2022 Black Dog Ride – Off Road @ The Bogies
A community weekend fundraiser to raise mental health awareness and reduce stigmas surrounding mental health.
Force Accessories were invited to attended the annual off road ride, and being a avid rider myself, of course I was in! Watching the weather leading up to the weekend I was defiantly reconsidering my decisions, however I was able to book a nice warm bunk room to myself for the two nights and I couldn’t turn down an invitation to dance the night away after a ride.
Arriving on Friday night to Charnwood Camp, to set up and get to know the Black Dog Crew over a few drinks and a huge bomb fire, the conversation quickly turned to the pending storms. The ride leaders for the weekend had put in an incredible amount of work over the past few months getting tracks marked out, for them to be potentially washed out. After a quick ride during the day to double check and re-rout around fallen trees and washed our roads, they were all back on track.
As the night went on, the storms came in, and so did the attendees. Caravans, camping trailers, roof top tents and swags were all being set up around camp with most opting in for a bunk room instead, especially after they’re camp ground was flooded during the evening.
Small sleep in on Saturday, for a ride day, started with a hot bacon and egg roll and double up on coffee, with scrutineering starting at 8.30am. We saw every single bike checked over thoroughly for anything that could cause an accident or harm to the rider, with a handful of bikes not passing, we got to fixing the issue so everyone could be involved. The Team work of the Black Dog Crew was outstanding. We all got together for a quick chat prior to the ride to touch base on the importance of The Black Dog Ride and how we are all in this together.
All geared up and waiting in our group levels, Level 1+, Level 2, Level 2+ & Level 3 each ride leader went through safety and cornering. As the groups started to head off the rain started to come down, we were drenched before we could even leave the property, at this point I was very happy with my decision to pack my raincoat for riding in! Being in a group of 13 riders of all the same skill level made the ride comfortable and within my ability. Our loop defiantly had some challenges for all of us, with The Strathbogies being notorious for rocks, red clay and steep hills, the continuous rain made it even more sketchy. Heading up into the pines on some never ending wide steep inclines that were littered with 2 Inch think branches covered in butter soaked in cooking oil, to the point were you couldn’t see the dirt track, so picking the correct line was much harder, as there wasn’t one.
The first loop lasted about 3.5 hours in the pouring rain with the tracks becoming rushing rivers with rapids and waterfalls and the rain hitting your face felt like shards of glass. Surprisingly it wasn’t cold, there wasn’t an ice cold wind that I would expect in the high country which made being drenched to the bone a lot more bearable.
After checking out the beautiful view of the low clouds at the top of the mountains, we made our way back to base camp for lunch. A wonderful family of one of the Black Dog Crew members volunteered to cook not only our hot breakfast in the morning but a nice hot sausage sizzle for lunch, with a gold coin donation towards Black Dog Charity, onions on the bottom to ensure safety, we all downed a couple of snags and waited for the other groups to arrive. A second loop was organised for every ride level, however most riders, like myself, were completely content with the ride they had done, plus the rain was never ending. Level 1+ went out for a second loop and really made the most of the day.
Once we had all arrived back, had our hot showers and change into some well earned dry clothes we met back at camp head quarters for drinks, heaters, stories and the very anticipated raffle draw, action and DISCO!! The raffle prizes were all donated by local companies who understand the importance of the charity. Stihl Chainsaws, $250 Vouchers, Makita Cooler, kids Bike, Apparel, Grips, Firepit and so much more, all money raised going directly to the Black Dog Ride Charity.
With donations still coming in form the sale of the Force Accessories Black Dog Ride Fire Pits – Available until October 16th FIRE PIT | BLACK DOG RIDE | 2022 | FORCE ACCESSORIES | – there was an estimate of $4,500 raised for the weekend. What an amazing effort from this group of volunteers, they should all be very proud of what they have achieved.
We are looking forward to next years annual Black Dog Ride – Off Road!!