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David’s charity RideWest

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May 16, 2018

Finley veterinarian David Petersen (left) and former local Dan O'Brien in Longreach after riding more than 1200km from Brisbane.

Finley veterinarian David Petersen has described his recent charity bike challenge as one of the best experiences of his life.

Dr Petersen cycled more than 1200km from Brisbane to Longreach with 32 other riders, as part of the RideWest team.

The aim of the ride was to raise money for the Royal Flying Doctors Service.

Dr Petersen said the money will going towards training RFDS volunteers so they are better equipped to deal with mental health patients.

‘‘Many times the volunteers will know how to treat a snake bite, but sometimes a call will come through and they’re not sure how to deal with someone that needs the help,’’ Dr Petersen said.

Along the bike journey, Dr Petersen and the other riders passed through Roma, Mitchell, Oakley and Chinchilla.

They raised more than $300,000 for the cause, with Dr Petersen contributing more than $5000 to the total from his individual fundraising efforts.

Dr Petersen said although the long ride was tough on his body it’s something he would ‘‘certainly do again’’.

‘‘We were travelling long distances every day as one peloton — we rode 250 kilometres on one day.

‘‘I learned a lot along the way; when we reached Augathella one of the blokes told us his mental health issues that he’s been through.

‘‘The locals in all the small towns were welcoming and showed plenty of support.’’

■Anyone requiring crisis support can contact NSW Mental Health Line on 1800 800 944 or Lifeline Australia on 131 114. Beyondblue also offers support on 1300 224 636.

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