Tag Archives: depression

Dear Prof Murphy: Please let us ride!

Dear Chief Medical Officer, please let us ride again.

You look like a reasonable man. And we know you and everybody’s dear ol’ dad ScoMo are seriously considering relaxing the restrictions during this horrible pandemic.

So please let us ride.

Your own coronavirus hotline and every state and territory heath department thinks riding a motorcycle is exercise. We just need you to remind the cops! 

So please, please let us ride.

We understand you are concerned with our health. Thanks for that. We sincerely appreciate your concern.

But please remember our mental health as well.

Data and analytics company GlobalData says the enforced social isolation rules, along with the death threat from Covid-19 and financial disruption will increase mental disorders such as depression lead ing to a major increase in sales of drugs for psychiatric disorders such as depression, anxiety and obsessive compulsive disorder for many years to come.

You don’t want an epidemic of depression and suicide to follow this epidemic, do you?

So pretty please won’t you just let us ride to exercise our bodies and minds!

If you do …

We promise:

  • To socially distance, even keeping 1.5 metres from cyclists!
  • To not carry a pillion unless they are from our household with whom we’ve been in home detention these past fifty million weeks or so.
  • We won’t take off our gloves when we refuel our bikes … heck, we won’t even take off our helmets when we go inside the servo to pay!
  • We won’t go to crowded beaches, parks or shops, but head off into the lonely hills and valleys.
  • Unlike cyclists, we won’t treat our suburban streets as our own personal race track, leaving a vapour trail of coronavirus sweat behind us to infect passersby.
  • And finally, we promise to do the rider wave rather than the Ulysses secret handshake!Motorcycle wave heart

If you will please just let us ride again!

Yours sincerely,

Motorbike Writer

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

Riding motorcycles makes you happy

Riding a motorcycle not makes you so happy some women can even orgasm while riding.

With the Black Dog 1 Dayer rides for depression awareness on 15 March 2020 and International Day of Happiness on 20 March, psychologist and reborn rider Sharon Ledger suggests going for a ride to feel happy.

She says it’s all got to do with chemicals in the brain.

“There are more than 10,000 chemical reactions going on in the brain every second,” she says.

“The chemicals that make you feel happy – oxytocin, dopamine, endorphin and serotonin – are produced by the endocrine system.

“Not all of these chemicals are released at the same time and each has a different outcome.

“However, more of these chemicals are produced when we look forward to doing something we enjoy, we get up early, we go outside in the sunshine and fresh air, we challenge ourselves, we meditate, we concentrate on an activity that requires skill and generally do things that motivate us.

“That pretty much sounds like motorcycling to me,” she says.

Sharon Ledger - divorce - born - happySharon Ledger

Happy signals

“So when you get up early anticipating a good ride, already dopamine is starting to send happy signals to the brain.”

Different combinations of the chemicals come into play as you ride, she says.

“Add a bit of adrenalin and it’s like a happy cocktail for the brain.”

Sharon says an increase in serotonin can also reduce depression.

“You can increase your serotonin levels with fresh air, mild exercise and even morning sunlight, all of which you get on a ride.

“It won’t cure depression, but will help people cope.”

Riding can not only make men and women happy, but also make women feel sexy.

Sex on wheels

- powerHarley-Davidson Forty-Eight - power - happySex on wheels?

American dating service, BikerKiss, says Harleys, in particular, can even give women an orgasm!

The Southern California online dating service asked about 3000 members (1900 men and 1100 women) “is Harley your favourite motorcycle brand” and 31% of women said yes, compared with 19% men.

The most common answer to the question was that Harley motorcycles are “gorgeous and expensive”. One dating club member said: ”I love it when I am on a Harley. It gives you all the attention you want.” Another said: “it’s not about being pretentious or anything, or like I’m doing it out of vanity. I just love it deep down.”

But here’s the thing that Harley-Davidson and makers of big-twin motorcycles will love the most: some women are able to orgasm while riding a bike with a big twin-cylinder engine because of the bike and seat vibrations.

