JUST KEEP RIDING: RideWest riders, Tony McIntosh and Greg Hefferan, stop in at Mitchell to visit students at St Patrick's Catholic School during the 1200km ride.
JUST KEEP RIDING: RideWest riders, Tony McIntosh and Greg Hefferan, stop in at Mitchell to visit students at St Patrick's Catholic School during the 1200km ride. Contributed

Outback a rough ride

A GROUP is cycling more than 1200km in seven days through the outback to help raise awareness for men's mental health.

RideWest is riding through remote local towns to raise money for the Royal Flying Doctor Service's rural mental health program.

So far the 33 cyclists have raised $275,000, with an aim of $300,000 by the time they reach Longreach, which will bring RideWest's total to $1million for the Flying Doctors.

The eager group arrived in Roma on Monday evening after riding 220km from Chinchilla.

They then celebrated the huge ride with a sponsors' dinner at Explorers with 120 people, before heading to Mitchell on Tuesday.

A long ride for RideWest.
A long ride for RideWest. Contributed

Rider Rob Sendall, who grew up on a sheep property between Ilfracombe and Longreach, wanted to support the bush and raise awareness of the stress people faced in the outback.

"The RFDS do such a wonderful job in relation to their primary care for men's mental health in western Queensland, and that is why we do this.

"We want to support them and continue to ensure they can continue to run that program.

"I have been living in the city for about 30 years now, so I really wanted to do something that gave back to the bush,” he said.

RideWest organiser John Sloman said he was shocked to learn the service was the main mental health provider in the outback.

"When I found out that RFDS is the primary provider of mental health services to southwest Queensland, I was pretty shocked and thought it was a great cause to support,” MrSloman said.

Breakfast at PNS during RideWest's journey.
Breakfast at PNS during RideWest's journey. Contributed

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