The Courier

The logo for the 401 TFS Ride for Mental Health – Supplied Photo

A squadron based at 4 Wing is gearing up for their first ever bicycle ride in support of mental health awareness.

401 Tactical Fighter Squadron (401 TFS) is hosting the “401 TFS Ride for Mental Health” on August 19th and still looking for members around the base who would like to take part.

“So far we have 9 bikers taking part,” says event organizer Maj Bob Johnston. “I’m currently sending some emails around the squadron to see if we’ll get a few more. We were planning on having teams of four, so I’m hoping to get at least 15 for this year.”

“We were originally having it as exclusively 401 TFS members but I’ve seen interest from other 4 Wing-based members so we’ll gladly let anyone join in.”

The ride will take cyclists 36.5 kilometres in a loop that heads north of 4 Wing and eventually back through the City of Cold Lake and to the finish line at Heritage Park. Riders have the option of completing that loop up to three times, a total distance of 109.5 kilometres.

Aid stations featuring granola bars, Gatorade, fruit, and water are being planned and will be staffed at Kinosoo Beach, along with Heritage Park, to keep the riders safe in what may be 30-degree Celsius riding conditions.

While not a money-raising event itself, Johnston says the ride brings awareness to Canadian Armed Forces members who may be struggling with their mental well-being. The event is running the day before the National Ride For Mental Health.   

“This is to help our people, to show that there is a link between their physical health and their mental health,” adds Johnstone. “We aim to provide tangible fitness goals, along with a team-building opportunity, to enhance work-life balance and advocate for our member’s mental health.”

A reception for the riders is scheduled to take place at the Cold Lake Brewery after the event at around noon.

Any riders interested in joining in on the day can send an email to Maj Johnston for more information.

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