June 23, 2019
Ride Don’t Hide
3883 Imperial St.
Burnaby, British Columbia
NEW FOR 2019
We have a new option for registering this year – riders can ride for FREE when they raise a minimum of amount of funds through fundraising.
- Registration fees for all routes (except 100k) are $45. Registration is reimbursed if the rider raises a minimum $100.
- Riders on the 100k route register for $75 and this will be reimbursed with a minimum $400 donation.
Let’s start to build the 2019 momentum together. Today.
How can I be involved?
2. Invite your friends, family and business colleagues to ride
3. Can’t ride? Consider donating! Support our Child and Youth Programs in Vancouver, Burnaby, Richmond, Delta, North and West Vancouver, and Surrey. Help by providing a one-time donation, or monthly support:
- $20 a month supports a young person by providing life skills at school in mental health literacy
- $60 a month will enrich the life of a child by providing supervised program activities and snacks to promote mental wellness
- $250 a month covers the monthly recreation and support program for a group of 12 children and youth for a year
4. Sign up to volunteer – and invite your friends to join you! Be part of the momentum, joining over 250 other event-day volunteers. Email email@example.com to be part of the incredible volunteer team.
Join The Ride Don’t Hide 2019 Movement!
Ride Don’t Hide is a nationwide fundraising bike ride that brings mental health out into the open. Join us on Sunday, June 23 for the 2019 Ride Don’t Hide!
Ride Don’t Hide is the largest mental health bike ride in Canada with 1,200 riders plus hundreds of other family members, friends and volunteers, raising funds to support CMHA Greater Vancouver.
Get on your bike and join the movement. Ride. Don’t hide.
Last year in Greater Vancouver, Ride Don’t Hide was a great success with 1,200 exuberant riders (family members, friends, cycling groups and corporate teams), 200+ rock star volunteers and 3,000 cherished donors who raised over $275,000 to support CMHA programs for children and youth in Greater Vancouver.
The remarkable success of the ride is a reflection of dedication and hard work to raise awareness and funds to support mental health programs for children and youth.
In the Vancouver-Fraser Branch alone, we’ll spend over $350,000 of fundraising revenue on our programming for kids from ages 8 – 18. Without Ride Don’t Hide, we would not be able to offer amazing programs like Pandemonium (for children and youth living with anxiety and other mental illnesses).
For those of you who participated last year – THANK YOU! You came out and stood up for mental health.
Make it FUN-draising
There is about one month to go and it’s time to set some goals. With 1 in 5 people affected by poor mental health in their life, as simple goal is to get out on your bike 1 in 5 days. You will feel physically better and mentally stronger.
It is also the time to focus on fundraising. How are you going to reach your $500, your $1500 or your team’s $10,000 goal? Fundraising is far easier and more FUN when it is personal and honest. There are simple things like: just ask. You will be surprised by the number of yeses that can come from one email. But if you want to put the FUN in fundraising consider ideas like:
- If you love to bake hold a sale at your office or take orders for $50 for your famous cheesecake or cinnamon buns. The trick is to not under price yourself – people are willing to pay for a good product especially when the profit is for a good cause.
- Chat up your local pub – many offer a $25 burger & beer/wine for fundraising where you keep $10 or so of the ticket price. This can be a huge hit with teams or individuals with big social circles.
- It’s garage sale season – turn your junk into profits.
- Are you a musician? Host a living room party and pass the hat. Love movies? Host a movie night and charge for snacks.
- Create a challenge – pledge to shave your head/dye your hair/anything else to grab attention. The momentum of a good challenge can set your network buzzing. This is awesome for schools or anywhere kids are involved – they love to see you do something silly.
We have also made some social media tools you can download (right click on the images and save as) and post to your social media profile with a link to your fundraising page. Just seeing you are riding may trigger a donation.
Opening dialogue and getting loud
Whether seasoned riders, weekend warriors or passionate advocates donning a bike for the first time Ride Don’t Hide creates an opportunity for all to participate and walk away with very special memories.
“It’s amazing – in the beginning there is a big line up and a presentation and hear everyone hyped up and ready to go. It’s a really fun event,” says Peter Lam of Team G&F Financial Group.
As a multi-year participant Lam was eager to share this event with his colleagues. Bringing the powerful community event to the office has meant opening the dialogue on mental health.
