Locals join the ride

Castlemaine locals Greg Barkla and Bob Bent have teamed up to take part in the Black Dog Ride, a 10-day motorcycle tour to raise funds and awareness for the suicide prevention organisation the Black Dog Institute.
The lads will join hundreds of participants from across Australia on the ride, an adventure that will see the Victorian contingent leave from The Mill complex in Castlemaine on August 10.
Greg said he expected about 50-100 riders would leave from Castlemaine.
“It’s a 3800km ride stopping at Mildura, Port Augusta, Coober Pedy, Alice Springs, Tennant Creek, Mataranka and arriving in Darwin on August 18.
“I like doing things for a good cause with a fundraising aspect, such as the Outback Air Race which I did with Gary McClure and two others in 2012 and again with Gary and Bob in 2015. Plus I like the adventure,” Greg said.
Bob said even though Castlemaine was a small town, there had been a number of suicides.
“I think being a small community, when something like that happens, the community really feels it. When I heard about the Black Dog Ride, I thought, what a way to be involved and give something back,” Bob said.
“Personally, I lost a mate to suicide a few years ago, so this is important to me. And the support from the local community has been amazing.”
Greg and Bob’s fundraising team, Men on a Mission, has raised more than $8800 already, being the highest fundraising amount from participants, with the next highest fundraising amount an individual effort at $5125.
“It’s really humbling, the support that people will give for a cause like this,” Bob said.
Greg said his wife had been a mental health worker for 40 years, so he understood the need for support services like the Black Dog Institute.
“I think anything we can do is better than nothing,” Greg said.
Fundraising donations toward the Men on a Mission tally can be made via the website www.blackdogride.giveeasy.org and you can follow Greg and Bob’s journey on the Men on a Mission Facebook page at www.facebook.com/Men-on-a-mission-1590481354414394
If anyone has any mental health concerns they can call Lifeline 24 hours a day on 13 11 14.

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