THE smell of oil and the noise of revving engines will infiltrate Bendigo this afternoon when 70 bikers ride into town as part of the nationwide Black Dog Ride.
The group will reach Bendigo about 3.30pm as it travels the nation raising awareness and funds for depression and suicide prevention.
The Victorian contingent is stopping at various regional towns on their way from Melbourne to Port Augusta, where they will meet other riders before heading north to Alice Springs.
Members of the public are invited to a dinner at the Bendigo Bowling Club tonight before a presentation on mental health at 8pm.
The riders will then take to Sidney Myer Place tomorrow at 9am to show off their bikes and talk to residents about their reasons for joining in the ride.
They will then ride to Charlton.
Organiser Ric Raftis said the ride aimed to reduce the stigma associated with mental health issues.
“It’s getting blokes to talk to each other,” he said.
“We want people to notice us and we want them to talk about us and most importantly we want them to talk about what we are doing and why we are doing the ride.”
Ric paid tribute to the work of the Lions Club and said they had been influential in organising the ride. For more information, contact Ric on 0407 412 100, or visit www.blackdogride.com.au