YOU could be forgiven for thinking people were wearing two very distinct uniforms in and around Tamworth’s CBD yesterday.
Chances are if you weren’t in joggers and tights for either the Fun Five or Tamworth Ten, you were wearing leathers and about to jump on a motorcycle in support of the Black Dog Institute.
Hundreds of motorcycling enthusiasts departed Tamworth yesterday for day two of the NSW leg of the annual Black Dog Ride.
The ride, with more than 140 people taking part, kicked off from
Sydney on Saturday and yesterday picked up another half-a-dozen riders, including Aussie Rocker Angry Anderson, en route to the Northern Territory.
Tamworth’s Rod Thompson joined former Northern Daily Leader journalist Simon Bouda in Bicentennial Park yesterday to begin the next leg of the journey to the red centre, hoping to raise $500,000 for the Black Dog Institute and in turn raise awareness about depression.
Mr Bouda said the support for the ride had been overwhelming, even only if it was one day in.
“This is only the third year,” he said.
“In the first year there were about seven people to leave Sydney, this year there were 140.”
Mr Bouda said the increasing number of supporters and participants reflected how important the issue of depression and mental health were.
“It’s such an important issue,” he said. “Someone always knows someone who suffers from
depression, a family member or a friend and they say depression is a silent killer.
“What better way to drown out that silence and raise awareness than blasting along on a hundred plus motorbikes.”
Tonight the ride heads to Nyngan where it will meet up with the contingent of Queensland-based riders.
At other stops along the way between now and Thursday, riders will meet up with others from all Australian states.
“In the end there will be more than 200 riders from all Australian states to have participated in the ride,” Mr Bouda said.
It is expected about 60 will participate in a final finishing parade through the streets of Alice Springs this Friday.
Yesterday the ride had raised about $205,000 toward their target.
The Tamworth Lion’s Club chipped in an additional $2000 before the group headed off yesterday morning.
The Black Dog Ride was founded by Steve Andrews, in 2009 to help raise funds and support the depression and suicide prevention services.