Could you be any happier?

Black Dog Ride 1 DayerSunshine Coast Black Dog Ride 1 Dayer

The annual Black Dog Ride’s iconic annual 1 Dayer on 15 March aims to start a national conversation about depression and suicide prevention.

Click here to register for one of the 38 rides in all states and territories.

Black Dog Ride claim one in five Australians experience a mental health condition each year; three million Australians live with depression or anxiety and eight Australians take their lives each day.

The ride aims to build a community culture of awareness, inclusion, acceptance and breaking down the barrier of silence around mental illness.

If you are experiencing mental issues, we suggest going for a ride, joining the Black Dog Ride 1 Dayer, or calling Beyond Blue on 1300 22 4636, or Lifeline Australia on 131114.

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

Bike vibration may benefit health

Riding motorcycles has several proven mental and physical health benefits for riders and now we find the vibration of your motorcycle could also be beneficial to fighting mental illnesses.

Previously, medical research has found that riding can improve brain power, reduce stress, develop your core muscles and sharpen your focus.

Now, research by Dr Lee Bartel of the University of Toronto, has found that vibrations and sound can stimulate cells in your body and brain to reduce the impact of fibromyalgia pain, Alzheimer’s Disease, Parkinson’s Disease, depression, and even increase blood flow.

“My research has been looking at how specific vibrations, frequencies and music can affect brain and body,” he says.

“I know of nothing specifically related to motorcycles, but in general it applies – both potentially the rhythmic firing of the cylinders as well as the vibration off the road,” Dr Bartel says.Ducati Scrambler 1100 vibration mental health depression anxiety

Good vibration

One of his recent studies looked at depression.

“The assumption behind this is that depression may be a result of brain waves that are our rhythmic sync – especially prefrontal cortex asynchrony and a thalamocortical dysrhythmia,” he says.

“If sound stimulation is at the right frequency these can be re-regulated.”

He also cites previous studies that show a connection between driving road vibration and treating Parkinson’s Disease.

Our viewDucati Scrambler 1100 vibration mental health depression anxiety

In our experience, the various vibes and sounds of different engine configurations and mufflers can have varying effects on our mood.

We certainly don’t need physicians and researchers to tell us that riding a motorcycle is good for us.

But it’s comforting to know that there is science behind that great feeling we get behind the bars of our bike.

If you are experiencing mental issues, we suggest going for a ride, calling Beyond Blue on 1300 22 4636, or Lifeline Australia on 131114.

Does the vibration and sound of your motorcycle affect your mood? Leave your comments below.

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

World Superbikes ride to promote health issues

Tickets are now available for the third annual Black Dog Ride to the World Superbikes at Phillip Island in 2020 to promote mental health issues.

Black Dog Ride Australia Victoria co-ordinator Bernie Garvey says riders get to see some spectacular scenery, participate in a parade lap of the circuit and promote mental health issues.

World Superbikes 2019 Phillip Island WSBK Jamie Morris/Geebee Images/2SNAP
2019 World Superbikes at Phillip Island (Image: Jamie Morris/Geebee Images/2SNAP)

In past years we had riders come from Victoria, Tasmania, South Australia, WA, NT, QLD NSW and ACT,” Bernie says.

“Numbers build each year and we expect to offer 150 registered riders the experience this year.”

The Black Dog Ride started 10 years ago when Steve Andrews did a solo lap of the nation to raise awareness of depression and suicide prevention.

WSBK event

One of their more recent activities is the ride to the WSBK, costing $200-$440, depending on how many days you attend the event. Click here for the full details.

“There are two starting points at Marysville, Victoria, and Queanbeyan, ACT,” Bernie says.

World Superbikes BDR to promote health issues
Bikes line up in Marysville

Both ride groups leave the Tuesday before the weekend and meet in Sale for a group dinner the Wednesday night before our group ride to Philip Island Thursday.

“The NSW group, takes a route over Mt Kosciusko through to Wodonga for a group and community dinner, and then over Hotham down to Sale. A wicked ride with some of the best roads and scenery.

