ($10 donation), or by making an online donation at UnitedWaysOfAlabama.org. According to the Bo Bikes Bama website, $1.2 billion is still needed for the long-term recovery effort.

While commitments tied into the Bulls’ beginning their run in the 2012 NBA Playoffs will preclude Pippen from biking the entire five-day route, he said he is thrilled to be there for the start of the ride and support such a worthy cause.

Scottie Pippen with Al Joyner
Pippen and Al Joyner, the gold medal winner for the triple jump in the 1984 Summer Olympics, take a break during the ride's first day.

“I’ve always had a lot of respect for Bo,” said Pippen of Jackson. “Obviously he was a world class athlete, but now, he’s showing he knows how to be a role model and it’s great he’s doing something like this for his home state.”

Pippen is also familiar with some of the other former athletes who are along for the ride, including good friend Ken Griffey, Jr. A pair of Heisman winners in Cam Newton and Herschel Walker are also taking part in this week’s event, as is Olympic triple jumper Al Joyner, Olympic skier Picabo Street, and several of Jackson’s former teammates at Auburn. Charles Barkley, who also attended Auburn, donated $50,000 on Tuesday.

Lance Armstrong, who won the Tour de France a record seven times, is also expected to join the bikers this week. And Pippen sees it as a bit of a challenge.

“My goal is to try and keep up with Lance on that bike,” laughed Pippen. “I think we’ll try and push him a little bit just to make it fun. But we know at the end of the day who the cream of the crop is on these bikes.”