AGE is no barrier for riders in the Big Ride for Big Life Warrnambool to Melbourne as they come together to help a worthy south-west cause.
Noah Morton, 17, and Bill Murphy, 67, are in completely different parts of their life but are committed to riding the 285-kilometre distance to Melbourne with 51 others on Friday.
The group, who have raised over $51,000, are riding in support of the innovative initiative which helps tackle mental health issues among south-west children.
Big Life was established in Warrnambool six years ago in response to an ever-increasing wave of mental health-related problems presenting at local schools.
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Morton is entering year 12 in 2021 while Murphy, a former teacher at South West Tafe, has been enjoying retired life for the past four years.
But the committed cyclists are both eager to be part of the fundraising ride.
Murphy, who has raised $1000, was involved in the first edition of the ride when the group raised $47,000.
"I went as a helper last year and saw that and wanted to be involved as it's a great cause," the long-time cyclist said.
"It is a local charity that appealed to me and it is helping the schools in Warrnambool and it's not an Australia-wide thing.
"It's a great cause and mental health is a problem and this is a preventive initiative as well as helping deal with all the issues in an all schools approach."
Morton said supporting a good cause, being around friends as he does it and getting some kilometres in his legs for his racing were his reasons for jumping on board.
"I wanted to do it last year as they (my friends) had so much fun," the Warrnambool College student said.
"I have raised about $1500, which is three times the minimum we were meant to raise. It feels good to know people are supporting you and have your back."
Murphy, who has been a cyclist for 30 years and completed three Camperdown to Warrnambool Veterans races, has been riding 300 to 400 kilometres a week to prepare.
You can still donate at: https://warrnambooltomelbourne2021.gofundraise.com.au/pages/search