AS the clock strikes midnight on Sunday 31 January, more than 8,000 bike riders will take to the streets of Hobart, Melbourne and Brisbane as part of Australia’s largest mass participation night-time cycling event, ‘Ride the Night’.
Following the success of last year’s event in Melbourne, Hobart is now set to join the unique occasion for the first time, with all funds going to not-for-profit organisations Youth Support and Advocacy Services (YSAS), Bicycle Network and The Link Youth Health Service.
Commencing from Salamanca Place, the 70-kilometre event will see participants pedal from midnight to dawn while taking in some of Hobart’s most iconic landmarks.
An avid rider already, Duncan Giblin, of Hobart, is one person who has more interest than most in the inaugural event.
Mr Giblin, who is a youth health worker at The Link Youth Health Service, has seen firsthand how these support services can change a young person’s life.
“Through my work at The Link, we are able to provide regular assistance and services to young people,” he said.
“This includes counselling and support for alcohol and other drug use through to sexual health, practical support and anything in between.
“If we can’t provide the service onsite, we’re able to help young people find what they need.
“Having an event like this in Hobart is a great way to bring awareness to the cause of disadvantage … [it’s also] a great social event where we can have some fun getting creative with our bikes.”
YSAS director of marketing and campaigns Laura Callow said the event gave riders a unique and fun way to see their cities after dark, as well as make participants stop and reflect on breaking the cycle of youth disadvantage.
“As a result of the enthusiasm and interest we’ve received from those who participated in 2015, with many wanting the opportunity to get involved again in 2016, we are setting the bar high this year and hoping to raise at least $600,000 across all three events,” she said.
Fundraising will enable The Link to provide a diverse range of wellbeing services for disadvantaged young people, helping them to take back control of their lives.
Event preparation begins at 10pm on Saturday 30 January, with kick-off at midnight on Sunday 31 January.
Festival stops will be scattered along the entire route, keeping participants fuelled, caffeinated and entertained throughout the 70-kilometre ride.
Standard registrations are open until 25 January, with late entry closing on 30 January.
For more information, visit http://ridethenight.org.au/hobart2016/