“When you are going through something like [mental health challenges], sometimes people feel that if their colleagues know or management know it will be a disadvantage,” said Lam. “But that has nothing to do with your past work or the work you will do going forward.
“When we talk about Ride Don’t Hide we can talk about mental health and remind people that there are many people going through this. We sometimes don’t see it by the way people look or the way the behave.”
Through a shared love of cycling Lam discussed bringing Ride Don’t Hide with colleague David Chan. Together they brought it to their offices at G&F Financial Group.
“Ride Don’t Hide is great for opening that awareness to everyone and that there is help,” said Lam. “Working in management I try to make it clear to staff that there are options through HR that are available. Usually it isn’t until after people say – ‘Hey I was going through this really rough time.’ That’s how I hear about it. I want people to know we are here as they go through it – if they need us.”
For Chan it was a chance to have an impact in his own community.
“Living in the area I knew about I knew about Ride Don’t Hide,” he said. “I like the idea of doing something that was in my community. I have seen during my work in the financial industry people affected by poor mental health.”
As champions of Ride Don’t Hide at their workplace Lam and Chan are passionate about sharing two big rewards: the riders you meet and the unique experience.
“The road is pretty much shut down – I have never experienced that,” said Chan. “And being escorted by police is pretty exciting. Being in such a big group of riders working together and working for such a great cause is really exciting.”
For Chan it’s all about people.
“A lot people who are doing the ride who are suffering through this. It’s a reminder that anyone can go through this and seeing them out makes us want to do more and fundraise more.”
How Ride Don’t Hide can be a community and corporate win
When Sarah Embury joined PenderFund Capital Management she knew she was going to share her passion for mental health. In university she began volunteering with the Canadian Mental Health Association in Kelowna.
“I really liked what they were doing,” said Embury. “When I moved to Vancouver I knew I would continue.”
Landing at PenderFund, a firm well known on the roads of Vancouver for its cyclists, support of bike racing and local events, it was easy for Embury to approach firm leadership about making Ride Don’t Hide an annual event.
“They knew I was passionate about mental health, it was something I wanted so I just asked,” she said, adding that as she explained the cause it was easy to get behind supporting mental health programs. “I didn’t need to justify it or talk about personal experiences but it has led to really positive conversations. Even if people don’t say it, they get it. I don’t think there is anyone out there who it hasn’t touched in someway.”
Today, after its years of support, PenderFund is an Ambassador Sponsor of RDH. It’s a partnership and success that has come from the momentum brought by a having a dedicated leader. A role Embury recommends to anyone to extend their support of the event to colleagues or a social team.
“I take on the the roll of ‘champion’ so I send out the emails to everyone and I personally signed everyone up to make sure it’s done,” she explained. “I talk to everyone and explain how it works and give them tips to fundraise. Some people choose to register and participate and others also fundraise. If people aren’t taking on the fundraising themselves they are really good and donate to me or others on the team who are. There is a sense of attachment to it in the office – we do it every year and we feel a loyalty to the event.”
That passion grows because, unlike some other cycling events, Ride Don’t Hide has so many options for participation.
“It’s more inclusive – everyone can come out. Some bring their kids or someone serious can do the 100k,” Embury said. “For us, our largest group is the 60k where we have our experienced cyclists ride with our newer ones. It’s great that you can have a challenge if you want or you can come out with your little kids. We can have the whole company come out. With the walk-run there is an option for everyone.”
The resulting team building and morale boosts lingers in the office with a sense of connection and accomplishment making Ride Don’t Hide a win for mental health, a win for participants and a win for the firm, she said.
“It’s amazing – even though I am the one who has done it the most – every year I am amazed how good it is to have the team together, to do something physical and for a good cause,” said Embury. “It’s kind of a cliche but it’s phenomenal and we are overjoyed to cross the line together.”
CMHA is proud to recognize PenderFund Capital Management as an Ambassador Sponsor of Ride Don’t Hide celebrating our valued volunteers. Thank you so much for your support.
Ready, set – ride
Hitting the road for a family ride, an after work stress burner or a training session, sometimes it’s hard to figure out where to go. Greater Vancouver has a variety of routes worth checking out. Likewise, Ride Don’t Hide has a variety of distances that go through Vancouver, Richmond and Burnaby.
If your bike journeys haven’t gone much further than the corner park, adding a few extra rides over the next two months will show you parts of the Lower Mainland that you may not have looked at before. You might find hidden coffee shops and secret neighbourhood bakeries, cool pocket parks or a bench near a beautiful beach.
