The cycling community gathered Thursday to celebrate the life of Jake Boykin, who was killed in a hit-and-run last week while training for a competition. His grieving family and friends say they have unfinished business – making sure Boykin’s life was not in vain.
They called the memorial “Champion’s Sendoff,” and Boykin was a champion. He was a 25-year-old doctoral student at Florida State University who had won the national collegiate time trial. His friend Jason Khan-Hohensee spoke to the bikers before they set off from the Chaires Community Center on a ride in Boykin’s honor.
“We’re going to mobilize, we’re going to make sure Jake’s death was not in vain,” he said. “We’re going to get to that. But right now, tonight, it’s about celebrating Jake’s life. So, let’s do that as best we can. Let’s get out there, let’s ride some bikes. I don’t want to steal a mic from anybody – we’re all going to have a lot of time to share stories, I promise you. But let’s get out there, let’s knock out 10.6 miles for Jake right here. Okay?”
Boykin’s death was noted by a number of sports magazines, especially those focused on cycling. “On and off the bike,” Khan-Hohensee wrote, “he was one of the most incredible and awe-inspiring human beings that our community has ever seen.”