Black Dog Ride around Australia

Blog - Day 4

Black Dog Ride around Australia Day 4 Day 4 - Tuesday 29th July - Mackay to Townsville 396kms

Mackay to Bowen for Lions morning tea

Bowen to Ayr for Lions Lunch

Ayr to Townsville

Click on the image to see live tracking. Password: BDR

The Around Australia Riders enjoyed a relaxed evening at the local Lions Den with the QLD South State Riders after our warm welcome on the streets of Mackay. Charles, our Black Dog Ride Mackay Coordinator, introduced Andrew from Dragons Abreast, a support group for those diagnosed with breast cancer and their families. As one of our own has recently been diagnosed with breast cancer, Andrew's talk with us was timely and appreciated. Our thoughts were with our fellow rider and the fight she faces.

After a meaningful stay in Mackay where the power of raising awareness was demonstrated, anticipation dawned on Tuesday morning. Townsville and a rest day lay ahead! Riding through the iconic cane fields and ranges of northern QLD offset the aggravation of continual roadworks.

Bowen Lions Club out-did themselves. Not only did the combined clubs donate $500 to the cause, they provided a free buffet of homebaked goodies as a gracious gesture of appreciation for what Black Dog Riders were doing. A few gruff requests for doggy bags for the road were provided with enthusiasm. Nothing like home cooked meals on the road!

Off to Ayr and a surprise (and hugely welcome) pizza lunch! Steve Andrews played pizza delivery boy for Lions members who were invalided at home for the day. A $250 donation and group picture for posterity then our well fed riders were on their way to the capital of north QLD.

Rallying up before Townsville, we rode into the town together and converged upon the city en masse. Local media greeted us as we arrived at the motel and riders welcomed the opportunity to get the word our about our cause. This is what is was all about. More conversations, more lives saved.

Finally, a triumphant sigh of relief. 2,300kms in four action packed days!

Dinner that evening was via local Lions and we as ate, Steve aired the 2010 BDR documentary, which many riders hadn't seen before. Watching in silence, the documentary was hard hitting and uplifting for our riders. It really pushed home the impact of our ride for both riders and communities.

Aussie Lanphier, our Lions Liaison for the region, spoke of the impact Black Dog Ride has had on Lions Clubs of Australia, saying, "Lions need to do more for mental health. At the next Australia Lions Convention in 2015, the major focus of service initiatives will be mental health, and Black Dog Ride has played a key role in encouraging us to make that happen." Well done Lions Australia!

Tomorrow: What happens on a Black Dog Ride "rest day"?