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John Randal

Tour de France 2018

Confronting depression

 

I've battled depression for most of my adult life.  Cycling has played an important role in managing this sometimes debilitating illness. 

 

I've been writing about cycling for years, posting trip and race reports to www.sifter.org.nz.  Occasionally, I've taken the liberty of writing about my own experience with depression.  Applying the analytical process to myself, rather than an event, has been helpful, and each time I've pressed "submit", I've received private messages for doing so.  That was both reassuring and empowering.  

 

Some years on, I accept that depression is simply a part of who I am - it makes life harder in some respects, and enriches it in others.  This remarkable context has given me an opportunity to talk more about it, and I plan to take full advantage of this to share some of the things I've learnt (the hard way, often) over the years.  

 

I have ridden old Tour stages before - my little round profile pic was taken on the Col du Glandon in 2013.  I learnt more about myself on those roads than ever before or since.  Returning to them as part of this campaign is an exciting prospect.

 

Nearly 50% of New Zealanders will experience a mental health problem in their lifetime, yet this type of illness still carries stigma that many other ailments do not. 

 

I've set myself a target of $5000 (updated in February to $10000), and appreciate you helping me achieve this goal! 

 

Your donation will help the Mental Health Foundation of NZ provide individuals, workplaces, schools and communities with the tools they need to build positive mental health and wellbeing. Your support will help the MHF to advocate for increased access to free or heavily subsidised counselling so it is accessible and affordable. 

Tour de France for MHF

Riding the entire race route of the 2018 Tour de France will not be easy.  But nor is living with a mental illness.  I'm honoured and excited to be travelling to France in July 2018 to ride with this team, and raise funds and awareness on behalf of the Mental Health Foundation of New Zealand.

 

Thank you to my Sponsors

$7k

Hoku Foundation

"We're keen to help you in supporting the important work of the Mental Health Foundation, and especially the work you're doing to support the mental health of staff and academics at Victoria University of Wellington". An additional $3000 donation will fund a summer research scholarship on mental wellbeing of university students.

$1.01k

Anonymous

Very proud of you doing these amazing things!

$616

Sarah Tumen

Cash proceeds from the Good Friday North City Shopping Centre criterium (and BBQ).

$510

Declan Mprdaunt

Good luck John.

$416.80

Sarah Tumen

Profits from a clothing order selling Victoria University of Wellington kit, and 5th anniversary white Roadworks jersey. Thanks to Ultimo Clothing for sharp pricing, and to those that bought jerseys and/or shorts

$415

Sarah Tumen

Cash entries from the final round of the hill climb series! Thanks to all the riders that took part.

$390

Sarah Tumen

Cash entries to Round 1 of the MTB Hill Climb series. Great to see so many riders out enjoying themselves

$330

Sarah Tumen

Cash entries for round 2 of the MTB Hill Climb Series. Thanks everyone for your participation!

$296

Sarah Tumen

Cash entries from Round 3 of the hill climb series. Incredible turnout given the beastly course! Well done folks.

$208

Jim Sheffield

John, What a magnificent challenge. May you reach all of your goals. Jim

$208

Malcolm Allen

Go you good thing!

$208

Steve Wallace

Champ! Always inspiring!

$208

David Espie

Well done taking on this challenge. I may wave you by as I am following (not on a bike!) the last week of the Tour. Good luck.

$208

Rissa Ota

I really admire your effortos to get this project going! Good luck on rest of training and on the actual ride in France!

$208

Geoff Randal

From Geoff and Jo. Work hard, have fun, do good! This touches all bases.

$200

Anonymous

One of my dearest colleagues asked that I make this online donation, after giving $200 in cash. Our interactions always put a smile on my face. Many thanks

$156

Allan Stowell

Sorry, I'll miss the criterium but will make a donation to a great cause. Good luck!

$123.76

Groom Family

Love and support from us all

$104

Mike Oneil

All the best with this adventure - travel well John!

$104

Bron And Phill Rendle

$104

Rich Martin

(another) adventure of a lifetime...

$104

Jed Soane

Hill climb series for my daughter Izzy and I. Great cause!

$104

Yancey, Dbear And Orlabear

GoooooOooOooo John!

$104

Alastair Smith

I was impressed by your earlier "pick of the best" TDF trip, so no doubt you'll have a great time on the "day ahead" version. Thanks for organising the off road series, too. Keep up the activism!

