IF you see a group of motorcyclists out on the road this Sunday, October 28, don't be concerned that Underbelly has come to the Northern Rivers. Spare a thought for people with depression.
The third annual Compression v Depression, a social ride open to all motorcyclists, will begin with a 'show and shine' and breakfast at 7.30am at the Rous Hotel, Lismore, with registration of $10 per person from 8am.
Organiser and Northern Rider Quarterly Magazine editor Nicholas Kostyn said the event had received enormous support from local businesses and motorcycle clubs.
"We've just been blown away by the support," Nicholas said.
"It's an issue I can relate to.
"You don't often see big burly blokes on bikes asking people how they're going, but I think we've had such support because depression has become so prevalent in our society you can almost schedule it in your diary.
"It's also an opportunity to have a great day out and not dwell on things and to encourage all road users to look twice for bikes and to raise money for a worthy cause."
Sponsor Natalie Quinn, Channon Butter Factory Tavern licensee, said she was supporting the event because it was important to break down the stigma surrounding mental health.
"Being on a motorbike opens up your mind, gives you freedom, you can ride and drop all thoughts," she said.
Lifeline Northern Rivers counselling centre manager Niall Mulligan said depression could affect anyone in the community.
"We see the participation of motorbike clubs, with their ethos of mateship and mutual support, in these events as providing an ideal opportunity to encourage everybody to look out for the emotional wellbeing of themselves, their family, their mates and their community," he said.
The ride sets out at 9.30am from The Rous and finishes at the Eltham Pub at 3pm, so participants can watch the Australian MotoGP live from Phillip Island.
Major sponsors are the Channon Butter Factory Tavern, Steve Cubis Tree Services, The Northern Star and The Northern Rivers Echo. The event has also been financially supported by a wide range of motorcycle related businesses and motorcycle social clubs.
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