SIERRA VISTA, Ariz., Sept. 25, 2012 -- NAMI Arizona, the state organization of the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), is proud to announce this year's NAMIBikes Arizona will take place at Veterans Memorial Park (3105 E. Fry Blvd.) in Sierra Vista on October 27.
The bike riding event will raise awareness about mental illness, treatment and recovery—and the need for important services and support in the community for individuals and families affected by mental illness.
Riding under the banner "Fight Stigma and Ride," NAMIBikes cyclists will pedal for hope and change.
Start-times vary according to distance and the event offers courses for all abilities. For the more rigorous cyclist, there will be a 64-mile 'Metric Century' through the Arizona high desert, and a 35-mile ride to Tombstone and back. There will also be a 'bike rodeo,' a safety course where kids can learn safety skills like navigating cones, stopping and proper helmet fit.
"This will be the second year our NAMI Sierra Vista Affiliate has taken on the NAMIBikes event," explained Jim Dunn, the Interim Executive Director for NAMI Arizona.
"It's amazing to see the hard work and determination this small community puts into what is turning out to be a significant annual event highlighting individuals and families overcoming mental health challenges."
Serious mental illness includes major depression, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, major anxiety disorders, borderline personality disorder, and posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). These illnesses are real, they are treatable and they affect people from all walks of life.
Check-in and a continental breakfast open at 6 a.m.
All courses will be marked and feature rest stops and vehicle support. The event will offer music, food and more.
Besides the breakfast, there will be a picnic lunch in the park after the ride, as well as a pre-event Spaghetti Dinner served at the Sierra Vista Elks Lodge (1 South Elks Lane) on Friday, October 26.
NAMI is the nation's largest grassroots mental health organization dedicated to building better lives for the millions of Americans affected by mental illness. NAMI Arizona and dedicated volunteer leaders throughout the state work to raise awareness and provide free education, advocacy and support group programs benefitting thousands of families and individuals each year.