From June 25th to July 1st, students from various schools in the Eastern Shores School Board will be biking around the Gaspé Coast to raise awareness for mental health. At this point, the students have cycled 183km and raised $700 so far!

The schools represented are: Metis Beach School, New Richmond High School, New Carlisle High School, The Anchor Adult Education Centre and Evergreen High School.

These hard-working students as well as their leaders will be biking more than 600 km over 7 days. The main reason why these students are participating in such a long and demanding bike ride is not only to challenge themselves but to promote awareness of mental health and raise money through the Canadian Mental Health Association. Several of these students are in the process of obtaining a Duke of Edinburgh award; this bike ride will be an opportunity for them to achieve the adventurous journey component. Besides, they will have the chance to see and discover our beautiful region.

On the first day, the group will be biking from New Carlisle to St-Therèse. On the second day, the ride will proceed to Gaspé. The team will then bike from Gaspé to L’Anse à Valleau which is a shorter ride but with many hills. On the fourth day, they will leave L’Anse à Valleau to bike to Mont-Louis. On day 5, the ride will be flatter therefore they will bike all the way to the Parc de la Gaspésie. On the sixth day, the group will leave the Parc de la Gaspésie and ride to Cascapedia. Finally, on the last day, the students and their leaders will bike from Cascapedia to finish their challenging bike ride in New Carlisle, just in time to join the Canada Day Parade.

The students will need to put in a lot of work and practice before the ultimate day in order to be ready for all the challenges to come. They will be prepared by training a minimum of 3 times per week for 13 weeks, 4-8 hours per week. There is no worry, because with all the support the students have from their peers, teachers, relatives and leaders, they will be more than ready for “Ride Don’t Hide 2018.”

An Instagram page will be available during the bike ride for people to follow them on their journey. More information will be distributed on social media in the weeks to come. To make a donation to the Canadian Mental Health Association to support their Ride Don’t Hide follow the link: https://secure.e2rm.com/registrant/TeamFundraisingPage.aspx?teamID=806153&langPref=en-CA#&panel1-1 or go to ridedonthide.com and look for ESSB under teams or contact Ann Kelly at 418-752-6378 ann.kelly@essb.qc.ca.

A special thank you goes out to our sponsors: Familiprix, Paspebiac and Uniprix, Bonaventure for the donation of team jerseys; the town of Cascapedia-St. Jules for the use of their community centre for accommodation on our last night; and the Ministry of Education for a grant under Programme Actif to purchase tents.

Participating students and chaperones are: Nicholas Belanger, Cedrick Anctil, Joey Jerome, Hannah Pointer, Jenna Price, Hailey Manca, Tanner Wellman, Kimberly Boyle, Mark Legresley, Mark Gallibois, Guy Gallibois, and Ann Kelly.

Article written by: Kimberley Boyle, student from Evergreen High School.