Here are some of our picks in and around Vancouver.
Richmond is home to some great separated bike lanes, scenic ocean routes and even a couple residential routes. Its level ground makes it a good place to add a few more kilometres to your distance or take the family for a beautiful weekend. Check out the Railway Greenway. It is a separated lane which runs north-south. It connects to the West Dyke trail and the Crabapple Ridge bike route. Check out historic Steveston for lunch or head to the Sanctuary Cafe – a prime cycling destination complete with bike parking inside.
The perfect family ride lies in Burnaby and runs to Vancouver. With a pool on one end at New Brighton Park and a splash park and pool on the other at Confederation Park, tackling the couple of hills in between will seem like a breeze. If you are towing some wee ones check out the Burnaby Central Railway – its ride-on trains are a must for weekend fun. A slight detour to Hasting Street will bring you to the stop-worthy Glenburn Soda Fountain. It will delight riders of all ages.
For longer rides, consider the North Shore. Recent years have seen the completion of the Spirit Trail. You can travel from the Deep Cover or the Ironworkers’ Memorial Bridge to West Vancouver. The greenway is a great way to cover substantial distance while feeling safe. Use the Spirit Trail to do a fantastic circle route covering both North Shore Bridges. It’s worth popping slightly off route to visit Thomas Haas Chocolates or if you are up for ice cream and a big hill to Welcome Parlour Ice Cream, the family-run shop offers great regular and dairy-free flavours and even tasting flights. Still on the North Shore? To beat summer heat – head to the car-free Seymour Trailway. Starting near Lynn Canyon the paved route goes to the Seymour dam and can be shaded bliss mid-summer.
Another great family ride is in Port Moody. Starting at Rocky Point Park or from the Moody Centre Skytrain station – this route around Burrard inlet will keep kids happy with a stop off at the splash park, playground or ice cream shop at Rocky Point Park. Adults will love Brewery Row with Yellow Dog, Twin Sails, Parkside, and Moody Ales. There are great options to extend to Belcarra or tackle some hills and circle through to Port Coquitlam.
The more you ride, the more you will want to. For some having the goal of Ride Don’t Hide will be the catalyst of a whole new healthier life cycling. See you on the road!
Stigma runs deep
With more than 20 years supporting mental health of family members, and many recent years as a passionate advocate and fundraiser for the Canadian Mental Health Association, PJ Duncan found it hard to ask for his own help.
“It’s interesting as much as people know my door is always open and if you need help in the middle of the night – call me. But just over a year ago I was diagnosed with depression and I didn’t want to tell anyone,” says 42-year-old Duncan. “Even though I have been working to end that stigma, I still felt it so powerfully.”
An avid athlete who competed in marathons and triathlons Duncan was sidelined by a car accident a few years ago. It began a downward spiral.
“I finally went to the doctor and said ‘I’m broken. I am in pain all the time. I don’t feel like me,’’ he says. “Fitness was so important to me. I went from doing an Ironman [Triathlon] to not being able to run three kilometres and it was devastating.”
That conversation with his doctor opened Duncan’s eyes to one of the cycles of depression: pain triggers depression, which then can rewire your brain to intensify pain, he says. Working with his doctor Duncan began managing his depression through fitness. It began with using a smartwatch to prompt and encourage at least 30 minutes of exercise every day. A streak Duncan proudly shares is more than 380 days straight.
“That’s one aspect of Ride Don’t Hide that doesn’t get focused on: fitness can be really, really good for depression,” he says. “Exercise can boost your mood so much. Not everyday is great but fitness helps a huge amount with the pain and my mental health.”
Before his depression and well before his involved in RDH, Duncan had a lot of first hand experience with mental health. After graduating university he packed up and moved to New Zealand to help his mother and sister who both have their own battles with mental health.
“I wish there had been more people in my life who talked to me. My mom struggled with mental health all through my childhood and I just thought that was growing up. That is what everyone goes through,” says Duncan. “I would love to see more families involved [in Ride Don’t Hide] and really talking. Make kids know it’s okay to not be okay and what you are feeling has been felt by a lot of before and there is help out there.”
Back in Canada, Duncan and friends Daemon Cadman and Holland Miller formed a team for a charity bike but after a couple of years, tragedy struck. A friend in their circle – Amanda – died by suicide. It was the beginning of a devastating year that saw several friends lose their battle for mental health.
