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Issue 9 - Spring.

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 ISSUE 9
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A Girl a Bike a Dream

A Girl a Bike a Dream

Only a few years ago she couldn't get out of bed, today 30-year-old Amy-Nicole Peters will get out of her tent and continue her 6000km+ self-supported odyssey across Australia by bike. Her motivation? To show that anyone can take on a challenge and make a difference. I am not an athlete by any means. I am just a girl with a bike and a dream. A dream to ride my bike from Perth to Sydney and to make a difference

Image Credit Keith Hedgeland

Image Credit Keith Hedgeland

Amy-Nicole is a Sydney Northern Beaches local and started her sole cycling journey August 2017. Departing Perth by pushbike and riding all the way back to Sydney, hoping to complete the ride in around eight weeks covering an estimated 6,000km.Having personally experienced mental illness Amy wanted to do something that encouraged conversation. 

“I want to raise awareness about the mental health crises in Australia,” Amy-Nicole says. “I have come close to ending my life many times over the years and for a long time I told no-one. I suffered from severe anxiety and depression. I have struggled with panic attacks, blurred vision and severe lethargy. I kept it all to myself for a long time. When I sought help, I learned how powerful it was to open up and it helped me heal. I know others will hear my story and relate. I want them to know they are not alone. There is always someone to talk to.”

Image Credit Keith Hedgeland

Image Credit Keith Hedgeland

Throughout adolescence, Amy came to see riding my bike as an adventure and her way of escape. I was able to take myself away at speed for a change of scenery whenever I pleased. I enjoyed the steep climbs, speedy descents and the experience of the outdoors that pedal power allowed me.

In 2009 she cycled through the Finnish archipelago with a couple of friends, which was my introduction to bicycle touring. In 2013 she also cycled with a friend from the Gulf of Mexico to Canada, covering +4000 km.

Like many of us, there have been times in her life where she lost touch with those feelings of joy. Having suffered from anxiety and depression most of her life, she was barely able to get out of bed, let alone consider riding a bicycle across a country.

Image Credit Keith Hedgeland

Image Credit Keith Hedgeland

Adventure has a funny way of showing us how life works. It teaches us a lot. For Amy, it revealed her weaknesses, but more importantly, it also highlighted her strengths. “I couldn't hide from the elements when on a bike. I was exposed. I was vulnerable. At the same time, I became stronger with every pedal stroke and more fearless from every challenge I faced along the road”.

“I started Pushbiking for Mental Health to share my experience – as daunting as it is. I want to show that we can overcome and we can heal. 
 “I have had to work hard to be where I am. To be in this mental position where I can stand here today and say I am alive and I want to live. Riding my bike has played a massive part in that, but I also couldn’t have done it without the health professionals I have sought help from.”


Links to the donation page and social media pages are on the Pushbiking for Mental Health blog

Contact Amy-Nicole for comment or photo opportunity:
0448 151 013
pushbikingformentalhealth@gmail.com

If you need assistance you can contact the following organisations:

Lifeline: 13 11 14
Beyond Blue:  1300 22 46 36
Black Dog Institute

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