Former Auburn basketball participant Gary Godfrey will take part in his 3rd Bo Bikes Bama charity party Saturday many thanks to a senior design and style group of mechanical engineering college students in Auburn University’s Samuel Ginn Higher education of Engineering who explained “yes” to the problem.
Godfrey, a 1986 industrial engineering graduate who played along with Charles Barkley as the Tigers attained the Elite 8 in advance of embarking on a extremely successful 30-calendar year profession in logistics and brand name administration consulting, was identified with ALS in 2019. He can no lengthier stroll. He can no more time speak.
“But, thanks to these Auburn engineering college students,” Godfrey mentioned by means of the speech building machine he controls with his eyes, “I can however sense the wind in my facial area.”
Previous 7 days, the 13-human being crew comprised of 8 mechanical engineering seniors, an industrial master’s pupil volunteer, a few mechanical engineering graduate teaching assistants and an undergraduate teaching assistant accomplished a tailor made student-developed adaptive bike that could accommodate Godfrey, who is 6 ft 8 inches tall, and the vehicle’s operator, Chuck Smith, an seasoned bicycle owner who has known Godfrey for a long time. The workforce was supervised by Assistant Mechanical Engineering Professor Kyle Schulze and Mechanical Engineering Lecturer Jordan Roberts, director of engineering’s Style and design and Producing Lab.
Started in 2011, Bo Bikes Bama is an annual charity journey led by two-sport legend Bo Jackson benefiting the Governor’s Crisis Reduction Fund. The journey features a 60-mile and a 20-mile course Godfrey and Smith will travel the 20-mile class, which commences and ends at Jordan-Hare Stadium.
“Building the bicycle for Gary was a terrific encounter for the reason that it was an illustration of a actual-world structure and establish process—we were being operating on a limited routine with a huge team,” stated mechanical engineering senior Joshua McCreight, the project’s group lead. “I’m really happy we received it accomplished in time for Gary to participate in Bo Bikes Bama. We were committed to ending it, not only simply because it was our senior design job, but since it’s this kind of a terrific way to share the optimistic affect of Gary’s story.”
Godfrey and his spouse, Carol, who also acquired an industrial and methods engineering degree from Auburn in 1986, very first approached the faculty about the challenge late previous 12 months.
“We’re just not ready to give up on the points that we appreciate just due to the fact of a bad split like ALS,” said Carol, who will journey the event’s 20-mile course possibility alongside Gary. “Gary’s thoughts is sharper than at any time, making it possible for him to desire up tips like riding a bike all over again.”
Immediately after two hectic semesters of almost nonstop do the job, that thought is now a reality in the variety of a modified cargo ebike with a custom-constructed frame that includes a very hot-swappable battery for ongoing operation. Godfrey will sit securely in an enclosure in the entrance of the bicycle between two 20-inch tires pushed by the run rear wheel.
The bicycle is equipped with a few major sensors—two GoPro cameras and a so-referred to as “twitch switch”—that will allow Godfrey’s assist group, like Carol, to observe his critical signs through the race. The twitch switch will be hooked up to Godfrey’s cheek and connected to a gentle and siren system permitting him to signal the team by means of the slight facial mobility he maintains if he is in distress. He will be secured to a racing seat donated by Pilcher Automotives with a five-issue harness and his head will be supported with a HANS unit normal of motorsports safety.
For an first take a look at experience, the group achieved out to Auburn senior tight conclusion Luke Offer, who at 6 ft 5 inches tall and 260 lbs, could almost replicate Godfrey’s 6-foot 8-inch, 290-pound frame. Deal’s father Chris was identified with ALS in early 2021.
Superstar pre-rides meant to showcase the design and style team’s remaining solution will just take place Saturday from 9-9:45 a.m. at the most important entrance to Neville Arena on the Auburn University campus. Auburn Head Football Coach Bryan Harsin, Auburn College President-elect Christopher B. Roberts and Auburn Mayor Ron Anders will steer Godfrey down the pedestrian walkway top to the Haley Center to the statue of Bo Jackson in entrance of Jordan-Hare Stadium and back again.
“We are dwelling out our have edition of what it means to live with ALS, and we are so grateful for the astonishingly bright younger people in the Samuel Ginn University of Engineering who are on this trip together with us,” Carol claimed. “Gary normally difficulties us to ‘make these days your most effective day.’ So, Saturday will be a ideal day for a full large amount of individuals.”
“Calling Gary Godfrey an inspiration is an understatement,” Jackson said. “Even with ALS, he’s still fully commited to assisting other folks. And Auburn college students have been dedicated to assisting him. That’s what the Auburn loved ones is all about. I’m genuinely happy he’s riding again this calendar year.”
The 20-mile Bo Bikes Bama experience begins Saturday at 10 a.m. For a lot more data, visit BoBikesBama.com.