HE might be the oldest cyclist in this year’s Ride for Youth, but Hillarys resident Phil Cousins has experience on his side.
Mr Cousins (65) is taking part in the five-day event for the 13th consecutive year, helping to raise money for suicide prevention charity Youth Focus.
He and his family members have participated in 27 rides between them, raising more than $250,000, and his son is on the support crew.
When he joined in 2004, he had not ridden a bike for nearly 40 years.
“I got back on the bike and have enjoyed it ever since,” he said.
“The cause of preventing youth suicide was a big factor and the challenge to see whether I could do it.
“It’s always a challenge but as long as you keep fitness up it’s OK.”
He is one of nearly 150 cyclists who will complete the 700km journey from Albany to Perth from today, visiting regional schools along the way.
“Most important is the work we’re doing raising funds for Youth Focus and getting message out to kids in schools,” he said.
“Mental health and wellbeing being front and centre now does highlight how much of it there is in the community and how many people are affected.”
He said it was a special event to be part of and enjoyed the fitness and camaraderie.
“If the health holds up and body holds up, then I’ll do it another couple of years,” he said.
“It’s good for all-round general health and for mental health and you’re doing something for community at the same time.”
Donate at rideforyouth.com.au.