The Gold Coast Black Dog Ride 1 Dayer will go ahead on Sunday (March 20, 2016) despite Queensland Police failing to assure charity riders they will not be affected by a major “road safety” operation in the area.
Organisers are emphatic that the ride will go ahead and have encouraged riders to take part.
After we published a story about Operation North Upright being held on the same day and in the same area as the ride, social media was alive with concerns by riders they would be harassed.
One rider says on a Facebook post:
I’ve ridden in the last 4 Blackdog rides and won’t be doing this one, we were pulled over at the bottom of Springbrook as part of there so called operation I took my helmet off and said to the Sergeant “How ya going mate” and he replied I’m not your mate now get off your bike and stand over here !! Nice policing….. It’s all bullshit they want bikes off the road full stop.
We contacted the Police Media unit for a response to our question: “Can police assure charity riders that they will not be inconvenienced?”
This is the official response:
The Queensland Police Service is committed to road safety and improving driver behaviour.
Last year, 47% of all fatal traffic crashes across the South Eastern Policing Region involved motorcycles, more than double the state average. The majority of the Region’s 15 fatal motorcycle crashes (80%) took place in the Gold Coast Hinterland and rural areas of Logan District.
Operation North Upright is a road safety campaign designed to engage with the community to raise awareness of the potential risks of riding motorcycles on hinterland and rural roads and contributing factors that include speed, rider error and inexperience.
The aim of the operation is to give riders the information they need to stay safe on our roads through displays, demonstrations, and discussions.
MBW chose to alert riders about the impending operation and the increased presence of police marked and unmarked vehicles in the region, rather than ignoring the issue.
It is unfortunate, but understandable, if some riders choose not to participate in the Gold Coast charity ride. We hope they don’t and organiser Kylie Sage has urged riders to show up in force.
“The operation is about education and entry to the sites is voluntary so it is not going to affect our ride at all,” she says.
“Police will also be there to assist our ride. We will have three police escort bikes and four cars to stop traffic lights.
“But why of all days would they hold this operation on this day when police have been aware of our ride for so long?”
Online registration for the Gold Coast ride is still open or you can register on the day from 7:30am at Shark Leathers, 142 Siganto Drive, Helensvale.
An email sent from a local police officer to Kylie states: “This event is not and has never been a traffic enforcement operation targeting the Black Dog Ride. I would ask that all riders, and including those on the Black Dog Ride, invest in their safety and ride in a manner that is not only legal but also safe for all those on the roads.”
If riders are still concerned about the increased police presence in the region going to and from the charity event, they might like to consider joining the next closest BDR 1 Dayer rides at the Sunshine Coast or Byron Bay.
The Sunshine Coast Ride musters at Aussie World on the Bruce Highway from 7.30am and the Byron Bay ride from 8am at Cavanbah Centre, 249 Ewingsdale Road.
MBW will be attending the Sunshine Coast ride as planned.
The Black Dog Ride 1 Dayer is being held nationally in 34 locations and raises money and awareness for mental health issues.