Hundreds of motorcyclists Ride for Life
A SPECTACULAR convoy of Central Queensland motorcyclists descended across Gladstone's roads yesterday, with riders bearing a very important message.
"You get on the road, you leave your worries behind and you take a ride that could change your life”.
Those are the wise words of Ride for Life organiser Mark Brookes who, along with more than a hundred motorcyclists, rode to Raglan and Calliope to spread awareness around suicide and intervention.
A Show and Shine was also held at Harbour City Harley-Davidson on Hanson Rd.
The first local event for the region, was a success with hundreds of Gladstone residents showing their support for the cause and showing off their bikes and passion to ride.
Motorcycle competitions with Mayor Matt Burnett, a sausage sizzle and giant jumping castle for the kids were all part of the festivities before the ride kicked off.
Organiser Wayne Grewe said it was a fun day with great company but it triggered an emotional side of him after surviving suicide and losing his brother to it.
"When you're on the road, with the wind in your hair, you've got no worries.
"It's an amazing feeling and there's no rush to get anywhere but to enjoy life and the people you've got in it,” he said.
Mr Grewe said riding a bike changed his life.
"I was 19 when it happened but I started riding afterwards and it was kind of like the road to recovery from there,” the 48-year-old said.
"Couple of mates and I started riding together and having fun, realising life can be fun.
"It's a really good outcome today.”
Mr Grewe said yesterday was about connecting and supporting the Gladstone community.
"My brother died in 1999 and they couldn't tell us if it was suicide or not,” Mr Grewe said.
"I think more and more every day that it was more than likely suicide. We just weren't talking about that kind of stuff back then but I'm suicide survivor so I can understand it better now.
Mr Brooks, who has been working on the event since coming together with locals last September, said today was about riding for the fallen.
"I've lost one of my own last year and the people supporting the event have lost their own too,” he said.
"I looked up at the sky this morning and I said, 'brother we're riding today'.”
"Honestly I believe we need unity in what we do here because it really helps with mental health.
"You get on the road, you leave your worries behind and you take a ride.