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 our supporters

$30

Anonymous

Donation at your talk after the screening of Le Ride at the Martinborough Cycling Weekend.

$335

Wmcc Q&a Evening

Koha from John's QA evening with WMCC at Avanti Lower Hutt

$744.36

D Weaver

Happy to get you over the line!

$52

Jason Hooper

Amazing Effort John.

$50

Ruth & Michael

Amazing achievement for a great cause.

$52

Simon

Really enjoyed your blog, thanks mate! Very, very nice ride. And congrats on an impressive fundraising effort, too!

$1.01k

Jim Sheffield

John, Your commitment makes me feel good about working at Vic

$104

Brian Horspool

Hi John I met you outside the Roubaix Velodrome whilst I was cycling in France. Congratulations on completing the Tdf route, a magnificent achievement for a very worthwhile cause.

$104

David Evers

Congratulations John! Happy to donate to this good cause.

$26

Angela Olivier

$52

Silas Cullen

With a positive attitude and determination one can achieve anything. With poor mental health, it can be hard to do anything. A great cause and a great effort!

$104

Andrew Mclellan

An awesome journey for an important cause handled with such humility and grace. Pedal on

$104

Deirdre Johnson

Well done John and all the team, if we can drop one young person from thinking they have no reason to live , then it's all worth it

$52

Anne Mcnee

Well done John. Fantastic achievement.

$10.40

Sarah Hosking

Hi John I'm the Canadian rider who approached you just before the beginning of stage 21 - and am also called Sarah. I read your blog yesterday, really enjoyed your candid commentary . What you guys did was pretty amazing in itself, and as someone who has wrestled with depression, really appreciate the fundraising side to it. Bon retour ! Sarah

$52

Andrew Purser

Very much enjoyed following your epic journey from afar. What an awesome achievement!

$52

John Carran

Monumental effort John. Well done!

$10.40

Rahiri Nicholson

Awesome stuff you're doing with the guys during the Tour De France, and a very worthy cause you have that resonates with many of us. Cheers man - Ra

$10.40

Becca C Peka

$26

Anonymous

You're awesome. Tino Pai.

$104

Pam Mcmullan

😘

$83.20

Petra Reichart

$156

Jono Baddiley

So inspirational seeing you out there John. Keep spinning, always.

$52

Kristina Mcguiness-king

So glad you are bringing these issues out into public discussion - and having 'fun' doing the tour!

$10.40

Florencia Tranquilli

amazing!

$26

Andy Pearson

Good luck for the last stages - nearly there! I climbed some of the col du pre on stage 11 with you, it was amazing to hear what you were undertaking. Congratulations on what you've acheieved and how much you've raised for a very worthy cause.

$100

Sheri Wales

You are a legend John. And your journey is an inspiration to others.

$26

Stuart Preston

Hey John hope you are enjoyed Alp d Huez & Lacets de Montvernier! Go hard!

$20.80

Anonymous

Always been my fave lecturer at VUW, but this is amazing J-Rand. Cool to know that even our superiors survive these kinds of things too. Kia kaha

$50

Thomas Boeschenstein

Great effort John !

$5

Zara

$52

Mike & Karen Hunn

$104

Sarah Christian

Fantastic in so many ways.

$104

Zara Mcnee

We’re so proud of you Uncle Jhon! Sorry it can’t be more - you deserve it all ❤️

$20.80

Tor Madsen

$2.08

Anonymous

$26

Jane Fletcher

$10.40

Perry Ho

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

$52

Janet Mccallister

Bon courage! Et bonjour à Kaitlyn!

$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

$52

Acethorp Family

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

$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.

$208

Steve Wallace

Champ! Always inspiring!

$208

Malcolm Allen

Go you good thing!

$10.40

Anonymous

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

$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

$104

Richard Davies

Great adventure and a great cause

$26

Jo Montague

Go like Elvis "Go Man Go!"

$20.80

Nik Chand

$5.20

Oliver Fredrickson

Amazing stuff, well done!

$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!)

$100

Andrew Watson

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

$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.

$104

Michael & Stephanie Revell

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

$40

Fiona, Dot Electrolysis And Beauty

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

$50

Brendon Motors Karori

Happy to support a member of the Karori Community!

$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

$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.

$104

Cushla And Tim Thomson

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

$104

Ian

Chapeau John!

$26

Mireille Consalvey

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

$25

Leslie Fitt

all the best john ,awesome cause.

$52

Hammel Family

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

$80

Hal And Andre

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

$26

Richard Barrett

Great work John, absolute legend.

$52

Vicky M

$50

Pat Hogan

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

$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.

$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

$100

Da Weaver

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

$26

Rachel Zhang

All the best John. Thanks for doing this.

$52

Anonymous

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

$510

Declan Mprdaunt

Good luck John.

$616

Sarah Tumen

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

$26

Gene Mcnaught

Great work John. You’re doing amazing things.

$104

Bron And Phill Rendle

$123.76

Groom Family

Love and support from us all

$26

Merewyn Groom

Criterion entry :-)

$52

Cameron Wood

$26

Anonymous

$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

$104

Ta & Tg

#BackingMentalHealth #BackingJR

$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.

$52

Rees

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

$52

Anonymous

$26

Liam Carson

SP1894334. Great Cause

$31.20

Michael Naylor

$52

Kerrin Allwood

$26

Jeremy Bray

North City Criterium

$31.20

Ryan Hunt

North City Criterium

$52

John Goodman

Crit entry with best wishes for this great cause

$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!

