Monday, 23 March 2015

Black dog ride - 2015

Sunday March 22nd marked the day for the Annual Black Dog ride - a ride I participate in each year, this year was no different.

The Black Dog ride provides awareness for depression and mental health and raises money to support integral services such as Lifeline. No more worthy a cause to pull on the boots, stuff my head into a helmet and throw a leg over the on.

Like years in the past - I am riding as a corner maker to assist in the marshalling of the main bunch - this means the day starts early.

By the time I hit the road the sun is just up, the low-level fog is refusing to shift. The roads are damp. The tyres are cold. It's 9c and I have nearly an hour slab at free-way speed. Great!

The solution - base layers, thermal layers, wind-stopper layers and heated grips cranked. Slab done and done.

We meet at the official start point in Pakenham -  standard affair, corner marker briefing, then main bunch briefing, then go.

The corner markers head off, hitting the black stuff - most of the riders manage to follow most of the marshals, most of the time - most being the operative word.....

I'm dropped on a corner as we head into Yarra Glen - a marker-mate is dropped on the entry corner and I am on the exit. We're going to be here a while.

Ample time for me to remove my base layers and wind-stopper.

I get busy on the side of the road redressing myself.

I also take the opportunity to let some air out of the tyres - I'd been a little too generous with my set-up adding too much air when cold. The Ape was chattering around from both the front end and the rear - taking some air out, adds more give to the hoops, making her nice and compliant.

Done and done....

My marker-mate standing stoically - waiting for riders to marshal. The seriousness of it all is overwhelming. :))

And here comes a component of the main bunch - it did get quite spaced out this year......

We continue into Yarra Glen for a mid-ride regroup allowing any stragglers to catch up. A quick "splash and dash" for bikes with limited range and we're off again.

We point the bikes towards Toolangi then King Lake. Beautiful roads out this way - up the front, in the corner marker bunch we get a clear run through some pearler roads.

I'm dropped on another corner or two before the ride finishes up back in Pakenham - the local Lions club putting on a BBQ lunch with many hungry and deserving riders to feed.

All in all, another great run for a great cause.

See you all next year.
--getting redressed by the side of a road, marking his corner.

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