Park Place Lodge

The Elk Valley Suicide Task Force (EVSTF) is hosting the Second Annual Solstice Ride for Mental Health. On June 20th from sunrise to sunset a community of riders will ride to show support for mental health in the Elk Valley.

Last year Ev Eijsermans and Strahan Loken teamed up to host the first annual Solstice Ride for Mental Health event and raised $3,554. The challenge was to follow Strahan’s adventure and donate $1 per every 100m of vert he would manage to bike throughout the day. Strahan rode the whole day for a total of 4,105 meters. Ev and a group of others rode various trails throughout the day to support him.

This year a collaboration between EVSTF & Fernie Mountain Bike Club (FMBC) to draw attention to everything that shines a positive light on our mental health: riding bikes as it is exercise, the outdoors, community, connection and a sense of belonging. Let’s encourage each other to get out for a ride for the wellbeing of ALL of us and continue to break the stigma around Mental Health.

Even though the EVSTF realizes it is important to raise money, this year they feel it is even more important to keep raising the awareness around this topic and continue the opportunity to break the stigma around mental health and suicide in our communities.

THE STAGES AND LAY OUT OF THE DAY!

This years Solstice Ride is set up for all levels or kinds of riding. Whether you want to ride all 5 stages, or just pick 1 or 2 of them.

Ride by yourself, with your best pal, or your family, there will be something available for everyone. The main thought for our Elk Valley this year is to be open and honest about our Mental Health.

You can ride together, or by yourself. Fast or slow, 1 stage, 3 stages or all day. As long as you get out and do what feels good for you. Connect with your bike, your family, nature or your friends. Your mental health will thank you for it. And remember, it is ok to not be ok, but during Solstice we ride and connect to try and feel ok for a day!

ALL stages will start at the Aquatic Centre where you will find a Mental Health booth with local resources and members from the Elk Valley Suicide Task Force to chat to.

STAGE 1: 5am start:
Group start to Swine flu. From here:
* Route 1: Head to Phat Bastard, Mushroom Head, Slunt, Brokeback and add P9 if time allows.
* Route 2: Head to Phat Bastard, Mushroom Head and down Erik’s Trip.

STAGE 2: 9am start:
* Option 1: Big Money back to the bear chutes climb to head to Contra and Trail dogs. If remaining time, pedal via the Coal Discovery Road to add a Space Unicorn Lap.
* Option 2: Cemetery ByPass to Kiddy Up to Queen V to Boardwalks. From the road climb up Deadfall to the 4 corners and down Oh Dear. Once back climb up the start of Sidewinder and take a right to get back to Queen V. Climb Queen V to the boardwalks and hit the road to connect to Eriks Trail. From Eriks trail to Roxy Roller to Space Unicorn.

STAGE 3: 1pm start:
Ride your favorite trails in the Provincial Park! Choose those ones that you love and know will put a smile on your face. Share your fav’s at the Mental Health Booth!

STAGE 4: 5pm start:
* Option 1: Gravel ride from Coal Creek, up River road, back via Morrissey and Cokato Road.
* Option 2: Ride the TCT (Snoop Lion) towards the Morrissey shuttle trails and pedal the shuttle road as many times as the legs allow. Choose your own adventure on the downhill!

STAGE 5: 8.30pm start:
* Final group ride in Montane area with a loop around Roots towards the Montane hut to catch the sunset!

There is no registration fee for this event, however please make sure you have purchased your trail pass! You can do so here.

The EVSTF would love to see you in between stages at the Mental Health booth for a chat, or a rest.

Keep them posted during the day about your ride and tag #EVSTF and @elkvalleysuicidetaskforce in your social media posts.

Last but not least – they are looking for a few volunteers to commit to at least starting the 5 different stages with the group. If you are interested in helping out and being part of this day, please email the EVSTF at Elkvalleystf@gmail.com with Subject Line: “SOLSTICE RIDE VOLUNTEER”

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