$52

Jurjen Geerts

$26

Malcolm Bruce

North City Criterium

$25

Grace Saywell

North city criterion

$26

Camden Feint

Entry for the North city crit

$52

John Carran

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

$104

Jason Hooper

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

$25

Jane Loughnan

$26

Steve Bale

$25

Fisher Electrical

North city Criterium

$26

Jess Mazengarb

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

$26

Viking

$156

Allan Stowell

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

$52

Mike Oneil

$26

Anonymous

$26

Anonymous

$52

Shenwei Teo

Awesome work JR!

$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

$15.60

Barbara Allen

Thank you for getting the message out -

$52

Susan Corbett

Well done John! This is a fantastic initiative.

$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

$208

Jim Sheffield

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

$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.

$52

Hans Van Der Voorn

After that crazy Zwift ride I could hardly ignore this.

$1.01k

Anonymous

Very proud of you doing these amazing things!

$26

Micael-lee

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

$26

Catherine Nelson

$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.

$52

Lisa Marriott

Truly inspirational John. Go well.

$52

Yi-te Chiu

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

$52

Janet Toland

Awesome effort John

$26

Luisa Acheson

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

$26

Marita

$104

Michael Keefe

Way to beat down depression!

$26

Kate Bevin

Go John! Awesome work!

$26

Anne Goulding

$52

Richard Arnold

$100

Kath Sutherland

You're an inspiration!

$52

Lucy Keyzers

Great work John, this is very inspirational!

$26

Martien Lubberink

Excellent initiative!

$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

Brenda B

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

$104

Jean Grant

All the very best, John.

$52

Allan Sylvester

Inspiring John!

$10.40

Anonymous

$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.

$26

M Wickens

North City Criterium

$26

Nigel Mehta-wilson

$26

Aaron Stagg

North City Crit

$52

Ma'ao

North City Criterium - Nga mihi nui

$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

$26

Rachael Mccleave

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

$50

Neil Harwood

$26

Matt Sharland

$25

Jaycee Masalunga

North City Criterium

$31.20

Tom Lynskey

Crit entry yeah boi wahoo

$26

Anonymous

North City Criterium

$50

Kim Hurst

North City Crit :)

$52

Liam Malone

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

$104

Mike Solomon

$52

Linda Jespersen

Proud of you as always.

$52

Anonymous

$50

Dave Halliday

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

$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

$20.80

Michael

Have a great ride team!

$52

Karen Smith

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

$26

Anonymous

$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.

$26

Michael Flyger

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

$26

Henry Collingridge

Good luck John!

$104

Tristan Thomas

$10.40

Mark Coburn

$25

Sarah Walton

All the best :)

$26

Val & Sam

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

$26

Des Kelly

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

$76

Daniel Laufer

Now you have exceeded your goal!

$104

Mark Loveard

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

$10.40

Fraser Clark

Round 4 hill climb entry, thanks.

$52

Richard Hoskin

$50

John Jacob

$415

Sarah Tumen

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

$10.40

Matthew Cryer

Hill Climb Rd 4

$52

Sarah Bramwell

Nice one JR

$30

Keri Mcarthur

Best of luck John.

$296

Sarah Tumen

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

$100

Harry Perkins

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

$26

Calum Chamberlain

Hill Climb Round 3 entry (what a shorcha)

$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

Simon Healy

Best wishes John, a great cause

$104

Shane Varcoe

Best of luck John!

$25

Parents

Towards a WORD place for a child

$104

Peter And Erris

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

$104

Aaron Stagg

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

$330

Sarah Tumen

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

$31.20

Callum Kennedy

Hill climb!

$20.80

Matt Dewes

$20.80

Calum Chamberlain

Hill Climb 23 Jan 2018

$52

Jonathan Brown

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

$52

Scott Maclachlan

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

$26

Ainsley Smart

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

$26

Oli

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

$390

Sarah Tumen

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

$104

Jed Soane

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

$31.20

Jeremy Bray

Hill Climb series

$30

Ed Turner

Hill climb series.

$10.40

Matt Cryer

Hill Climb Rd1

$52

Simon Kennett

Great goal, nice events - best of luck!

$30

Gabby Buchanan

Donation/entry for Wellington hill climb series 😝

$31.20

Rob Kilvington

Glad to be part of your series John

$31.20

Karl Laurence

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

$78

Ian B

Hill Climb Series. Thanks & bon chance en France!

$52

Edwin

Will be an awesome hill climb series, cheers John!

$104

Andrew Ivory

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

$50

Jonny

For hill climb series, plus a bit.

$41.60

Gill Gray

Gill Gray for hill climb series Great initiative!

$50

Anonymous

$104

John Grimwood

hill climb series + good job.

$25

Annie Randal

Wishing it could be more .....

$52

Andrew Cooper

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

$52

Graeme Young

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

$31.20

Dave Rudge

Hill climb donation. I will do at least one!

$26

Trish Knight

$100

Anonymous

fundraiser for Sifter tour-de-france

$104

Michelle P

Go well sifter!

$52

Owen Matthews

What Rex said.

$36.40

Larri Wallbridge

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

$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.

$104

Parents

Love that gleeful grin, MTB man!

$104

Lynzi Armstrong

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

$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!

$31

Eason

Off road hill climb series

$104

Yancey, Dbear And Orlabear

GoooooOooOooo John!

$50

Nicholas Kennedy

Hillclimb

$104

Rich Martin

(another) adventure of a lifetime...

$104

Mike Oneil

All the best with this adventure - travel well John!

$208

Geoff Randal

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

$52

Jonathan Douglas

Chapeau !

$10.40

Anonymous

This is a test!