A charity bike ride dedicated to raising funds for Australian Rotary Health will support ongoing research into men’s mental health.
Men and women throughout North Queensland are being urged to join the Banish the Black Dog Charity Bike Ride, with registrations now open.
“People in our community are frequently faced with complex issues that can affect mental health,” said Henry Fracchia, Chairperson of Banish the Black Dog.
“Factors such as living remotely, performing fly-in and fly-out jobs or experiencing social isolation can take a toll on mental health,” Mr Fracchia said.
“Our bike ride aims to support research into the causes and treatments of mental health conditions, whilst providing a fun and relaxed social atmosphere.”
Since beginning in 2009, the bike ride has raised more than $407 000 for mental health research. This year, organizers hope to reach over $80 000.
Local engineering consultancy Premise is a major sponsor of this year’s event, with several regular participants returning to ride, including CEO David Pollock.
“People of all ages are encouraged to help Banish the Black Dog, as our bike ride caters to all fitness levels,” Mr Fracchia said.
“Our focus is on offering people an opportunity to connect in a relaxed and healthy social environment, to get outdoors and enjoy what our region has to offer.”
The bike ride departs from Townsville on Saturday 26th May, with a morning cycle to the Ayr Showgrounds, where participants will camp overnight.
“Saturday is traditionally a celebration that offers riders a chance to enjoy dinner together, with live entertainment and music,” Mr Fracchia said.
On Sunday 27th May, riders will return to Townsville via a scenic route around Mount Elliot. In total, the bike ride is a 260-km round trip.
“This year marks our tenth Banish the Black Dog Charity Bike Ride, and the first year in which Premise has been our partnering sponsor,” Mr Fracchia said.
Registrations for the bike ride open now open: www.banishtheblackdog.org.au
Special coverage from The Townsville Bulletin below, Reporter Olivia Grace-Curran.