$104

Lynzi Armstrong

Looking forward to following your adventure on Strava! Such an epic challenge and very important issue.

$104

Parents

Love that gleeful grin, MTB man!

$104

Michelle P

Go well sifter!

$104

Jason Hooper

You are an amazing person doing amazing things. Enjoy the journey.

$104

Mark Loveard

John, Good on you! Admire what you are doing. Very worthy cause. Mark

$104

Aaron Stagg

Following in the wheel tracks of legends puts you amongst them . Hell of a tour to do, give it shit loads 👍👍

$104

Tristan Thomas

$104

Jean Grant

All the very best, John.

$104

Brenda B

Way to go John. Such an awesome thing to be doing to raise awareness.

$104

Michael & Stephanie Revell

Thank you for the inspiration you’re providing. All the best for Le Tour!

$104

Mike Solomon

$104

Peter And Erris

Well done and an excellent cause! We will be following your progress with interest.

$104

Arthur Grimes

John. Well done. My son - who briefly was enrolled in the VUW honours econ programme - has serious depression, so I really admire your spirit and contribution. All the best Arthur

$104

Shane Varcoe

Best of luck John!

$104

Simon Healy

Best wishes John, a great cause

$104

Michael Keefe

Way to beat down depression!

$104

Kirsten Hagan

Nga mihi nui e hoa - kia maaia. Nga mihi nui e te whanau ataahua. And thanks for speaking truth and racing bikes, yeehah!

$104

Ian

Chapeau John!

$104

John Grimwood

hill climb series + good job.

$104

Richard Davies

Great adventure and a great cause

$104

Ta & Tg

#BackingMentalHealth #BackingJR

$104

Claudia Scott

I admire your contribution to those who suffer from depression and your support for the mental health foundation. I wish you well on this big cycling challenge.

$104

Andrew Ivory

Entering the uphill series (on a fully loaded touring cx bike) to train for tour aotearoa

$104

Cushla And Tim Thomson

Good luck John! What you’re doing is amazing.

$100

Da Weaver

Sorry to miss the crit, but I really appreciate everything you do for cycling and mental health.

$100

Anonymous

fundraiser for Sifter tour-de-france

$100

Bill Brierley

I'm full of admiration for you, using the pretext of raising money for a worthy cause as the reason for doing something you love. Wish I'd thought of that! All the best with both causes. best regards, Bill

$100

Kath Sutherland

You're an inspiration!

$100

Andrew Watson

Go John!, You are inspiration both on and off the bike!

$100

Harry Perkins

Good luck John - it will be an amazing experience, I'm sure.

$83.20

Mondher Sahli

Well done Champion! I suggest that you consider the 2018 Tour de France as your next challenge! I could assist you with the choice of good baguette, cheese and wine! Cheers Mondher

$80

Hal And Andre

Cash donation from the local Hal and Andre whose airbnb I stayed at in Opotiki

$78

Ian B

Hill Climb Series. Thanks & bon chance en France!

$76

Daniel Laufer

Now you have exceeded your goal!

$52

Simon Kennett

Great goal, nice events - best of luck!

$52

Cameron Wood

$52

Susan Corbett

Well done John! This is a fantastic initiative.

$52

Shenwei Teo

Awesome work JR!

$52

Anonymous

Your efforts to bring awareness and support to mental illness are an inspiration to our university and community.

$52

Mike Oneil

$52

Nickie Wickman

Ride like the wind and may it be with you! Enjoy the journey and the yum food in France. All the best safe travels Nickie & Donovan

$52

Sarah Bramwell

Nice one JR

$52

Jonathan Douglas

Chapeau !

$52

Ma'ao

North City Criterium - Nga mihi nui

$52

Owen Matthews

What Rex said.

$52

Acethorp Family

You're an inspiration John - we love seeing the amazing things you achieve!

$52

Janet Mccallister

Bon courage! Et bonjour à Kaitlyn!

$52

Richard Hoskin

$52

John Carran

Really inspired by what you're doing John. All the best.

$52

Scott Maclachlan

MTB: Wellington Off-Road Hill Climb Series Entry and donation :)

$52

Jurjen Geerts

$52

Jonathan Brown

Pleased to be a part of a great event. Hill Climb Series entry.

