World record attempt honours lost brother
Published: 9 June, 2017
Cyclist embarks on the 'Ride for Jase', travelling to the four points of Australia for mental health awareness.
Sydney man Ben Woods is gearing up for an epic 18,000 kilometre bike ride across the four points of Australia to raise funds and awareness for the Black Dog Institute, in memory of his little brother.
The 33-year-old Manly local lost his younger brother Jason to suicide in 2015, only months before Ben’s wedding, where Jason was to be his best man. Jason’s death was one of around 3,027 suicides in Australia each year.
“Jason was a brother, a son, an uncle, a friend and only 29 years old. He was loved by so many,” said Ben.
“And yet, as is often the case with those who struggle with depression, he was adept at hiding the extent of his illness from so many people who loved him.”
Now, determined to help prevent other families from facing a similar tragedy, Ben will raise vital funds to support Black Dog Institute’s suicide prevention activities and mental health programs.
Departing this Saturday 10 June, the ‘Ride for Jase’ cycling journey will take six months as Ben travels to the most Northerly, Southerly, Easterly and Westerly points of the country – a distance more than four times the entire length of the Tour de France.
While Ben will tackle the ride solo, he will carry Jase’s ashes with him every pedal of the way. Ben’s wife Kat – a trained nutritionist – will also follow Ben’s journey in a camper van.
"This is the journey Jase talked about making in life – he often spoke about wanting to travel around Australia and it was a dream to take on this adventure together,” said Ben.
“I will do it for him, keeping him alive in my thoughts and heart through the 180 sunrises and sunsets the ride takes.
“We need to take action as a nation and encourage people to speak openly about their mental health, to let people know the help and support is there if you seek it out.
“If this ride can help 1000 people, or even if it can help just one person, then the aim of the journey will be achieved.”
Covering approximately 150km a day, an average of 6-8 hours in the saddle, Ben’s remarkable Ride for Jase could earn him a Guinness World Record once completed for longest journey by bicycle in a single country.
Media enquiries: Emily Cook, Black Dog Institute, 0455 100 277 or send an email
If you or someone you know is in crisis please call one of the following national helplines:
LIFELINE COUNSELLING SERVICE: 13 11 14
SUICIDE CALL BACK SERVICE: 1300 659 467 (cost of a local call)