‘Bout’s Routes’ rides from Coast to Pine Belt for autism
PINE BELT, Miss. (WDAM) -Several people lined the streets as the riders of Bout’s Routes made their way into the City of Laurel for the third annual Autism Awareness Ride.
The group made the100-mile journey from Ocean Springs down 16th Avenue in Laurel to residents eager to show their appreciation.
“I think it’s great,” said Julie Gilliland. “Ten years ago, people didn’t know what autism was. There’s a lot more education about it now; a lot more awareness. I think it’s a really good thing for these kids.”
Greg Boutwell is the founder of Bout’s Routes, and he says the tradition began after having a conversation with a fellow rider whose child is autistic.
“We started three years ago with 100 bikes and a gas station in Slidell, and we rode to Ocean Springs,” Boutwell said. “Last year, we ended up with about 400 bikes and went from Gulfport to Picayune.”
Every year, the group takes a different route, and every year, Boutwell says more people want to join.
“As quick as it’s growing, we’re going to try to keep going with it,” Boutwell said.
Boutwell says the dates are already set for next year’s ride, and he’s looking forward to enjoying the scenery of the newest route.
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