Black Dog riders set to take on taboo topic

MORE than 100 motorcycle riders are set to take part in the inaugural Bendigo Black Dog 1 Day Ride on Sunday. 

Riders throughout the region will get on their bikes to help raise awareness of depression and suicide prevention and to raise money for Lifeline.

Funds raised by the riders will help Lifeline maintain and build its suicide prevention programs across Australia. 

For the first time Bendigo will host its own leg of the event. It is one of 17 events that will be held in every state and territory across the country on Sunday. 

Black Dog Ride Victorian co-ordinator and Wedderburn resident Ric Raftis said it was an important event to get people talking about mental illness and suicide. 

He said he hoped the event would help reduce the stigma associated with depression and get people talking about these real issues. 

“It is a great opportunity for people to do something positive,” Mr Raftis said. 

“It is a hard thing to talk about, but there is that perception that motorcycle riders 

are tough and scary and if they can talk about depression and suicide then hopefully it will encourage others to talk about it, too.”

Mr Raftis hoped the Bendigo community would get behind the event and raise as much money as they could. 

“If we can get more blokes talking about it, that would be a good thing.”

Ride participants will meet at 9am at the Bendigo Rowing Club in Weeroona Avenue.

Riders will make the trip to the Murray River in Echuca. 

Mr Raftis said people could still register for the ride. 

For more information, visit www.blackdogride.com.au or contact Mr Raftis on 0407 412 100.

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