Riders from Microsoft, Amazon Web Services (AWS), Polycom, NEC, Acision and Ensyst are riding the 4,200km from Perth to Sydney to raise money for mental illness.
The Perth2Sydney cycle is a fundraiser for the Black Dog Institute, a world-leader in the diagnosis, treatment and prevention of mood disorders such as depression and bipolar disorder.
The ride was the brainchild of Polycom's Australia & New Zealand managing director Gary Denman and Neil Jackson, ANZ Education Lead at AWS.
They are part of a 36-strong group of riders that includes more than a dozen members of the IT industry (see full list below).
Jackson told CRN that he had been impacted by mental illness. "I have seen the effects of depression with close family members suffering in silence, including my grandmother and a cousin who took his own life three years ago when I was doing the ride from Perth to Sydney for the first time.
"I was in Gundagai when I got the news from my mother in England that my cousin had passed away. It was a seminal point in time for me and I vowed that I would do the ride again with a larger group to try and raise the awareness around mental depression and that people have to talk about it, too many people suffer alone."
Jackson and Denman approached the Black Dog Institute and began planning the ride.
Last week, on the eve of the ride, Ron Krueger told CRN that the response had been overwhelming.
Krueger, who is also the media spokesperson for the fundraising effort, said: "Our target was $120,000 and we have now reached $152,000 and rising. We anticipate that at the completion of the ride, there is no reason why can't hit $200,000."
At time of writing, the team had raised over $163,000. Click here to donate now.
The cycle is a major undertaking. The group is aiming to ride 600km per day across four teams of eight cyclists. Each team rides 150km per day, then swaps with another team. Two buses and a truck transport the other riders and gear.
"You do a 75km leg on your bike then jump in the bus and further up the road you do another 75km stint," explained Krueger,
The team is currently halfway across South Australia. Check their progress and keep up with their updates on Social Hub.
Riders from tech companies
- Gary Denman, Managing Director, Australia & New Zealand
Amazon Web Services
- Neil Jackson, ANZ Education Lead
- Andrew Phillips, Public Sector Lead ANZ
- Stefan Jansen, Partner Business Development Manager
- Brad Clarke, Distribution Manager
- Brett Gordon, Device and Mobility Sales Specialist
- Ross Hutchings, Health, State & Federal Government Lead Corporate Accounts
- Phil Meyer, Partner Technology Strategist - Hosting
- Christine Anderson, Licensing Specialist
- Michael Pidcock, Partner Account Manager - SMS&P
- Paul Van Den Bogaert, Account Director Oceania
- Craig Meiring, Business Development Manager - Cloud Collaboration Sales
- Tim Sone, Director