Nine days to make NZ a better place

By Anne-Marie McDonald

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HAPPY DAYS: Joe's Garage Charity Cyclists ride into the Double S Motordrome on Monday.
HAPPY DAYS: Joe's Garage Charity Cyclists ride into the Double S Motordrome on Monday.

A group of cyclists riding the length of the North Island to raise awareness of depression made a brief stop in Whanganui on Monday.

Joe's Garage Charity Cyclists is a group of about 30 Taranaki cyclists - and one from Southland - who stopped off for refreshments at Double S Motordrome in Westmere, as part of a 160km leg from Waverley to Pahiatua.

Group spokesman Darrel Nicholas said the group cycled the length of the South Island last year and, with a few new members, is cycling the length of the North Island from Cape Reinga to Cape Palliser. This trip is about 1360km long and will take nine days. Group members range in age from 24 to 68.

"Most of the group members have been impacted by depression, anxiety or suicide, either directly or indirectly. We're just a like-minded bunch of people who wanted to do something to help," Mr Nicholas said.

Most of the group members are not keen cyclists, he added.

"The majority of the group wouldn't be cyclists. Most of them are ex-rugby players who've got older, put on some weight, found a cause, and got fit again."

Mr Nicholas said last year, during the South Island tour, the group lost over 150kg collectively.

As well as raising awareness of depression, suicide and anxiety, group members are fundraising for local charities as they travel through.

"Last night in Waverley we had a quiz night and we raised $2000. That money stays in the local community."

The South Island ride raised $170,000.

-If you want to contribute visit the group page at: givealittle.co.nz/cause/joesgaragecharitycycleriders.

- Wanganui Chronicle

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