“The Victorian group comes around Eildon, down through the King Valley to Bright.World Superbikes BDR to promote health issues

“After a group and community dinner at Bright Hotel the next morning they head over the gap to Falls Creek, stopping at The Blue Duck Inn, before continuing down to Omeo, and then to Sale. Endless corners for the day.”

After lunch on Thursday at the Inline 4 Cafe, riders have exclusive access for a parade lap on the racetrack in the afternoon.

And who knows who they will meet!

World Superbikes BDR to promote health issues
Riders meet WSBK legend Troy Corser

Promote issues

Bernie says it is a “great mates’ escape” and fundraising is not their priority.

“Promoting a positive experience and facilitating an awesome group ride environment for riders is our goal,” he says.

“We also have a stand in the expo tent where we promote our rides and our charity message of raising awareness of depression and suicide prevention with positive messages and encouragement.

“We do a little tin rattling at the track over the weekend.

“Above all else, this ride’s priority is to promote positivity, an adrenaline injection, and a ride experience like no other.”

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

Ken and Chloe join Black Dog Ride

Veteran dementia charity fundraisers Ken Eaton and his dog Chloe joined the recent 10th anniversary Black Dog Ride around Australia that raised more than $60,000 for depression and mental illness.

BDR manager Richard Brown says 100% of funds raised will be given to community based groups and not-for-profit service providers via their new Community Grants program.

He says there will be about $150,000 in funds available and he invited groups to apply for grants of $1000 to $5000.

Ken and Chloe

Meanwhile, Ken says he excited to be able to share his experiences with other mental illness sufferers and survivors and help the Black Dog Ride.

Ken Eaton, of Joondalup in Western Australia, and Chloe have ridden about 200,000km on their BMW R 1200 GS raising money for dementia research through their Ride With Chloe To Fight The Black Dog.  

“My motorbike travels started after losing my wife, and Chloe’s mum, to younger onset dementia 12 years ago after a downward spiral that lasted six years,” Ken says.

“After my wife Sue passed away, my daughters gave me an option of either buying a motorbike, a lifelong passion of mine, or getting a girlfriend. I bought a motorbike.

“I would miss Sue’s little companion dog, Chloe, each time I would ride so quickly developed a little travel pod for her and we have travelled the roads together ever since.Black Dog Ride, depression, dementia, mental illness, suicide, motorcycles, charity

“Motorbike riding is a wonderful place to reflect, and along with involvement with the fantastic group of the Ulysses Club, I have happily survived a dark period of my life.

Ken and Chloe also host a travel blog and have published a book, Who Are You – reflections of a dementia survivor.

Black Dog Ride

Black Dog Ride, depression, dementia, mental illness, suicide, motorcycles, charity
Riders at the end of the Around Australia ride in Busselton, WA

Richard says this year’s BDR around Australia was a celebration of 10 years since Steve Andrews did his solo lap of the nation to raise awareness of depression and suicide prevention.

“Ride groups engaged in conversation about mental health through pre-organised community connection events, and impromptu gatherings,” he says.

“One example of a pre-organised community connection event was our Black Dog Ride stall at a market in Broome on 24 August, which gave our Around Australia Riders the opportunity to meet locals and talk about mental health.

“Typically, when people see our banners and our mascot, Winston, many people stop to ask what we’re all about.

“It’s hard to put a figure on how many community members we talked to about mental health, but between all our ride groups this year we stopped in over 250 towns across the country.

“With a mixture of large, pre-planned, community events and the impromptu discussions, it’s likely that we have reached many thousands of people through our long distance rides this year.”

Win a Bobber

Indian Scout Bobber roadside chloe
Indian Scout Bobber

As part of the BDR mission to raise awareness of mental health and suicide prevention, and raise funds, BDR is this year raffling an Indian Scout Bobber valued at $19,950 ride away.

Click here to enter the draw.

  • If you are experiencing feelings of depression, contact Beyond Blue on 1300 22 4636 or Lifeline on 131114.