$52

Thierry Jutel Jutel

Glad to help. One day we'll have to catch up and I'll tell you about climbing le Mont du Chat (hors catégorie) on the road and on my moutainbike... Not fun. Sounds like a trip and a great cause to support. Thierry

$52

Anonymous

$52

Allan Sylvester

Inspiring John!

$52

Graeme Young

Hill Climb Series, and totally agree, exercise is so important as a stabilizer for our brains.

$52

Linda Jespersen

Proud of you as always.

$52

Andrew Cooper

Hill climb series. Great initiative and good luck for the road/trail ahead.

$52

Karen Smith

This is better than chocolates as a thank you for all your support. Have a great time in France.

$52

Vicky M

$52

Lucy Keyzers

Great work John, this is very inspirational!

$52

Richard Arnold

$52

John Goodman

Crit entry with best wishes for this great cause

$52

Hammel Family

Fantastic what you are doing. Look forward to following your journey.

$52

Kerrin Allwood

$52

Janet Toland

Awesome effort John

$52

Brett Hunt

All the best for the ride John, looks bloody hard. I'm on the Ride Holidays trip at the same time so might run into you over there.

$52

Yi-te Chiu

It’s a great cause and a deeply inspiring initiative!

$52

Lisa Marriott

Truly inspirational John. Go well.

$52

Anonymous

$52

Rees

Proud of what you're doing mate! Al the best in France and we'll all be cheering for ya

$52

Howard John Randal

Pleased to be able to support you John on your epic ride. We must make some contact on your return....to track our family connection. Our family are pretty avid recreational cyclists too. Howard et al Dunedin

$52

Hans Van Der Voorn

After that crazy Zwift ride I could hardly ignore this.

$52

Liam Malone

You're a legend John - I hope you crush it.

$52

Edwin

Will be an awesome hill climb series, cheers John!

$50

Kim Hurst

North City Crit :)

$50

Neil Harwood

$50

Nicholas Kennedy

Hillclimb

$50

Brendon Motors Karori

Happy to support a member of the Karori Community!

$50

John Jacob

$50

Dave Halliday

Nice work John - hill climbing is not my favored part of the sport but here's some help.

$50

Anonymous

$50

Jonny

For hill climb series, plus a bit.

$50

Pat Hogan

What great and inspiring work you are doing John - Go well!

$41.60

Lisa Ng

North City Crit. Thanks John for raising awareness for the Mental Health Foundation! As someone with bipolar disorder (depression & mania) I have much respect for all the work you are doing in communicate about your experiences with depression to others. Keep it up.

$41.60

Gill Gray

Gill Gray for hill climb series Great initiative!

$40

Fiona, Dot Electrolysis And Beauty

Donated a free leg wax, so I'm passing the favour on!

$36.40

Larri Wallbridge

Your initiative is both challenging and courageous. Best of luck! PS MTB Hill Climb

$31.20

Jeremy Bray

Hill Climb series

$31.20

Tom Lynskey

Crit entry yeah boi wahoo

$31.20

Rex Massey-molloy

Just in case I turn up to any of the Hill Climb series and mainly because you are a good guy.

$31.20

Callum Kennedy

Hill climb!

$31.20

Dave Rudge

Hill climb donation. I will do at least one!

$31.20

Ryan Hunt

North City Criterium

$31.20

Michael Naylor

$31.20

Karl Laurence

Admirable pursuit, friend. I'll exchage the rock shoes for some SPDs for the next 4 weeks of outlandish ascents

$31.20

Rob Kilvington

Glad to be part of your series John

$31

Eason

Off road hill climb series

$30

Gabby Buchanan

Donation/entry for Wellington hill climb series 😝

$30

Keri Mcarthur

Best of luck John.

$30

Ed Turner

Hill climb series.

$26

Anonymous

$26

Merewyn Groom

Criterion entry :-)

$26

Richard Barrett

Great work John, absolute legend.

$26

Gene Mcnaught

Great work John. You’re doing amazing things.

$26

Anonymous

North City Criterium

$26

Anonymous

$26

Matt Sharland

$26

Rachael Mccleave

awesome cause and love the Crit idea! I've battled the black dog too and cycling saved me also. Respect.

$26

Anonymous

$26

Rachel Zhang

All the best John. Thanks for doing this.

$26

Viking

$26

Kath Tate

So proud and inspired by what you and the team are doing. Keep up the exceptional work. Have an ice cream or two for me.

