For many cycling offers hope when life is a bit challenging. A ride provides exercise and helps clear the mind. In lockdown, we can’t always go where we want to but a charity ride by FulGaz has been designed to at least give you a taste of the great outdoors, even if you’re riding inside. Join the Hope Cycle (21 August to 10 September 2021) and help raise much needed funds for Lifeline.
FulGaz is an Australian online cycling platform that, combined with a smart trainer, provides real world scenery and loads of data for the user as they ride inside. Connect through your phone, tablet, computer or TV and your screen is filled with footage filmed on roads and trails around the world.
With over 1,000 rides to choose from you can see somewhere new each day – without actually going anywhere – and get a workout, complete with all the personalised trimmings of a .fit file to help you understand your performance. Upload it to Strava if you choose and you can at least feel as though you’ve been somewhere when looking back at your time in lockdown.
If you haven’t yet tried FulGaz, you get a trial of the cycling platform for the period of the ride and sample 15 carefully selected routes that showcase a range of rides in every state and territory of Australia. There’s an entry fee of $39 for the event that begins on Saturday 21 August and ends on 10 September, World Suicide Prevention Day.
All proceeds from the Hope Cycle entry fees go direct to Lifeline.
The Lifeline service – which you can call 24 hours a day on 13 11 14 – is available free to all in need, but it takes funding support from the community and corporate organisations to keep it operating and Lifeline has estimated the cost of a call is $39, the same as the entry fee for the Hope Cycle charity ride.
Since the effects of the pandemic began to be felt in Australia, Lifeline has experienced an increase in calls of around 30 percent. On average, someone calls once every 30 seconds and it’s important that someone is there to listen.
The aim of Hope Cycle is to raise $100,000 for Lifeline. With 10 days to go before the first ‘stage’ (a 38.1km ride around Lake Burley Griffin in the ACT), there is already a long list of registrations with $17,458 so far collected and it would be great to see that figure grow.
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In the coming days RIDE Media will be sharing interviews with some of the people who are taking part in Hope Cycle – some are new to cycling, others have enjoyed it being part of their daily routine for years. There are some fascinating stories that have already emerged because of FulGaz charity initiatives and, as you will learn, it is about a lot more than pedalling and watching footage of a road on the screen.
Many of us are riding differently to how we’d like, but that doesn’t mean it’s not beneficial. An hour of activity can calm the nerves and offer a moment of clarity at a time when emotions are high and there’s an air of uncertainty about what tomorrow may bring. We ride for many reasons and there are myriad charities that have emerged because people like to highlight the benefits that come from riding a bike.
Hope Cycle is something that can make a real difference, for the people doing the ride and, of course, for those who have used the Lifeline services.
The Hope Cycle allows everyone to ride and offer a bit of screen time that is healthy and helpful for others. The 15 stages tally up to a total of an achievable 390 kilometres: a dollar for every 10km you ride – via the screen, on your own or as part of a group (with options for up to four-rider teams) – and all of the funds going to Lifeline.
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Connection. Exercise. Routine. These three things are often at risk when there’s a need for a lockdown. We may feel isolated and unable to move while everyday tasks are adjusted to meet demands of life in the pandemic. It’s not ordinary and it can feel overwhelming, but we need to remember we’re not in this alone.
Sometimes we may feel lost, or alone, or simply confused and when in need there is someone to call and talk to. Lifeline has helped thousands of Australians thanks to a staff of many who operate from 41 centres around the country. It is a valuable resource that needs funds to keep doing what it does so well.
During the first lockdown, FulGaz conducted a charity and raised $80,000 for Lifeline. In 2021, the hope is to raise more while also providing 15 scenic stages for a ride everyone can be a part of. This is an online riding platform that was created to give cyclists a different perspective while doing what they love, so why not give it a try, sign up for the Hope Cycle, pay the entry fee and discover some rides around Australia?
It’s $39 very well spent.
If you have the competitive urge, there will be a leader board on the Hope Cycle page, and you’ll be able to compare your progress with others doing the ride. (If you don’t have a smart trainer or just want to donate to a worthy cause, you can do that too. If you feel like doing that by supporting me while I ride, feel free to add a donation here.)
And, of course, if you feel overwhelmed, isolated, confused or just need to talk to someone there is a lifeline, 13 11 14 – it’s easy to dial but it’s a lot more than just another number.
– By Rob Arnold