Bike trek raises money for charity

Warren HatelyAugusta Margaret River Times
Sam Hines on the road to Darwin.
Camera IconSam Hines on the road to Darwin.

Margaret River man Sam Hines is freshly-returned from an epic bike trek from Augusta to Darwin raising funds for Beyond Blue.

The local father of two left Cape Leeuwin for Darwin on May 23 as part of the Long Way Up ride covering more than 5000km, and taking in the Gibb River and Kakadu National Park on the way.

“I cycled up the coast along Caves Rd taking in Dunsborough, Busselton, Mandurah, Freo, and many of the little towns up to Geraldton such as Cervantes and Greenhead,” he said.

“I passed through Carnarvon and did a 630km ride to Karratha in four days, riding into the Pilbara through the night, completing a 230km ride one day as there were only three roadhouses along that whole distance.

“The journey took just over 11 weeks. I cycled alone and unsupported (and) had no punctures.

“It has been a dream of mine to cycle from the bottom to the top of the country after cycling 6500km across it from Prevelly to Manly in Sydney two years ago.”

The 46-year-old said he was inspired by the work of Beyond Blue.

“I want to support them, make my mark and make a difference,” he said.

Having previously been a fly-in, fly-out worker for 10 years, Mr Hines has lived experience working in challenging conditions in Darwin and Barrow Island.

A Mental Health Commission research report has found FIFO workers have a demographic profile in which suicide likelihood is greater than for others, and one third experience high levels of psychological distress.

Mr Hines said he was completing the ride for people he worked with and knew who had taken their own lives.

“Mental health is a massive issue in FIFO so I thought rather than just ride for myself, I’d try and raise some awareness and raise some money for Beyond Blue,” he said.

Mr Hines set a target of $2000 for the fundraiser, and was thrilled to eclipse that amount with $6000 raised so far and more donations still possible.

“Everywhere I go, going into a caravan park or along the road where there’s a restaurant, I’ll stop and people will be interested in the bike and the cycle,” he said.

“I’ll have a cup of coffee with them and then I talk about Beyond Blue and I flick them the link.”

He said he began the trek cycling about 60km a day, then built up to 140km a day, before reaching the occasional 200km.

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