Break the cycle is a campaign created by Wellways to promote positive health and reduce the rate of suicide. Suicide is the leading cause of death for Australians aged between 15 and 44 years of age and has a devastating impact on families, friends and communities.
Over 5 days we cycled over 550 kilometres through regional NSW, to support local communities who have been impacted by COVID-19, bushfires and ongoing drought. We promoted connection and supports available, encouraging communities to start the conversations and know where to go for support when needed.
Starting in Wagga Wagga, then cycling to Gundagai, Tumbarumba, Gerogery, Urana and finishing back in Wagga Wagga, we held workshops to get the community involved in suicide prevention and promoting positive mental health.
Wagga to Gundagai
Today was a day of ups and downs (both metaphorically and literally), but it's been a great success so far. We even made it on to the local news. Each one of the riders has pushed through the first day and the weather has just held out for us! The start of the journey to break the cycle has such beautiful scenes.
Gundagai to Tumbarumba
Gundagai to Tumbarumba was tough. 98km, 1650 metre climb. Hills hills hills - came close to breaking us but we pulled together as a team and pushed through. 9.5 hours riding was the absolute reinsurance test!
Tumbarumba to Gerogery
Day three started with the beautiful sun beaming down on us and the countryside feeling fresh after some stormy weather the night before. Spirits were high after having broken the back of day two. The ride today has been full of ups and downs, we enjoyed a steep decline into the valley before another 900m climb! After a quick rest in Holbrook, we had a "cruisy" 30km to our bed for the night at Culcairn.
Gerogery to Urana
110km down today! Was nice flat road with "only" a climb of 180 metres. It's been nice reprieve from previous three days. Scenery changed from rolling hills to farmland, very little traffic. Spirits were really high today after the challenge of massive climbs, I think the sense of being one day closer to home really helped. One more day to go!
Urana to Wagga Wagga
The last leg home! After four long days we were ready for the home stretch, Urana to Wagga. Spirits were high as we set off on a beautiful autumn day. The ride was pretty flat, and other than a few road trains, clear of traffic. About 38 kms from Wagga at The Rock we were cheered on by some amazing seniors from an aged care facility at The Rock - what a welcomed site they were! As it would play out, 4km from the finish and as we were gathering momentum riding through Wagga, Jacob chain came off along with his back wheel...disaster! If not for our trusty bike mechanic Rob, who for the third time saved the day, we fear Jacob would have been walking across the finish line.
After five long days, it was amazing to be met by our families, friends and colleagues as we rounded the bend onto Faye Avenue. The highs and lows, metaphorically and literally had all been worth it.