$26

Aaron Stagg

North City Crit

$26

Nigel Mehta-wilson

$26

M Wickens

North City Criterium

$26

Jess Mazengarb

For carpark crit. You're an inspiration John :)

$26

Steve Bale

$26

Trish Knight

$26

Oli

All the best on this great adventure for such a good cause with so much meaning to us all.

$26

Ainsley Smart

From across the pond, I can understand your passion, and your illness. Rock and ride on.

$26

Jane Fletcher

$26

Camden Feint

Entry for the North city crit

$26

Des Kelly

Great cause and an amazing adventure, John. I wish I had the legs to join you!

$26

Malcolm Bruce

North City Criterium

$26

Val & Sam

A true inspiration John, all the best for this next adventure.

$26

Henry Collingridge

Good luck John!

$26

Michael Flyger

Go well John. Hope you have a flavoured stem ;)

$26

Anonymous

$26

Martien Lubberink

Excellent initiative!

$26

Anne Goulding

$26

Kate Bevin

Go John! Awesome work!

$26

Jeremy Bray

North City Criterium

$26

Marita

$26

Luisa Acheson

I hope you get a nice cup of butter tea when you reach the summit of Sagarmāthā :)

$26

Liam Carson

SP1894334. Great Cause

$26

Amanda Bristol

Inspirational, Legendary, Strong, Brave. All these words apply to you my friend. Here is a small contribution for your amazing efforts today.

$26

Catherine Nelson

$26

Nathan Tse

All the best for the trip John! I know you've put in the hard yards on the bike! Hearing your story has been inspiring and the awareness you are creating has done and will do a lot in terms of reducing the stigma around mental illness. I've never gone through depression myself, but my girlfriend suffered quite badly with depression a few years ago and hearing her anecdotes along with what you've gone through really helps me understand what it is like, and how best to help those who have it. I am also writing my LAWS489 (Hons thesis) on mental health discrimination by insurance companies, and the research I've done suggests that there are positive changes being made towards reducing public stigma. All the best for France - I'll be following on FB (and Strava!)

$26

Mireille Consalvey

What an epic adventure for a wonderful cause. I hope my small donation will help buoy you on the toughest hills :)

$26

Micael-lee

It's a great cause John. Hope your ride went well.

$26

Jo Montague

Go like Elvis "Go Man Go!"

$26

Calum Chamberlain

Hill Climb Round 3 entry (what a shorcha)

$26

Reon Rogers

Good Luck John, sounds like an a epic adventure and for a great cause too. Also Entry for the North City Criterium

$25

Laura Travers-jones

What an adventure John! Such an inspiration for speaking about your experience with depression. I'm glad you've found your passion and 'medicine' through cycling x

$25

Jaycee Masalunga

North City Criterium

$25

Fisher Electrical

North city Criterium

$25

Steve Chapman

Nice work on organizing the hill climb series and the carpark criterium John. You better get to work on your own training now because that TdF monster is approaching fast - good luck.

$25

Jane Loughnan

$25

Grace Saywell

North city criterion

$25

Sarah Walton

All the best :)

$25

Parents

Towards a WORD place for a child

$25

Leslie Fitt

all the best john ,awesome cause.

$25

Annie Randal

Wishing it could be more .....

$20.80

Calum Chamberlain

Hill Climb 23 Jan 2018

$20.80

Matt Dewes

$20.80

Zoë Hector

Thank you, John for supporting me in a dark patch in my life and for always being an inspiration in how you deal with your black dog. Thanks also for everything you do for cycling and mental health in Wellington & beyond.

$20.80

Michael

Have a great ride team!

$20.80

Nik Chand

$15.60

Barbara Allen

Thank you for getting the message out -

$10.40

Matt Cryer

Hill Climb Rd1

$10.40

Matthew Cryer

Hill Climb Rd 4

$10.40

Perry Ho

You are such an amazing lecturer and an inspirational person. Good luck

$10.40

Fraser Clark

Round 4 hill climb entry, thanks.

$10.40

Anonymous

This is a test!

$10.40

Mark Coburn

$10.40

Anonymous

$10.40

Anonymous

John, you were an inspirational lecturer at VUW. I admire your support towards Mental Health in NZ

$5.20

Oliver Fredrickson

Amazing stuff, well done!