Mountain biking magazine Mountain Biking UK (MBUK) and bike brand Nukeproof have partnered with suicide prevention charity Campaign Against Living Miserably (CALM) to launch a series of group rides, Ride Together.
The series is designed to raise awareness of CALM’s lifesaving work and enable riders to create a network of like-minded people to head out for a mood-boosting ride with.
Ride Together’s guided and supported group rides from well-established trail centres in Wales, Scotland and England, aim to bring together riders, whether beginner or experienced, in a relaxed environment where there’s the chance to ride and also time to chat over a brew and benefit from the services of CALM. Those interested can sign up here.
Technical editor in chief for cycling, Robin Weaver said: “We know that exercise has been proven to be a great way to improve mental health, but we also know that talking to friends, and sharing a coffee after a ride, is equally beneficial. Our survey found more than 60% are confiding in friends and family about their mental health, which is great news, but we know many are not reaching out when they need help most. Ride Together is designed to encourage those conversations, as well as have a great time on the trail!”
In a survey commissioned by sister brand BikeRadar, cycling has been proven to improve mental health with 87% of respondents saying cycling has helped maintain or boost their mood, while 91% of cyclists would recommend cycling to help with mental health.
Nukeproof’s global marketing manager, Rob Sherratt added: “There’s nothing better than riding with a bunch of buddies, from the random bike chat on climbs to the post-ride brews. While new trail centres and bike parks provide awesome places to ride, clubs and social rides for both new and experienced mountain bikers are still few and far between (especially aimed towards male riders).
“The idea behind Ride Together is to help those that don’t know where to start when it comes to meeting likeminded people to ride with; great trails, a relaxed vibe and a platform to start linking riders on the same wavelength to get out and enjoy the benefits of riding together.”
CALM is leading a movement against suicide, the single biggest killer of men aged under 45 in the UK and the cause of 18 deaths every day. Its support services include a free and confidential helpline and webchat for anyone who needs to talk about life’s problems. Just £8 funds one potentially lifesaving call to the CALM helpline.
Matt Jennings, chief marketing officer at CALM, said: “We’re delighted to be teaming up with MBUK and Nukeproof to launch this fantastic series of events. It’s no secret that our physical and mental health are intrinsically linked, and cycling is not only a great way to keep fit and healthy, it also has a powerful effect on our mental wellbeing.
“Getting outdoors, tuning into our surroundings, and connecting with like-minded folk while hitting the open road can help us to take a break from all that’s happening, and lighten the load.”
Alongside the group rides, those registered will receive a series of curated email newsletters, designed to create a sense of community, that will include content from all partners covering the benefits of riding, practical tips to get the most out of mountain biking and ideas for the best places to ride with a group.
Entries to the Ride Together events will be advertised in MBUK and BikeRadar, and take place during August, September and October 2022. To register interest in attending one of the group rides, riders need to submit their name, email, age and their mountain biking ability on the campaign landing page and select the check box of the ride they wish to join. Riders will then be selected at random nearer the time of the ride and will be contacted via email to confirm their position on the group ride.
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