A record 7000 riders in 34 locations around Australia raised $236,000 in the annual Black Dog Ride 1 Dayer on March 20, 2016, to aid 30 Australian mental health services and programs. (Final figures updated May 12, 2016)
BDR spokeswoman Fiona Duffield confirms the count of riders is a record.
“But it’s not just about the money,” Fiona says. “You can’t calculate how much awareness was raised. We had people lining the streets, people leaving signs of support out for us, school children and substantial media coverage. We want to get the message out about depression and suicide prevention.”
The first 1 Dayer was held in 2010 in Western Australia after founder Steve Andrews did the first Black Dog Ride in 2009. The 1 Dayer became a national event in 2012.
Unfortunately, a 48-year-old rider died on the two-day Kalgoorlie Black Dog Ride after failing to take a corner. His name has not yet been released.
“As an event organiser, it is our worst nightmare if there is an accident during a ride, but if we lose a rider it is just a tragedy,” Steve says.
“The Black Dog riders are a very close community and we call it a family, so it is like losing a member of your own family.
“Everyone will be feeling the pain of his friends and family members in Kalgoorlie and my heart goes out to them.”
Motorbike Writer supports the Black Dog Ride 1 Dayer and, thanks to Suomy Helmets Australia, donated a helmet to one lucky rider who registered online. The winner is Brett Harradine of Wauchope who attended the Port Macquarie ride and regularly rides the Oxley Highway on his 2009 Heritage Softail.
Other prize draws were Kath King from Dubbo who won a gold BDR ring and Alan Gill of the South Coast Ride who won a BMW leather jacket.
We hope you all had a good ride and will be back for more next year.
MBW attended the Sunshine Coast ride organised by Michael “Youngie” Young. More than 200 riders attended under threatening skies, but managed to escape the rain all day for a ride through the beautiful hinterland mountains.
IMPORTANT FACTS ABOUT THE BLACK DOG RIDE
Depression and Suicide:
Suicide is the leading cause of death in Australians under the age of 45;
Eight Australians take their lives every single day;
It is estimated that there is a suicide attempt every 10 minutes in Australia;
80% of all suicides in Australia are by men, but the number of women suiciding is climbing;
Men in regional locations experience much higher rates of suicide than the national average;
One in five Australians will experience mental illness every year;
Mental illness is the leading cause of disability in Australia;
Depressive disorders are the most common identifiable risk factor for suicide.
Black Dog Ride 1 Dayer 2016:
Black Dog Ride was established in 2009 by Busselton local Steve Andrews who rode his motorcycle solo around Australia in 26 days to raise awareness of depression;
In 2014 Black Dog Ride was incorporated as a national charity promoting awareness of depression and suicide prevention;
Since April 2010, Black Dog Ride has organised annual one day long motorcycle rides to bring awareness of depression and suicide prevention to local communities across Australia;
The 1 Dayer has also raised more than $530,000 for mental health services in the past five years;
Participants carry the Black Dog Ride mascot ‘Winston’ on their bikes – a soft toy black dog named after Sir Winston Churchill, who famously diarised about the ‘black dog of depression’.
1 Dayer registrations support Black Dog Ride’s suicide prevention programs nationwide;
Black Dog Ride gifts all 1 Dayer donations and fundraising to 29 local mental health organisations and projects across the nation.