Twelve men will ride 12-volt, 110 cc former Australia Post motorbikes – with one driving a support vehicle – from Strathalbyn to Darwin in July.
Suicide prevention is a cause close to the heart of each of the riders.
“Strathalbyn unfortunately is one of those towns that had a bad run of suicides the last five or six years,” said one of the riders, Nick Grosvenor.
“A lot of the boys have suffered depression themselves.”
Three months out from the ride, the group has raised nearly $8,000 of their $10,000 target for mental illness charity Beyond Blue.
The success of the initial campaign has forced the group to consider increasing their fundraising target from $10,000 to $20,000.
But the campaign has raised more than just money.
Since the start of this year, the ‘Beyond the Darkness Postie Run’ campaign has lifted the spirits of the town.
“We just want to make it a happy and feel-good town again,” said Nick.
“Everyone’s talking about it in the township. We’re just hoping that we’ll send the right message out.
“All of us lads got together the other night and we said ‘if we save one life … we’re happy to do that, just as our part’.”
When the group sets out from the Strathalbyn Motel on 13 July, there is little risk of mechanical problems getting in the way.
“We’re lucky enough to have one motorcycle mechanic and two diesel mechanics on the ride, so we shouldn’t have any trouble,” Nick said.
Mental health services and charities have come to the aid of the town since it was devastated by a cluster of suicides during and around 2011.
A partnership between Country Health SA, a local coalition of GPs, the Mental Health Coalition, the Alexandrina Council, Wesley Life Force and community members initiated the Strathalbyn and Communities Suicide Prevention Network to offer support for the town.
Country Health SA also offers a mental health emergency telephone triage line for people in need of crisis support on 131 465.
You can donate to the Beyond the Darkness Postie Run by clicking here.
If you are in need of support, call Lifeline on 13 11 14.
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