April 4, 2022
the story behind ride for relief
Written by Emily
ride for relief, a ride for mental health
“It’s been 7 years since the passing of my brother and our co-founder Richard Davidson. His lasting signature can be seen everywhere you look at Peninsula Hot Springs. It was a visceral shock for everyone when he took his own life in February 2015 just when he had decided to move on to the next phase in his life after 18 years of contribution to the initial business. This tragedy underlies our commitment in supporting mental illness. As an accomplished environmental scientist, Richard helped to create the vision for this remarkable business, transforming the landscape from pastural land to the regenerated oasis you see today, 25 years on. As we take a moment to reflect on Richard’s contributions in creating Peninsula Hot Springs, it is important we acknowledge the very real mental health issues he faced which ultimately led to the difficult and tragic choice he made.
With wellness at the heart of everything we do, Richard’s passing drove our focus to supporting community physical and mental health and to identifying how we can all contribute to helping those in need. Championed by my wife Yuki and supported by myself, business partners, our board, our leadership team and all of our Peninsula Hot Springs family, the desire to connect and build a strong and resilient community runs deep.
We chose local organisation Mentis Assist as one of our key charity partners and created the Ride for Relief event to raise funds and awareness for mental health and to emphasise the importance of caring for our physical wellbeing and connection to others. Personally I feel a big commitment to support those in the community facing mental health challenges like that with which Richard struggled. We are very grateful, happy and honoured to see more people, businesses and organisations joining us in delivering Ride for Relief and building awareness of this life-threatening yet common illness.
As the seasons come and go here at Peninsula Hot Springs, Richard’s spirit lives on.”
Charles Davidson, Co-Founder & Chairman, Peninsula Hot Springs
"The 2022 Ride for Relief was an incredible event. Well organised, challenging rides through beautiful countryside with a team of amazing people by my side. Not only did we raise much-needed funds for a very important cause, but I experienced personal growth and a feeling of accomplishment that I will cherish for ever." – Steve (2022)
"Raising money for a good cause is great. Having a training target to complete a significant event like Ride for Relief makes it greater. Feeling safe on the road at all times and being part of such a professionally managed event makes it the greatest. If you think Ride for Relief might be a big challenge for you (fundraising, training, completing) - do it! You’ll thank yourself afterward." – Jodie (2022)
“Ride for Relief was a terrific experience, and even though I didn’t really know anyone at the start, I felt very looked after and at home and loved getting to know the other riders on the ride. It was one of the best I’ve been on, with the support vehicles, coffee at the top of the hill (excellent motivation, and great food!), scenery and support! Macca (a lead rider) was hilarious, and Bade, I learnt a lot from riding just behind you at the front. The relax massage was great, as was an hour in the springs after. I think both helped me wake up next morning feeling pretty awesome! Thanks again, top event.” – Jayne (2019)
“I just wanted to send you a belated congratulations on the success of the inaugural Ride for Relief. The event was perfectly organised, the route was most enjoyable, and the post ride visit to the Hot Springs was truly memorable. I have had an interest in Mental Health issues for many years and I have done four different charity cycles for the cause. I like the fact that the money we raised is going to Mentis Assist, a local organisation on the Mornington Peninsula and I will be pleased to join you again next year when we will hopefully surpass our previous fundraising efforts.” – Tom (2018)
“Awesome event from start to finish, wonderful cause, fun people, classic course, safe and the most divine food and to top it off a soak in the thermal mineral springs to ease the body and mind…..spectacular! “ – John (2019)
“Thank you, “Ride for Relief” I had an amazing day. The inaugural day was a huge success thanks to the tireless effort of the organising team. Everyone had so much fun with lots of laughs riding through Mornington Peninsula’s stunning countryside. It was so comforting to know that all the money we raised together goes directly to those struggling with Mental Health. I even felt a little guilty eating such delicious food at the end and soothing our bodies in the Hot springs at the end of the day but now understand together we are making a difference. Personally, I would highly recommend those contemplating joining us next year that is one of the most memorable days you will ever have riding around our beautiful Peninsula.” – Geoff (2018)