How it all started
Michael Farr works as a web designer at Movember and he explains how he started TourDeParma bike ride in 2017:
“Back in 2017 I had a bit of a rough year. There was a lot of change going on for me and ignoring depression and anxiety for the precious 10+ years was not a good way about coping with that change. I was diagnosed with severe clinical depression and the first time I opened about my struggles was over a pub classic, the parma. This is what gave life to the idea of TourDeParma.
It’s a lot of things but the main one is to start positive conversations about mental health and illness over a parma. And to add to that there is a long distance cycling event, usually over 1000kms across a couple of Australian states, a few mountains and visiting country pubs for a parma and a chat.
3 years strong
2019 TourDeParma departure
“The first TourDeParma was Melbourne to Sydney over Mt Kosciusko which I rode solo. Now in its 3rd year we’ve had others join and riding side-by-side with some mates is a game changer. You’re on the same journey and challenge together. Facing the same direction riding to the same goal. Making conversation (even the tough stuff) a little easier.
And during the real long distance, multi day trips you really form a bond. You tackle the hills together, the highs and lows. The injuries, the niggles and being constantly tired. The value of that far outweighs the sum of its parts.
“Through TourDeParma, I’ve learnt that regardless of how shit you might feel, how hard things might be at that time, how tired you are, how anxious you might be feeling - if you can summon the courage to ask for help, people will be there to help. And along with that, if someone asks for help, you don’t need to solve all the problems. Just listening and sharing a pot and parma with some honest conversation goes further than you might think.”
Find out more about the Tour de Parma or donate to the team’s Movember fundraising efforts here: tourdeparma.com
How to have a conversation
More resources at the footer of the http://bunchrides.com/the-spin/health-and-wellness/shoulder-to-shoulder-mental-health-benefits-of-the-bunch