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

2019 DGR focuses on fundraising

The eight annual running of the successful The Distinguished Gentleman’s Ride may be a little different with some rides announcing starting venues only 48 hours before the event to concentrate on fundraising efforts.

Some rides will also have a mandatory $20 donation from each rider.

The two voluntary moves were trialled in a few cities last year and will be added to more rides this year to ensure more fundraisers are involved and fewer ride-alongs.

More than 125,000 classic and vintage styled motorcyclists in more than 700 cities across 110 countries are expected to suit-up in their smartest attire for the ride on Sunday 29 September 2019.

DGR founder Mark Hawwa says he hopes to raise $US7 million for prostate cancer research and men’s mental health initiatives on behalf of official charity partner, the Movember Foundation.

That would be a substantial increase in fundraising on last tear’s total of $6.4 million.

Brisbane ride

One of the cities that continually “boxes above its weight” is Brisbane which was third highest global fundraiser in 2017 with a total of more than $150,000.

Jeff Gough who has been organising the Brisbane ride since the DGR started in 2012 says they are focussing more on fundraising this year.

Distinguished Gentleman's Ride Brisbane Jeff Gough fundraising
Jeff and his distinguished family

They will have a $20 entrance fee and secret starting venue revealed by email to registered riders 48 hours before the ride.

“More riders does not mean more funds raised for prostate cancer,” the Triumph Thruxton rider says.

Distinguished Gentleman's Ride Brisbane Jeff Gough fundraising
Jeff and his Trumpet

“We could have a lot more riders, but we cap it at 500 for insurance reasons.

“All the same, only 50% were fundraisers last year.”

The Brisbane ride will not start at Oliver’s Motorcycles this year, but Jeff says the dealership is still firmly behind the ride.

“Whoever turns up is welcome to take part,” he says.

“I haven’t got time to check, but I’d push for riders to follow the motorcycle style guide and stay with the distinguished theme of the event in dress.”

Distinguished Gentleman's Ride Brisbane Jeff Gough fundraising
Brisbane DGR

He confirms the ride will finish at Souths Rugby Union Club in Frederick St, Annerley, where everyone is invited and donations can be made to Movember Foundation.

“There will be enough room to host all bikes in the biggest rolling bike show in Brisbane,” he says.

The 40km ride to the venue will be escorted by MotoMedics with a doctor and DC Motorcycle Transport breakdown van riding along. As usual, there is no police escort.

The Souths venue will also feature trade stalls, three food vans, Ballistic Beer on tap, Ungerman Brothers gourmet ice cream from the Ipswich runner–up in MasterChef and swing/jazz music by the Royal Australian Navy Band.Distinguished Gentleman's Ride Brisbane Jeff Gough fundraising

Fundraising boon

Mark says Brisbane is consistently a top fundraiser along with major cities such as London, New York and Sydney.

“The ride organisers are volunteers, they are passionate about the cause and as such dedicate their own personal time to make the events happen,” he says.

“It is really on each individual and the DGR core team to motivate fundraising. Fortunately we have so many passionate people around the world and that continues to grow.

“Australians are charitable people.

“We are always willing to lend a hand when needed and help those around us.”Distinguished Gentleman's Ride Brisbane Jeff Gough fundraising

The incentive to raise the most money has been raised this year with not one, but four, Triumph motorcycles as prizes.

There will also be fundraising prizes of 100 Hedon special-edition DGR helmets, Elf Prize packs, REV’IT! Tailored Technology packs and more.

The Distinguished Gentleman’s Ride website, www.gentlemansride.com, is a peer-to-peer fundraising platform allowing fundraisers to register, personalise, and share their online profiles. Riders must register on the website to take part and view their local ride details.

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

Do you suffer from seller’s regret?

You may have heard of buyer’s regret, but there is also seller’s regret and many riders suffer from this more than buyer’s regret.

If you don’t think riders could ever have buyer’s remorse, read this.

Seller’s regret

Riders can also experience seller’s regret.