“We thought this is a big, big problem and we needed to help,” said Duncan. “We shifted gears to supporting mental health and the three of us have been a core group doing it for years. We do it for Mandy who triggered this and to raise awareness – to help someone be more comfortable asking for help.”
The stigma around mental health is a key driver for Duncan today. He continues to work on his own depression and is an essential member of the RDH committee. He aims to make the ride approachable for people who may need community support.
“To see all these people who are there – and you know you are safe with – feels good. It’s okay to shed a tear,” he says. “It’s was really comforting to be around all these people – to know we are all there, uniting, to better mental health.”
He speaks from a place of experience, with family, with friends and now first hand.
“It can be so hard to get your butt out and go for a run or got to the gym because you feel like sh*t and you just want to stay at home. It’s really big just to get out and do something – it feels really good.”
Can’t save the date? Join our Virtual Ride and support Ride Don’t Hide on your schedule. Ride Don’t Hide will be taking to the streets of Vancouver, Burnaby and Richmond June 23, 2019 to raise money for mental health programs for Greater Vancouver youth but you can still show your support even if you can’t make our ride. The annual Canadian Mental Health Association community event and mental health fundraiser is a cornerstone for local programs and essential for keeping the conversation open on mental health.
If June 23 doesn’t fit into your calendar, Ride Don’t Hide also has a virtual ride, which means you can support the CMHA at a time and in a way that works for you. You even create a virtual team. Walk or ride to support raising mental health awareness, ending stigma and helping youth on your own timeline and in the way that is most meaningful to you. Maybe it isn’t riding at all – maybe it’s hosting a games night, a garage sale or a neighbourhood ice cream social.
How it works
When creating your registration as an individual or team select Virtual Ride. It has a reduced registration fee of $25 (which is refunded with a minimum $100 raised for CMHA). This gives you access to Ride Don’t Hide fundraising tools and you will receive a 2019 Ride t-shirt to further raise mental health awareness.
Set a goal
Think about a distance or fundraising goal that means something to you. Aim to you push yourself but be realistic. Consider committing to:
- Raising $500 or $1000.
- Riding 1km throughout June for every dollar donated.
- Riding 10km for each family member who is affected by mental health disorders.
- Have a birthday coming up? You likely don’t need anything more, instead ask for donations to Ride Don’t Hide. Turning 40? Ask for $40. Turning 56? Ask for $56.
Share and ask for help
A virtual ride allows you to support Ride Don’t Hide in a meaningful way that is flexible and works for you, and it can also work for a team.
- Does your work have a walking group? Organize a team, hold a few small scale fundraisers and dedicate a week to walking for Ride Don’t Hide.
- Plan to hit the Stanley Park Seawall or the Lower Seymour Conservation Reserve Trail with your extended family and friends for a weekend bike ride and ice cream.
- Grab some classmates, form a team and do a bike ride for your grad celebrations – all the while supporting other local youth.
A team can be made of anyone else who also wants to support CMHA youth mental health programs and open the discussion on mental health.
Get out there
Reach out to your network and start fundraising. The biggest asset to the virtual ride is that you are supporting local CMHA programs in a flexible way. It can be what you want, when you want. You don’t need to wait until June. You can accomplish your goal at any time. Make the commitment to bring mental health into the open. Help end the stigma. Join the Ride Don’t Hide virtual ride.
From anxiety to mental wealth
When he nine and typical tween worries escalated to severe anxiety attacks Nick Neacsu was told he was crazy.
“I was very young. I would be sitting down at my desk at school,” he remembers. “I would feel a tension almost like a vertigo. The walls were closing in. I had shortness of breath. I was scared. In the middle of class it was very embarrassing.
“I remember very clearly – this would be grade four or grade five – going to the nurse’s office and the principal coming in and saying I was crazy.”
Those initial attacks were the beginning of a ten year battle with severe, debilitating anxiety. Today as a successful realtor Neacsu credits his mother for advocating on his behalf through emergency room visits until he was diagnosed and supported by pediatric programs at the University of British Columbia. His experiences have motivated him to advocate and fundraise for more mental health programs for youth and to join the board of the Canadian Mental Health Association Vancouver-Fraser.
“There is no way I could have gotten through this without help,” says Neacsu. “This is a physical debilitation that needs a cast like a broken bone but the cast is medication. Like a broken bone, it can’t heal on its own – it needs to be protected.”
