From Little Things, Big Things Grow

Community building with black dogs on bikes.

The Kangaroo Island Black Dog Ride is part of the Black Dog Ride - National 1 Day Ride, but Black Dog Riders will be there for four days, and most of the riders heading to SA are from interstate. What's the story behind this ride?

Toad's words, below, really shine a light on the capacity of Black Dog Riders to support a community. From a single ride around Australia, Steve Andrews built a community driven campaign of awareness with thousands of participants nationwide. From a simple visit to an island community, Toad and his fellow Black Dog Riders have created a two week ride of awareness involving local and state authorities which will have a memorable and meaningful impact upon a local community.


Why Kangaroo Island for a leg of the
'Black Dog Ride - National 1 Day Ride'?

What a sense of achievement it is when you complete that "Ride to the Red Centre" with a group of great people and for a great cause. It's hard to put into words. The one word that pops into my mind is 'PRIDE' for what we had done together, as a group of strangers basically. The capacity of people amazes me at times!

After the ride, Cliffy Bond, his son-in-law Brian and myself aka 'Toad' were heading home to Canberra and Sydney via the Great Ocean Road with a couple of days stay on Kangaroo Island. Our little convoy consisted of me on my V Star, Cliffy and Brian in their 4WD support vehicle, towing Simon Bouda's bike (you all remember him, the CH9 TV reporter guy).

Simon Bouda reporting on the Black Dog Ride to the Red Centre 2012

Simon Bouda, CH9 journalist and Black Dog Rider

Simon, our very good mate, had to return early for work so we were taking his bike back home. Now for those who have meet and know Simon, he is very particular about his bike and appearance. In fact one of his many nicknames is 'Salon Simon' which came about after being faced with choice of coffee with mates or a haircut, and he choose the haircut!!!!

Our plan was to photograph Simon's bike at all the highlights of our return journey to show him what he had missed. The first stop was the 'Painted Desert'. Oh No! His bike was now covered in a very thick layer of dust, what would he say?! Next stop was the famous 'Snowtown Bank', scene of the 'bodies in the barrels' murders, a must have photo for any TV police rounds' journalist's bike. I won't bore you with the rest, you get the idea.

I have relo's in Adelaide, so we left the bikes and trailer there then headed off to Kangaroo Island in the 4WD covered in Black Dog Ride support vehicle signage.

We arrive at the ferry and were greeted by a very pregnant deckhand with a beaming smile, who says "You blokes are going the wrong way! You're supposed to be heading for Alice. I been watching you on the Today Show every morning!" She then went on to explain that she was the proud owner of a Harley that her brother had given her, but she was unable ride at this stage. Out comes a photo of the Harley, parked in her living room where she keeps it!!! How keen is that?

That was the first hint we got that Kangaroo Island community were getting the Black Dog Ride message. In our travels around the Island over the next few days the people we met were all keen to see us bring the Black Dog Ride message of depression awareness back to them. There was the barmaid whose husband suffered from depression and who couldn't function with daily life properly. The American gent in a wheelchair with his wife and a friend who suffered with the black dog gave us a couple of hundred bucks when they heard what we were doing. Then there was Lezza from the "Raptor Domain Birds of Prey" who kept on our case about coming back with a bigger group of riders to spread the Black Dog Ride message. These people were just a few of those who approached us. So the seed of an idea was planted.

Toad, Phil Waesch, Angry Anderson and Sue Waesch on the 2012 Ride to the Red Centre

"Toad", Phil Waesch, BDR Ambassador Angry Anderson & Sue Waesch. Image ©Cobar Weekly

Upon our return home the phone calls began with Phil Waesch (NSW Ride to the Red Centre Coordinator) and Steve Andrews. As a result, Steve came up with the suggestion that we have a leg of the Black Dog Ride - National 1 Day Ride on Kangaroo Island. I am happy to say that is now happening on Sunday March 24th.

We will be giving a series of Black Dog Ride talks in conjunction with the South Australian Health Department while we are on the Island, which is great and should get the message of depression awareness out there even more. I can't help thinking how apt is the Paul Kelly and Kev Carmody song 'From Little Things Big Things Grow'.

A group of us are leaving Sydney on Fri 15th Mar, heading down the coast of NSW to Narooma, 16th Mar to Lakes Entrance VIC, 17th Mar to Rye VIC via Phillip Island (side trip), 18th Mar to Peterborough VIC via the Queenscliff VIC ferry and the Great Ocean Road, 19th Mar to Robe SA, 20th Mar to Cape Jervis SA and 21st Mar ferry to Kangaroo Island SA for 4 days. Then off the Island and head home through the Mallie Country of VIC, arriving back in Sydney Wed 27th March.

If this has sparked your interest, then have a look at the view from the 'Dudley Winery Cellar Door', what a spot for a glass and lunch! If you would like to join us along the way please give me a call on 0407 932825 or email for all our trip info.

See you on the road 'Toad'

aka Graeme Noad

(Give Toad and his BDR team your "thumbs up" here: )

View from Kangaroo Island's Dudley Winery Cellar Door'

View from Dudley Winery Cellar Door, Kangaroo Island, SA