Ride on time for veterans

Matt Aldridge is riding to South Australia to Beechworth with a mate. Picture Supplied

Two mates set out on an epic 15-day charity ride from South Australia to Beechworth, via the Macedon Ranges, on a mission to share the stories of veterans with post traumatic stress disorder.

The Coo-Wee Ride team, including rider Matt Aldridge and his support crew lead by Leigh Eeles, embarked on the 1800-kilometre bike trek on May 6 from Barmera in South Australia’s Riverland and arrived at their final destination on Saturday.

Mr Aldridge launched the charity ride to support veterans mental health issues and their families.

Along the way, the team recorded veterans who offered to share their stories. They plan to use those stories to create a documentary about the veterans’ experiences after deployment.

“I am not in the military but this is a cause I am passionate about,” Mr Aldridge said.

“We have identified PTSD and suicide as areas needing assistance and we will be using funds raised [during the ride] to support returned services personnel where we can on these issues.”

Last Wednesday, day 11 of the ride, the team rolled through Macedon to Woodend, Hanging Rock, Newham and Lancefield.

Mr Eeles told Star

Weekly the journey had been long and challenging.

“We’ve been overwhelmed by the stories that people have shared with us,” he said. “Speaking with many veterans along the road so far the general vibe is ‘people just don’t care’, but we are there to show them that we, the general public, do care and we will do whatever we can to support them.”

Mr Eeles said that although the ride is over their work is not. “This isn’t the end … we hope to come back and do this again,” he said.

“Raising funds to support veterans will allow us to help them directly so that they remain physically and mentally active.”

Details: cooweeride.org.au