Zen Riderrs, the seven Ghanaians riding bicycles from Accra to Tamale and back in 10 days to raise awareness and support for mental health have finally arrive in Tamale, the capital of the Northern Region after five long days of gruesome but exciting experiences on the historic journey.
The team set off from Nsawam on this 600-kilometer-plus bike trip, accompanied by an ambulance, a videographer/photographer, a police escort and a few mental health experts.
They made a number of stops at Apedwa, Nkawkaw, Kumasi, Offinso, Techiman, Dawadawa, Buipe and a few other places where they interacted with residents and some school pupils and educated them on mental health and also on how to break artificial mental barriers and realize one’s full potential.
The team also made appearances on some radio stations in Kumasi and in Techiman, where they had the opportunity to even reach a wider audience with their unique message on mental health. They also made extensive use of social media to share details about the trip every step of the way.
Some of the interesting experiences include Anita Solomon, the only lady on the team getting a flat a tyre. But one of the coaches on the team, Isaac Sackey Solomon fixed the tyre and they got on the way really fast.
The team also told stories about how the coaches deceived them that the stretch between Nkawkaw and Kumasi was mainly on plains with very few hills. But they realized there were way more hills than they bargained for. As a result, Anita openly stated that she had pains all over her bum, while the team leader, Michael Amankwa jokingly said “the coaches will surely be punished by God”.
At least on two occasions the team had to make unintended stops at car washing bays and had water sprayed on them just to cool down from the heat of the scorching sun.
Particularly on day five, as they approached northern Ghana they were greeted by the radiating heat from the ground, which made them go for a quick stop at Buipe, where they took in some chilled drinks and spraying some more cold water on themselves.
Their faces told the whole story about how hard the scotching sun and radiating heat got to them in the north.
Generally, the trip has been one of resilience, resolve, determination and strategy at work. As Don Milla put it in one of his Facebook posts – the five months of preparation has paid off – and that this achievement indicates that anyone can achieve anything they put their minds to, once they take the first action.
”Action is the only way to break any artificial mental barrier,” he stated.
Now the team is in Tamale, where they will be meeting the chief, who will officially welcome them to the city. They will also interact with various groups and educate them on mental health, and also make appearances on a few media channels on Tamale.
The team will take a full day’s rest in Tamale and head back to Accra on Tuesday. They are expected to arrive in Accra on Saturday, November 11, 2023.
They are fully confident that the journey back home will be more fun and exciting, since they now know what to expect.