INSPIRED by the survival story of a former triathlon competitor, 45 cyclists rode from Brisbane’s St Stephen’s Cathedral to Ipswich for menALIVE’s Blessing of the Bikes and Memorial Ride.
The blessing and ride is a tradition in many European countries, where cyclists receive a prayer of safety and protection, and blessing from a priest at the beginning of the cycling season.
Cathedral dean Fr David Pascoe blessed the bikes before the journey, acknowledging those who had been killed, or seriously injured “while doing something they loved”.
It was a special day for Paul Mason, who survived a horrific car accident in September 2009.
Mr Mason was preparing for a triathlon when he was hit from behind by a car travelling at 100kmh.
He spent 10 days in hospital and remained unemployed for the following three months.
For the next three years, Mr Mason suffered from “savage headaches” and had post-traumatic stress leading to clinical depression.
He said he “hit rock bottom”.
A menALIVE weekend changed his life, and gave him the hope he desperately needed.
Still passionate about cycling, he joined the 45 cyclists for the 45km ride from St Stephen’s Cathedral to St Mary’s Church, Ipswich, on October 27.
“My slow climb out of depression was made possible by menALIVE, cycling, my wife and the rebuilding of God in my life,” he said.
Ride organiser Peter Gabauer said the Blessing of the Bikes would become an annual tradition in the Brisbane cycling calendar.
View the Blessing of the Bikes photo gallery below