As devastating and debilitating as his anxiety was Neacsu credits his experience for his resilience and focus which led to youth sport achievements which led to education opportunities and ultimately his career.
“I would not have the success I have without going through that,” he says. “I had to train to pay attention and focus on my body to be aware of what’s happening and try to snap out of the growing anxiety attack. Now I can focus – hyperfocus. As hard as it was, I wouldn’t change it.”
This June CMHA is hosting Ride Don’t Hide, a fundraising community ride to support mental health programs for Greater Vancouver Youth.
“I know how much programs like those helped me,” says Neacsu. “I hope people can have access to programs and get help but we also need compassion, and understanding that this is happening. We need to talk about it more. My mind was broken but people don’t have compassion for what they don’t understand.”
Neacsu recalls how isolated he and his family felt while dealing with his mental health.
“If there are is a family going through this – seeing their kid go through panic attacks – they can feel helpless,” he adds. “Maybe seeing the other side, after recovering from this will give them confidence while they’re in it.”
Looking back, Neacsu doesn’t minimize how difficult and painful his anxiety was at the time, but today after medical treatment and mental health programs he is thriving.
“This is devastating but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t make you stronger. It made me mentally strong. I would not be who I am and where I am without having gone through it – and I like who I am.”
Join Nick and others at Ride Don’t Hide June 23, 2019. Ride Don’t Hide supports CMHA’s local children’s and youth mental health programming and provides a fun event to celebrate community. With an attainable fundraising minimums and rides for all abilities including a family friendly walk/roll 5K, 10K, 20K, 60K, 100K routes plus a virtual ride, it’s about bringing mental health into the open. www.ridedonthide.com
Finding yourself in finding your health
It’s not a big secret – not everyone loves to exercise. On rough days getting dressed can be hard enough, working out because we should is a non-starter. Finding the right goal can be what is needed to get you started and locked in to a physically and mentally healthier lifestyle.
Ride Don’t Hide is about community supporting community. It’s about bringing mental health into the open. The June 23rd, 2019 community fundraising event has routes for all abilities from a family friendly walk/roll 5K, to a 10K, 20K, 60K, and 100K route as well as a Virtual Route for those who are not able to join us that day. With either a registration fee or an attainable fundraising minimum of $100* you can focus on fun and fitness.
Commit to your ride
Once you have made the decision to Ride Don’t Hide, commit: block the date in your calendar, sign up, pay up. Don’t give yourself space to quit.
Tell friends. Tell family. Tell colleagues. Give your goal a voice – make it real. Tell someone else six weeks from now when training rides are hard or you need a last little push to meet your fundraising goal.
Find ride buddies
Ride day and training days will be easier with someone by your side. Ride Don’t Hide isn’t about new personal best times, it’s about building community. Ask others to join you on the ride. Teammates will put the FUN in fundraising. Teammates will get you out the door when you don’t want to ride. Teammates will keep you on the bike five minutes longer. Teammates will bring the important mental health awareness of Ride Don’t Hide to their circles of support – spread the love, end the stigma.
Grab a bike – dust off the one you have or borrow a neighbour’s. All you need is two wheels to make a difference. If you are new to cycling keep your rides small. Ride to the store. Ride around the park. Your commitment to riding should be to achieve your goal for Ride Don’t Hide, not to accomplish it overnight. If you are adding distance find a plan. Don’t be intimidated by 60K or 100k. Try to ride three days a week – aiming to make it a commitment to bettering yourself as much as Ride Don’t Hide.
There will may be days your legs are tired and your bum hurts. Sometimes knowing you are supporting local children and youth mental health will be enough to get you out the door. On the tough days – ask for help. Call your ride buddies. Ask that weekend warrior from work to come along for a ride. Join a cycling club if you find yourself yearning for the road, finding peace in the saddle and thriving in your training. Promise yourself that donut, that hot bath or that massage – whatever restores your mind and body.
Crossing a finishing line surrounded by friends and like-minded people will fill your soul. Knowing you are a part of something bigger than that 10K, 60K or 100K is indescribable. Committing to and finishing Ride Don’t Hide makes you part of an important movement to embrace mental health, to remove stigma and to empower Greater Vancouver’s children and youth.
See you on the road!
*The 100K route has a fundraising minimum of $400.