TWELVE cyclists will pedal more than 500km in five days to show solidarity with emergency services personnel doing it tough.
Ride Alongside 2019 has partnered with the Sirens of Silence Charity for the event, which will see cyclists ride from Bunbury to Denmark to highlight the importance of mental health and wellbeing in regional WA’s emergency services personnel.
The cyclists will speak with first responders in 10 towns along their route, something Cockburn resident, race director and former police officer Rob Seaman said he hoped would challenge the stigma surrounding mental health.
“Ride Alongside was started by Jason Barnes and myself after seeing first hand the trauma faced by emergency services personnel on a daily basis, the mental and psychological toll on their lives and feeling the need to raise community awareness of this,” he said.
“Having lived and worked in the country, we both knew that people who live in regional communities don’t always have access to the same level of services and facilities that are available in the cities.
“We want to be able to raise awareness and start the conversation in a unique and innovative way, with our bikes promoting the synergy of good physical health with good mental health.”
He said while the journey was “not onerous like the Tour de France might be”, pedalling 518km was not going to be an easy ride and hoped they could raise as much money as possible for the cause that was close to his heart.
“There is a stigma in emergency services organisations that putting your hand up for help is a sign of weakness, but nothing could be further from the truth,” he said.
“We don’t let our team members down and we don’t let our team fall down and not help them back up.
“As a community, we need to band together around our injured personnel, help these people get back on their feet and get their lives back.”
Ride Alongside will run from May 6 to 10.
Visit www.mycause.com.au/events/ridealongside2019forsirensofsilencecharity to donate.