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Mountain bikers ride for suicide awareness

Posted: 5:33 PM, Sep 21, 2019
Updated: 2019-09-22 00:16:50-04

BOISE — Mountain bikers gathered on Saturday to ride a short loop in the Boise foothills to raise awareness for suicide prevention.

"When they said this cause, I was like a gotta do it. There's no stopping me on this and I dropped everything to do this," said Josh Stallings with the Weiser Mountain Bike Club.

Not only was it a great way to get outside, but it raised money for the Idaho Suicide Prevention Hotline which provides resources, emotional support, and crisis intervention.

"About seven months ago, a good friend of my husband's committed suicide and that was very devastating to a lot of us in the mountain biking community Kelly Paananen with the Southwest Idaho Mountain Bike Association said. "Then 22 years ago, my husband's brother also committed suicide so it's very close and personal to us."

The topic hits home for many.

"I've seen too many friends in high school commit suicide and if there was an outreach that somebody could have got to them, I think it would have changed their lives and there's so many times, all somebody needs is somebody to talk to. They don't need much more than that. They just need a friend and once you get a friend or somebody to talk to, it can change their whole entire outlook on the whole entire subject," Stallings said.

It's a way to start a conversation.

"We just thought what a better way to come out and gather with our friends and raise awareness about a difficult topic," said Paananen.