MENTAL HEALTH AWARENESS THE FOCUS OF ANNUAL HOT HUNDRED CENTURY BICYCLE RACE

Bike Race

Over the weekend, it was a hot morning for about 300 bicycle riders who were helping make a difference in the Tuscaloosa community.

July 27 was the 17th annual Hot Hundred Century bicycle ride. The Druid City Bicycle Club and the Tuscaloosa Mental Health Alliance team up every year to help bring awareness on a topic that affects everyone.

“It was hot,” Robert Fosters, a participant with the Wounded Warrior Program, said. “It was hot and I know why they call it the Hot Hundred.”

The Hot Hundred Century bicycle ride is a fundraiser to raise awareness and better educate people on mental health. One of the coordinators for the ride, Jennifer Singleton, said it is important to normalize the discussions on mental health.

“I mean, we are talking about the importance of mental illness and educating and how you shouldn’t be afraid to talk about things such as depression and anxiety, things that affect all of us,” she said.

About one in five people experience mental illness and Fosters believes the mentally ill often go unnoticed.

“I seriously believe that most of America forgets about the mentally ill, and they’re there,” Fosters said. “They’re your next door neighbor, they’re your cousins, they’re your grandparents, they can even be your children. We need to do all we can for the mentally ill.”

The Tuscaloosa Mental Health Alliance hopes events like this will allow them to continue educating people and bring more awareness to how many people are affected by mental illnesses.

For those interested in participating in next year’s Hot Hundred Century ride, it happens on the last Saturday of July every year.

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