THREE Tathra men are revving up their motorbikes and riding around parts of Australia in support of a good cause.
Ron McCartney, Dennis Wheatley and Tony Rettke are taking part in the third annual Black Dog Ride, starting on August 18.
It is the second time Mr McCartney has participated in the week-long event, which helps The Black Dog Institute raise funds for researching depression and mental illness.
The trio will be joined for the first leg – from Tathra to Port Augusta, South Australia – by local resident Rob Armstrong.
From there, Mr McCartney and his good mates will join 300 participants on the trip to Alice Springs, Northern Territory.
The Tathra men will then be joined by their wives for a more luxurious ride back to the Bega Valley.
In total, the trio expects to ride more than 7500km.
Mr McCartney said he couldn’t wait to hop back on his Suzuki 1000 to join the Black Dog Ride convoy to the Red Centre.
“I’m really looking forward to it,” he said.
“It will be tremendous because this country is beautiful and it’s great to able to get out on a motorbike and see Australia, while doing it for a great cause.”
After being the only local resident to take part in 2011, Mr McCartney said he was happy to be joined on the trip.
“It was a great personal challenge for me, but we will have a lot of fun along the way this year,” he said.
“The ride is getting better and better each year.
“Last year was enjoyable, but they are a lot more organised this time around.”
According to the Black Dog Ride website, one in five people will experience depression in their lifetime – more than 50 per cent will not seek treatment.
The foundation predicts that one million Australians will experience a depressive illness this year, and depression is the third largest individual health problem in this country.
The Black Dog Ride is the brainchild of Steve Andrews, who took to the roads alone in 2009, travelling to towns to discuss depression issues.
“The next year, Steve was joined by 50 people, then 150, and this year there are 300 participants,” Mr McCartney said.
Mr McCartney saw the ride being advertised last year and, after discussing it with wife Patty, decided to take part.
He said The Black Dog Foundation was important because it “touches so many people”.
After raising $7000 in 2011, Mr McCartney and his Tathra team are targeting $5000 this year.
The trio are on track to pass that mark, with more than $4435 already raised, the second highest of any team.
• Visit www.everydayhero .com.au/Tathra_team to sponsor the three Tathra men, or visit www.blackdogride.com.au for more information about the ride.