Black Dog Ride around Australia
Blog - Day 1
Bateau Bay to Muswellbrook for refueling
Muswellbrook to Tamworth for Lions Lunch
Tamworth to Glen Innes for Lions community dinner
Click on the image to see live tracking. Password: BDR
The day we'd all been waiting for dawned with stormy skies but nothing could dampen the spirits of the 65 riders and crew of the Black Dog Ride around Australia! Assembling at The Entrance Leagues Club for a hearty breakfast and meet up with people they'd come to know so well via email and social media, the excitement was palpable.
Our roving reporter Simon Bouda was there with Channel 9 for a live cross over to the Today Show, you can view the fantastic report here, helping us spread the message of depression and suicide prevention awareness further across the nation.
The lucky winner of the BDR/BMW Raffle, Suzanne from Tumbi Umbi NSW, arrived to view her prize - a brand new BMW R nineT valued at $23,000 Ride Away - and there wasn't a more excited person in Australia! Thank you to the BMW Motorrad Team for their great support of Lifeline's vital work!
Our awesome sponsors Holden, who have generously provided Black Dog Ride with two Holden Colorados for our support crew, also handed over a cheque for $5000 which was met with raucous applause from all. We can't thank Holden enough for believing in Black Dog Ride's mission, and for helping us turn that mission into a reality. Awesome work Holden!
Led out Central Coast Ride Coordinator Dazza and Jules, the around Australia Riders and NSW State Riders rode out to Muswellbrook where many of the NSW riders left us, but not before great conversations and camaraderie together.
Onwards to Tamworth, where the local Lions Club put on a yummy lunch for riders who starting to feel the chilly weather. One bike was down, but our stupendous Support Crew came to the rescue and a local motorcycle dealer Harvey Morris MC Repairs leapt to his aid. The wonderful Lions even saved the late coming Support Crew some lunch, much appreciated!
The road to Glen Innes proved challenged, with icy roads and freezing weather making this leg of the journey treacherous and draining. The town of Duval spread a lot of cheer our way with a welcome sign as we rode through. Thanks Duval!
After warming up at the motels, two bus loads of riders arrived at the Glen Innes Golf Club full of high spirits and energy - and we didn't expect any different from people giving up a month of work and family to hit the highways of Australia to spread a message of awareness.
Tamar from the Children's and Adolescents Mental Health Service in Armidale was warmly welcomed by the riders and spoke briefly about the positives outcomes of the teen MHFA program which Black Dog Ride is helping to fund. After a brief hunt for an escapee Winston, Tamar was soon the proud new owner of Black Dog Ride's Mascot Winston!
Finally, the Glen Innes Lions Club, after feeding a room full of hungry riders, presented Black Dog Ride with a donation of $400! $100 of this came from a local chemist, wonderful generosity from the community. Thank you Lions, every dollar helps Lifeline and MHFA support people in crisis and so far we've raised $240,000 for Lifeline Australia and Mental Health First Aid Australia. You can donate here.
Tomorrow we're off to Bundaberg, a ride of over 700kms and our riders are looking forward to the warm weather, breathtaking countryside and catching up with local communities along the way. Stay tuned and check out the BDR Facebook Page and Twitter.
All photos will be attributed, please be patient hen we're on the road :)