Now, we’re not talking about the regret people feel when they get out of motorcycling altogether. This is usually brought on by marriage, the arrival of kids, financial woes or simply getting too old to ride any more.

We are talking about the regret you can feel when you have sold a bike to buy another.

You will go through a honeymoon period with your new bike, loving all the extra power, tech, comfort, etc that it offers.

Some of it can be tied up in buyer’s regret if they think they made the wrong decision. Then, they convince themselves that they should never have sold.

Even if you love your new bike there could be some time down the road where you develop a tinge of regret that you sold your old bike.

It could be a physical feature that is missing from your new bike or it could just be the intrinsic value it held because of the places and adventures it took you on.

It can also be regret about the amount of time you spent customising it and getting it suited to your style. After all, you never recoup that time and expense when you sell.

Some riders sell because they want to move to a different type of riding. A typical example is going from sportsbikes to adventure bikes, then they miss the track days! (Or vice versa.)

My collection of regrets

Seller's regret motorcycles CX500 Triumph bonneville scrambler
My sons-in-law with my bikes on the rare occasion I had more than one at a time

On several occasions motorcycle and car collectors have told me they became a collector simply because they never sold anything.

If you think about it, you may have quite a collection now if you had never sold a bike.

But economics, garage space and an abrasive spouse usually means selling a bike is inevitable and can lead to regret.

I probably suffer seller’s regret more than a lot of other riders because I am tempted by so many new bikes I get to road-test.

For example, in the past 20 years, I have owned 19 bikes! Most of the time I only have one in the garage at any one time.

Consequently, I have left behind a trail of gems that could have been the makings of a great motorcycle collection.

Perhaps my two biggest seller regrets are a BMW HP2 Enduro and a Ducati GT1000. The latter was rare and appreciated in value while the latter had been customised to a high standard and you always lose money on accessories.

Ducati GT1000 carbon wheels farkle project tall used
Why oh why did I sell the Ducati GT1000?

How to avoid seller’s regret

Here is a list of things you can do to avoid that feeling of regret when you inevitably sell your motorcycle for an upgrade:

  1. Don’t sell it. Find a reason to put it aside. Maybe de-register and un-insure it until such time as you want to ride it again;
  2. Sell it to a friend or relative who will let you periodically ride it again, even if it’s just to remind yourself how much better your new bike is;
  3. Take lots of photos of your bike before you sell it. They are good for nostalgia, but also to remind you of the bike’s shortcomings. For example, if it leaks, get photos of the oil on the garage floor;
  4. Never join a maker or model club as you will then have the extra regret of leaving behind club mates when you move to another make or model. However, if it’s an upgrade to the latest model, you may still be able to stay in the club.
  5. Stay in touch with the person you sell the bike to in case seller’s regret is so great you need to buy the bike back. (I still have the phone numbers of the riders who bought the HP2 and GT1000!)

Which bike do you regret selling and why? Leave your comments below.

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

Riders assured of Black Dog Ride future

The future of Black Dog Ride Australia (BDRA) events to raise awareness and funds for mental health issues is assured, despite recent staff, funding and cost problems, the organisation says.

BDRA sent an email to all followers this week admitting the organisation has been “in a state of flux” since the retirement of founder Steve Andrews in February 2017.

Black Dog Ride around Australia 2014 Steve Andrews founder boss FUTURE
Black Dog Ride founder Steve Andrews

“We have had three CEOs, three acting chairs and several changes to our board members,” the email says.

“These changes have meant that BDRA has been a little rudderless, and the organisation has incurred a rapidly growing cost structure that was not sustainable.”

However, BDR spokesman Richard Brown says they will still run the same events across the country.

“We are restructuring so that we can come back bigger and better,” he says.

“Previously there have been planning issues and communication issues.

“We are taking this as an opportunity to come up with better ways to plan, coordinate, and communicate.”

Here is the full text of the BDRA email.

