Ash Lau and Alwyn Roberts, Shepparton Ride Leaders.Members of Ride4Life in the Bendigo area have long had an association with SPAN, (Suicide Prevention Awareness Network). 

SPAN have recently branched out an and established a new chapter in Shepparton.  They will run a walk there to promote awareness of suicide and impress on people the availability of help.  This will be done with an annual walk like in Bendigo plus the other work they do in the area to raise peoples awareness.

Ride4Life have been asked to organise a ride in Shepparton similar to the operation that we have in Bendigo.  Naturally we are thrilled to both continue our association with SPAN and to also extend our presence through rides to raise awareness of mental health issues and suicide prevention. 

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It's on! It's happening! It's being organised! Yes, by popular demand, Ride4Life are organising a week long ride from the 12th to the 18th November.

The dairy industry is still in deep trouble, although you wouldn't know it given it seems to have slipped off the radar of the media.  Murray Goulburn has declared an opening milk price for 2017/18 of only $4.70 a kilogram which is well below the cost of production. They have since revised this upwards to $5.20 but still not really enough for farmers.  The cost of production seems to vary considerably depending on your source, but either way, there isn't much in it based on the figures available. This will continue to put dairy farmers under continuing pressure trying to survive.

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Cheque Presentation To Lifeline

Well where to start? The Social Meeting held on the 20th May 2017 was represented with attendance of approximately 18 members as well some of our supporters. It was good to see the positive outlook from the group with what we have achieved to date.

The night saw Ride4Life present a Cheque to Lifeline which totalled $5090.51. This is a fantastic outcome given that the ride and venues were all organised in the space of three months from the establishment of Ride4Life.

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Stop Stigma

Ride4Life has become a signatory to the Stop Stigma campaign initiated through Murray Primary Health Network.

Stigma is a real issue when it comes to mental health and suicide. As a community we need to break these boundaries and openly talk about these subjects. The more we talk about them the more ignorance is beaten. Stigma essentially arises from ignorance. Many people are just not aware of the realities of mental health and suicide. Those of us who have more knowledge in these areas need to help educate these people.

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At our recent meetings we discussed the membership process. Our secretary James has around 30 membership applications that are being held pending processing and somewhere to put the funds. We do have some exciting news though about how we intend to handle memberships.

We have acquired some software for the website that will handle the complete membership process. People will be able to apply online for membership of the Association. We anticipate that payment will be able to be made via eWay, PayPal or direct deposit once we get these things set up.

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The inaugural meeting of Ride4Life Inc was held on the 7th January at the Overlander Hotel in Shepparton.

Great to see so many people coming from all over Victoria and beyond for a catchup and great social event apart from the inaugural meeting.

The weather was quite warm for riding with temperatures hitting around 38 degrees.  Yes, some people did come in cars, but we won't mention any names.

The meeting was split into two parts. We held an election of office bearers for the committee which was ably chaired by the support driver from the recent Milk Run, Lance Ward. Lance has been in Lions since Adam played full back for Jerusalem and is well versed in meeting procedure and handling elections.

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02FRPatchWe intimated on the Facebook page about the possibility of making a FarRide a bit of a social ride in February.

This FarRide is on and is now open for Registrations. It costs nothing to be a FarRider nor anything to register to go on a FarRide. You can't "join" FarRiders, you can only become one by completing an actual FarRide.

There are a few FarRiders known to people who are members of our Facebook page such as Ash Lau, Phil Lemin, Jo Fisher, Frank Belmore, Kerrie Belmore, Ric Raftis, Laurie Park and probably some others I can't recall off the top of my head.

This ride is to Mt Beauty on the 18th February. Full details of the ride and what is involved are on the FarRiders website.  You will see the list of FarRides and you need to click on the one for East #43 to Mt Beauty. It's the second one on the list. 

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BendigoShamrockHotel500There have been some questions as to why Ride4Life is running a ride in Bendigo on the same day as the Black Dog Ride. Some issues obviously need some clarification.

  1. Shane Taylor, the Bendigo co-ordinator decided not to run a Black Dog Ride in Bendigo in 2017. The reason for this is that in 2016, Black Dog Ride received over $7000 in registration fees and $2200 in sale of merchandise. Lifeline ended up with $1377 in donations.
  2. Many riders in Bendigo were under the impression that their registration fees for the ride went to Lifeline when this was not the case.
  3. The ride in Bendigo is run on the same day as the Suicide Prevention Awareness Network walk. This was to be held the 19th March 2017. There is no other date we can run the ride as SPAN is already locked into that date.

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