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Cyclist Paul Richardson in Geraldton on his journey to ride 27,000km around Australia to share recovery story

Headshot of Fraser Williams
Fraser WilliamsGeraldton Guardian
Cyclist Paul Richardson is travelling around Australia.
Camera IconCyclist Paul Richardson is travelling around Australia. Credit: Fraser Williams/Geraldton Guardian

One man is cycling 27,000km across Australia to share his journey with people who are going through tough times and spread awareness about alcohol abuse.

Paul Richardson embarked on his ambitious journey from Kalgoorlie in May to help people by sharing his story of growth and change.

In Geraldton last week, Mr Richardson said his life was in a dark place five years ago, following a divorce when his wife had an affair and took their children, then he tried to take his life only two years ago.

“That’s the trauma I went through, which consequently, stupidly, I started to drink,” he said.

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“Then I decided, right this world is not for me anymore.”

After being flown from Esperance to the Goldfields rehabilitation service in Kalgoorlie, he was guided to the Goldfields Community Alcohol and Drug Service, run by Hope.

“I started with the three E’s, I became encouraged, educated and exercised,” he said.

“I began to build an awareness of the problem I faced. Hope educated me in that, and every time I had a session with them, I came away thinking, this is brilliant.

“I began to accept that I had a problem.”

Hope Community Services helped turned Mr Richardson’s life around and gave him a positive outlook on the world.

Which is why he has been visiting all of their centres in the hope to motivate people who are going through dark times.

“Every place I go, I’m visiting each Hope community service office. . . I will hopefully be able to talk to people there who will listen,” he said.

“Possibly they can learn from what I have experienced, and it will possibly help them.”

An avid cycler, Mr Richardson said he chose cycling because it was when he was happiest 40 years ago.

To prepare for the monster journey, he spent 10 months training and cycled close to 100km every day to prepare himself.

So far 2500km into his trip with a long road ahead, Mr Richardson said the people of Geraldton had gone above and beyond for him.

“Paul from the bicycle shop Revolutions has been amazing. . . the Double Beach caravan park put me up in one of their chalets instead of sleeping in my tent,” he said.

“I’ve never met people like this.”

To donate to Mr Richardson and help him on his journey visit https://gofund.me/76094430. All extra funds will be donated to Hope Community Services, the Royal Flying Doctor Service, Kalgoorlie Health Campus and Esperance Health Campus.

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