A ONE day endurance bike ride from Berowra to Broke is hoping to raise funds and awareness about the benefits of exercise and group riding to combat depression.
About 70 cyclists across four pelotons, from throughout Sydney and even South Australia, will take part in the second Go for Broke charity event on Saturday, September 23.
The 180km challenge heads off from Sydney at 6am, before finishing in the Hunter Valley town around 3pm.
“Everyone’s looking forward to it,” Go for Broke founding member Ed Kirk said.
“Last year, 17 riders participated and we raised $11,000.
“That number has grown in 2017 and, so far, we’re on track to reach $30,000 to $40,000 by the 23rd for charity.
“Every dollar raised helps Lifeline meet the increasing demand for its 24/7 crisis and support services in the region.
“Also, the rider who brings in the most money will don a yellow version of the event jersey everyone wears on the ride – similar to the Tour de France.
“We’re now aiming for 120 to 150 riders, plus a bike race in Broke [the following day], in 12 months’ time.”
The Go for Broke not-for-profit organisation was created by a group of cyclists, and friends, to find ways to combat mental health and depression.
“Our goal is to highlight the positive impact of exercise and camaraderie as part of the mix in treating the illness,” Mr Kirk said.
“We welcome men and women of all ages and the ride is fully-supported to keep you safe and ensure you have a fantastic day out.
“Depression and anxiety is on the rise.
“One in five Australians has suffered or is currently a sufferer.
“You can’t just cure depression.
“It has to be managed with help, support and love given by those around sufferers of this debilitating disease.
“Here at Go for Broke we want to promote how cycling and cycling with friends makes a difference.
“For both guys and girls, young and old, from whatever walk of life you’re from, we want to share how riding through exercise and riding with mates can help us beat depression.
“Many people aren’t aware that cycling is a great group activity that builds friendships and support.
“I’ve had personal experience with depression.
“The benefits that cycling has had on friends and family led us to establish Go for Broke.
“And, in 2017, we’ve partnered with Broke Fordwich Wine Region to organise a barbecue and encourage locals to cheer riders as they ride into Broke.
“Discussions are currently underway to ensure we link with a number of events in 2018, including a NSW Cycling-sanctioned criterium race the day after the charity ride.
“The five-year plan is to grow Go for Broke into a cycling festival weekend catering for all levels of riders including a children/family event.”