BATHURST’S iconic race track was the starting point for a motorcycle ride raising money for, and awareness of, depression.
The Black Dog Ride got underway at Mount Panorama on Saturday, continuing through to Dubbo, Cobar and Broken Hill as it makes its way to Uluru.
One of the organisers of the event, Steve Gower, who is based in Dubbo, said more than 120 riders left Bathurst.
Other riders will join the group at various locations and some will complete part of the journey but, by the time they reach Uluru in a week’s time, more than 500 riders are expected to be part of the ride.
Mr Gower said the aim of the ride was to raise money for, and awareness of, depression and suicide.
So far the ride has raised a staggering $200,000, which will be donated to Lifeline and mental health first aid.
Mr Gower said Bathurst was chosen as the starting point for the ride for a number of reasons.
“Bathurst came to mind straight away; Mount Panorama is iconic and represents motor sport and bike riding.
“Everyone who comes to Bathurst wants to do a lap of the Mount, so we thought it was a perfect starting place for the ride,” he said.
After arriving in Dubbo, the riders were guests at the Dubbo Roos Rugby Union game, where they also raised money for the cause.
The Roos had organised special Black Dog jerseys for the game, which were later auctioned, raising $8325.
Mr Gower said the idea behind the ride was everyone was there for the same reason.
“People get involved for different reasons. They may have lost someone to suicide or, while they don’t openly say it, they may suffer depression or anxiety themselves,” he said.
For more information on the ride, or to support the fundraiser, go to www.blackdogride.com.au