Ride don`t hide around the world
Riding a motorbike and doing good - the idea behind the Fellows Ride is making the rounds. Dieter Schneider has ridden his motorbike around the world and has realised that depression is a serious, but often underestimated disease globally. Back in Germany, he shows fascinating pictures in lectures and tells of his experiences around the world.
Way before Covid slowed the world down, when it was still possible to throw big parties light-heartedly and we were allowed to ride freely and happily through foreign countries, I started my Round the World Trip at the Touratech Travel Event in June 2018.
Via the Caucasus, the Himalayas and through Southeast Asia, I ended up in Australia. Down Under, I was invited by biker mates to the Black Dog Ride. Motorcyclists gather in all the major cities across Australia for a ride that raises awareness of depression and suicide prevention. Throughout the country, over 6000 bikers take part. I was allowed to ride with them in Melbourne and had tears in my eyes as I cruised along the coast with 160 motorcyclists. I was touched because I'd been on the road with our motorcycle since 2015, a year after my son took his own life.
On my first tour, from Germany to Cape Town through East Africa, I had learned to live with grief. I write about this in my book, "Wenn dich dein Leben rechts überholt – mit Freuden und Tränen durch Afrika" (When your life overtakes you on the inside - with joy and tears through Africa").
On my journey around the world, I began to speak very directly about the widespread disease of depression and to publicise it. On the morning of 26 July 2019 in Melbourne, at the motorcycle demonstration for depression relief, I swore under my helmet that I would do my best to implement something like that in Germany. I called the project Fellows Ride. "With an open visor for depression relief" is the motto. Back in Germany, the day set for the ride, 12 June 2021, finally arrived. 350 motorcyclists came to the first Fellows Ride in Würzburg.
We had a great day and a beautiful tour through Mainfranken. "Fortunately, depression can't ride a motorcycle," one participant told me with a smile on her face. She herself was affected. At the end of the day, a total of €5000 in donations had been collected. And most importantly, together we'd been able to do something with our hobby to counter the tabooing of a disease that is life-threatening if detected too late.
In almost 100 lectures since my return, mostly via ZOOM, I've been able to show impressive pictures and tell extraordinary stories of my travels around the world. There was a film made from those pictures and stories. "Ride don`t hide" is its name. A film that awakens the travel bug and can save lives. I tell of how I got on our motorcycle, after my son's death, and searched the world with an open visor for an explanation, for meaning, and for peace of mind. My conclusion after over 140,000 km and more than two years on the road is: “the world is too beautiful for depression." Ride don`t hide has been successfully launched and can be seen online here: https://bit.ly/3G9Jdn8
"Always be open to surprises," a Buddhist monk in the Himalayas advised me. How right he was. When I told him that I had a feeling of awe, almost fear, for the day when I was to pack my motorcycle in the morning, for the last time, and ride home, he replied, "Continue your journey when you arrive home - on a small scale. There will be places to discover on your doorstep, people to meet and things to do that you've never done before." The whole of life is a journey and curiosity is the primary drive for us motorcyclists.
On my current tour to the North Cape and on to Cabo da Roca in Portugal, the most south-westerly point of the European mainland, I've been "looking into happiness" and giving lectures about it. I'm now going to explore Portugal, with and on Toni. I've already ridden the ACT Portugal. Grandiose! (https://adventurecountrytracks.com/) Life remains a never-ending good journey, not least because motorcycling pays in to our happiness account.
Thank you to everyone who supports me in my projects. My special thanks go to the Touratech team in Niedereschach, in Thailand, in Peru and in Australia for their quick and unbureaucratic help. Until the next travel event, which we're all eagerly looking forward to.
More information as well as the registration form for Fellows Ride 22 can be found on the www.fellowsride.de website.
See you soon Fellow.