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LONDON TO HOLYHEAD.

 

And so it begins again. Some of us have been here before. We've experienced the pain. The unexpected numb toes at nought degrees in the Australian Outback. The blistered hands after three days and fifty dirt-filled kilometres. The darkness and climax-inducing adulation. For others, this is a new experience. A challenge not yet conquered. Demons not yet overcome. The light is a long way off. But it will come.

 

Today, though, is a new day for us all. For what we're about to embark on is the unknown. 8 riders, 3 support crew, 2 documentary makers and a photographer. 1000km. Over 12,000 metres of climbing. A long way from home.

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You can't assume knowledge when talking those kind of ks or that elevation. Everything is different. Not least the landscape. Those who have dabbled in this distance don't like to talk about it, which bequeaths rookies with lots of question and not a lot of reassuring answers. How will I feel on Day Two? How much chamois cream is too much? How often should I eat? Drink? Swear? And what will we talk about for the next 50 hours on the bike.

 

While answers to most questions are scarce, or unfulfilling, the topic of what we'll talk about is exactly the reason we're embarking on this crazy adventure in the first place.

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We're here – in Holyhead, the beautiful, northern most point of Wales – to continue a conversation we began last year. To shine a light on dark secret and help those that suffer in silence. Our pain will likely be more vocal over the ensuing five days. It will be real. Occasionally raw. But it has an end point. A finish line. Call it what you will. It's a crowning moment that many dealing with the anxiety or anguish of mental illness don't have.

 

So collectively, the 8 people on this ride, and 500 plus on rides in 9 locations around world, are bringing this matter to a wider audience. To place where it can be talked about. To a point where someone in need can realise they would benefit form help and isn't afraid to ask for it.

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For now, we remain in awe of our new surroundings. Lush as they are. Camaraderie is high. Nervous laughter abounds. Some suggest they are car sick. But really they're nervous. They should be. There is little room for ego on the journey that lay before us. But they will get through it because they are surrounded by friends. Relationships only hours old, but already meaningful. They will complete this challenging parcour because they've decided to make a difference.

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MEET THE PEOPLE AND FOLLOW THE JOURNEY OF THE MAN RIDE UK EVERYDAY IN THE LEAD UP TO THE MAN RIDE DAY ON OCTOBER 1.

 

JOIN THE RIDE. JOIN THE CONVERSATION