Register for the annual Ride Don’t Hide bike ride on Sunday, June 23!
Ride Don’t Hide is a one-of-a-kind national fundraising campaign for mental health, with a special Langara connection.
Now in its eighth year, the event started in 2010, when teacher and newspaper columnist Michael Schratter embarked on a solo global journey to cycle 40,000 km (the equatorial distance of the earth) to raise awareness about the stigma of mental illness. With support from the Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA), Michael ended up cycling across 33 countries, speaking to thousands of individuals about the campaign, and raising over $100,000 for mental health programs for youth and families! Upon his return in November 2011, CMHA decided to adopt Ride Don’t Hide, and it has since then become CMHA’s signature fundraising event, raising more than $2 million annually towards mental health programs. Ride Don’t Hide is Canada’s only cycling event that is run concurrently across the country, where families are invited to share and show their support for mental health.
This year there’s also the option to walk or participate as a virtual rider. The Greater Vancouver event begins at Swangard Stadium in Burnaby with breakfast and coffee, and ends there with a BBQ, entertainment, prizes, and more!
Employees are eligible for a $20 reimbursement following completion of the in-person event. To qualify for reimbursement, send a copy of your registration receipt to email@example.com.
How to register:
- Visit the Ride Don’t Hide website.
- Click “register” and sign in (if you’ve done the ride before) or create an account.
- Click “Register as an individual”
- Select your preferred distance and preferred method of payment.
Michael’s wife, and beloved member of Langara’s Communications & Marketing team, Deborah Schratter, takes us inside the ride:
What did you first think of Michael’s idea to raise awareness for mental health by cycling around the world?
Back in 2010, when we first began the campaign, my (now) husband Michael used to be a society columnist – it meant he would go to the trendiest parties and galas, which included a great number of charity fundraisers for non-profits. Out of the 300 events he went to each year, 1 out of the 300 events was for mental health. Less than 1% of monies raised throughout a year went towards supporting programs in which 1 out of 5 Canadians (20%) can be affected at any given time. Those numbers just don’t match up.
For me, Ride Don’t Hide is a testament to the societal shift and attitude towards mental health. We now recognize that health and wellness is not only defined by physical health, but by emotional and mental health as well. As we open up more about mental health, and take part in initiatives such as Ride Don’t Hide, we are directly contributing to maintaining a healthy and caring society that looks after one another.
How has Ride Don’t Hide impacted your life?
Ride Don’t Hide is a part of our family, and the folks at CMHA are an extension of that. Organizing such a large event is no easy task, but they do it with pride and smiles on their faces. We are so proud to be a part of this national movement towards a healthier society. My family and I have been asked to participate in various Ride Don’t Hide’s in BC. Last year, we were in Vernon, and though we love being part of the Vancouver ride, we will be riding and celebrating in Victoria this year.
Why should Langarans register to ride or stride?
It’s a fantastic event that is great for solo riders/walkers or with families – in fact, we often see parents riding their bikes with trailers hitched to the back, and junior riders flanking their sides. We typically have 1,200 riders come out to the Vancouver ride, and there are a number of options to choose from. You can either walk 5km, or join a 10km, 20km, 60km or 100km ride, depending on your personal challenge level. The 100km race is a newer addition, and very popular with the more advanced cyclists.
When you show your support for this initiative, you implicitly let your friends know that you’re a safe person to speak with. It’s wonderful that Langara College is helping to offset the cost, so please take advantage of this opportunity! Thank you, Langara, and Ride, don’t hide!
Hope to see you there!
Mental Health Initiatives Consultant