Kicking the Black Dog across Australia

In 2009 Steve Andrews rode his motorbike solo around Australia.

Unlike most people, who set out on such a trip in order to fulfill their personal dreams, Steve was also on a quest ~

A quest to raise community awareness about the insidious nature of depression.

This solo tour of Australia was the inauguralBlack Dog Ride‘.

In 2010, to bring further attention to this debilitating illness, he invited motorbike riders from across Australia to join him on a Black Dog Ride’ to Glen Helen Gorge in the Red Center.

Open road

To give a little bit of background, the Mission of the Black Dog Ride is to:

  • Remove the stigma of depression
  • Raise awareness of this debilitating disease.
  • Provide people with an access to act and make a difference as an individual and as a community.
  • Encourage others to access help if they are feeling down or depressed

On the road

On the 5th September 2010 a group of motor cyclists set out from both Perth on the west coast and Sydney on the east coast, converging at Port Augusta to ride the 1,227 km together up ‘the middle’ of Australia through Coober Pedy to Alice Springs, and on 11th September to ride the final 132 km out to Glen Helen Resort.

View Black Dog Ride 2010 map of the Sydney to Red Center route

Beside the road

I first heard about this event through the wonders of social media. By following tweets on Twitter and ‘liking’ Facebook pages, I have got to ‘know’ some of the guys who set out from Sydney ~ Andrew Blanda, Raz Chorev and Robbie James who made up the Riding4aCause team; and Tony Hollingsworth who had to borrow a bike to take part in not only an awesome adventure, but an opportunity to help spread the word that depression is not a weakness but an illness for which effective treatments are available.

Tony Hollingsworth

To share in the fun of the trip here are a few more photos taken on the road…

Motorbike Riders taking part in the Black Dog Ride

Outback Australia

Sunny side up

Alice Springs to Glen Helen

Meetings along the way

Glen Helen ~ End of the ride

(click on photo for click-link to origination & respective blogs)

The Black Dog Institute is a not-for-profit, educational, research, clinical and community-oriented facility offering specialist expertise in depression and bipolar disorder ~

To further the work of the Black Dog Institute both Riding4aCause and Tony Hollingsworth have raised over $2,000 EACH through participation in this ride ~

Andrew, Steve, Raz & Robbie

What a brilliant way to experience a trip out on the open road and enjoy the camaraderie of a group on a mission.

Following on from the Black Dog Ride this week (11th ~ 19th Sept 2010) is Exercise your Mood week ~

“Exercise is a great way to lift mood and relieve some symptoms of depression

so get off your couch and get involved!”

Do you have a story to share about you, a friend or relative who has suffererd with a black dog for company?

Please add your tale in the comments below 🙂

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3 thoughts on “Kicking the Black Dog across Australia

  1. Thanks for a great write up on our journey!!!

    As one of the 3 riders that joined Steve’s Black Dog Ride (under the banner of this was truly an inspirational adventure for all of us. We heard some amazing stories of survival from sufferers, and met some truly amazing people.

    I have also made some great new friends along the way that have inspired me in my life. I’m sure there will be more stories told of this adventure. We also hope that the filming of the event will be turned into a Documentary, as I think it would be amazing viewing!
    Robbie James recently posted..Day 7 – The Home Stretch!My Profile

    • Robbie ~

      You’ve done a great job by taking part ~
      Look how many more people now know about the Black Dog Institute and the fantastic resources they have available to people who don’t know where to start when either living with someone who is showing signs of depression or is maybe feeling a bit forlorn themselves ~
      Interesting that external ailments are happily shared out in the open, yet mental issues being internal have till now at least been kept in the dark ~

      A doco would be great!
      Do draw my attention to it if that happens so I can help spread the word 🙂

  2. Pingback: 101 Ways of Using your Map Journal | Journey Jottings

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