A Message of Introduction
by Black Dog Ride's
New CEO David Peach

When I first heard, earlier in the year, that Steve Andrews was stepping aside, my first thought (after that initial "What the...?" moment) was 'OK… what now?"

Naturally I was really concerned for Steve, and I penned a public note of thanks to him on Facebook that seemed to strike a chord… it was shared and commented on pretty extensively. I was assured that he was getting good care so my concerns turned to the future of Black Dog Ride.

I've been involved since 2012 when Simon Bouda dragged me along to my first 1 Dayer; and since then I've done most of them (I missed 2013), I did the Red Centre Ride in 2015, followed by the America ride literally 3 days after that. I've coordinated the Penrith NSW 1 Dayer since 2016 assisted by some superbly talented volunteers, and done a couple of unsupported solo adventure rides into the desert with Black Dog Ride as my charity of choice. Like so many of you, I'd put a lot of 'me' into the Black Dog Ride over the years and it had become for me, more than just a ride. I count some of my Black Dog Ride mates amongst my nearest and dearest friends and amidst rumours of a possible loss of the Black Dog Ride, it felt more like the possible loss of family. I was devastated, but hopeful that something might be done and let it be known then that if I could help, it'd be my pleasure to do so.

I was relieved when Black Dog Ride's Jim Redmond stood up and took the 'bars to get us through the 1 Dayer in March. It can't have been easy to step into that at late notice and for that we should all be grateful. I know the rigour of organising just a single leg of the 1 Dayer, so I can't imagine what the stress that comes with overseeing 30+ legs must feel like; though I guess I'm going to find out in March 2018! I'm really pleased to know that though Jim has had to return to his 'real-life' job, he's been invited to join the Board of Black Dog Ride (and accepted) and I think we're lucky to have him; he's been a steady hand at a time when the organisation needed one. Thank you Jim.

So as a 'blow-in' from the East, I imagine few of you might be concerned that Black Dog Ride may be deserting WA and moving East. Let me allay that right now. Black Dog Ride has grown to include a lot of East Coast riders so an East Coast representation makes total sense; but Steve's legacy and Black Dog Ride's roots remain firmly in WA, and specifically in Busselton. There's no plan to change any of that. We are by definition and design, a geographically wide-spread organisation. We exist because of the efforts and support of our tireless state and local Coordinators, Volunteers and Supporters from all corners of the country; so it seems unremarkable to me that we would continue with our logistical hub in Busso', Fiona Duffield's Office in Perth and now another office in the East. That's how many 'global small businesses' run and I see no impediment to Black Dog Ride doing that too. I come from a 28 year career in IT as a business owner, the bulk of it spent advising and applying IT strategies for small businesses here and abroad. We will then, leverage modern technologies to join these locations AND all our Coordinators around the country into our systems, with an end-game of making the organisation more inclusive, more collaborative, more transparent and keeping costs down. I've got great plans for that part of the organisation; but it's not just me….

We're all of us, supported by a rocking team around the nation and a committed and enthusiastic Board. Every decision we make will be examined through the lens of whether that decision promotes and preserves Steve's original vision for the Black Dog Ride, and whether it represents the best use of funds, striking a balance between keeping an essential but lean team running and resourced to support you, and distributing funds back to the organisations we support. Thats what we do. Its our WHY, and its not changing.

Folks, I'm new here. I literally signed up last Thursday. I've stepped away from a lengthy IT career to do this because I'm fully committed to the Vision and nothing has felt this 'right' for a long time. Black Dog Ride is a cause I care deeply about, motorcycling is a lifestyle I've loved for almost 40 years and I have skills that add value to this organisation. I don't promise to know every answer, every time… but I do promise that I'm going to give this a red-hot go and if I get it wrong, it won't be for lack of trying. Right now my head is swimming with possibilities and I'm eager to get cracking.

First up, I've got to get my head around everything that is the Tassie 2017 Ride. Registrations are progressing well in WA, NSW and QLD, but we need a lift in the other states. Please, share the links you'll find on Facebook, to your mates, to your ride groups and to your supporters. For those not on Facebook, forward this link to our webpage. We'll be playing to our strengths and keeping the focus on community engagement along the way. This ride is happening, it's gonna be awesome and you don't want to be the one that missed out on a spot - you'll be kicking yourself!

Ok, enough from me now… if you need to contact me, find me at ceo@blackdogride.com.au. In the coming weeks, expect to hear from me with a roadmap that preserves and builds upon the great reputation Black Dog Ride enjoys, the great friendships I already enjoy with many of you; and the new ones I'm planning to make. I can't wait… See you out there soon!


Black Dog Ride's New CEO David Peach

Image by Eden Connell