Changes to Black Dog Ride AustraliaSunshine Coast Black Dog Ride 1 Dayer

Firstly, we wanted to acknowledge the range of reactions to the news that Fiona Duffield is no longer a paid employee of Black Dog Ride Australia (BDRA). We also acknowledge that our initial statement gave limited information, though we emphasis the statement was to ensure the community were informed of this change from BDRA and not indirectly through other sources.

We also acknowledge there was no statement on Erin Hope’s departure who after a short tenure is also no longer a paid employee of BDRA. Our statement was not meant to give an overview of staff member changes rather it was to let everyone know of the significant change surrounding Fiona as a long-standing member of the team.

As many of you will be all too aware, since the retirement of our founder Steve Andrews, BDRA has been in a state of flux, we have had 3 CEO’s, 3 Acting Chairs and several changes to our board members. These changes have meant that BDRA has been a little rudderless, and the organisation has incurred a rapidly growing cost structure that was not sustainable.

In fact, as of the start of May this year we were incurring approximately $22,000 per month in fixed operating costs (approximately $264,000 per annum). Of that, approximately $15,900 per month was going to wages and office rental costs combined (approximately $195,000 per annum).

At that level of expenditure, and assuming the Around Australia Ride and state rides hit their budget, we only had enough funds in the `operating’ account to run BDRA for 5 to maybe 7 months.

We do also have an entirely separate `gift’ account for the collection of donations and charitable fundraising dollars. As a registered charity organisation we are required to operate this separate fund which is primarily to be used to return funds to the community to support mental health and suicide prevention initiatives. The gift account can and will be used to distribute funds to deserving initiatives through our new community grants funding model. More news on that later in this newsletter.

However, with limited operating funds available, we took the difficult decision to make Fiona Duffield and Erin Hope redundant in line with the provisions of their award. This is never a good situation and this was not a decision we took lightly.

Redundancy arrangements were formulated in consultation with a Perth based Human resources consultancy. It is not appropriate for us to disclose details that are of a private nature (private to Fiona and Erin). But what we can say is that on the day (Tuesday 14th May) we had Richard Brown attend to represent Black Dog Ride together with the Human resources consultant, a Social Worker for employee support, an IT consultant to start working on IT changes, and a security guard to provide access for transport companies quoting on relocating merchandise and equipment.

Beyond the reduction in salaries and rental costs we are also reviewing the ongoing costs around bookkeeping, insurances etc.. We are also looking at the costs within the Around Australia Ride budget and areas this can be reduced/maximised.

Further on in this newsletter we will outline what operational changes we are implementing within BDRA and talk a little about the plan moving forward. Though we want to highlight here that prior to recent years BDRA has run a very lean operation, calling very much on the knowledge, skills and expertise of its volunteer community and we will be looking to get back there, as we should being a charity organisation.

It may not be apparent from the outside, but there has been a lot of work going on over the past 3 to 4 months with the new board in place. We could all start to debate who caused the problems we’re now working our way out of, but we have decided that would only take us away from the critical list of jobs we need to complete to get us to where we want to be.

Beyond the AAR, State Rides and 1-dayers we are also working on revenue raising initiatives that if successful will be announced over time. Also, with the strengthening undertaken over the last 3 to 4 months on our Corporate Governance structure we are almost in a place where we can start formally applying to corporate foundations for regular grants.

We stress however, that any business initiative does not happen overnight, and we will need 6 to 12 months to really get things back on track.

Lastly, though definitely not the least, BDRA is you – our community. We hope you will stand by us as we work towards a stable and growing organisation that is really making a difference.

Sincerely, BDRA Acting Chair, Jo-Anne Harrison

Operational Plan – The Next 12 MonthsBlack Dog Ride agenda

There are many things we could talk about as far as our current list of things to do. It will take some work for us to get where we want to go, and things won’t be perfect for a while, but here’s a brief overview of what we have planned in the short term.


For the next 12 months (or less) Black Dog Ride Australia will operate with a Manager (at .5FTE) and two Administration Officers (both at .6FTE). Richard Brown will act as the business Manager, paid at a rate of $42.50 per hour on a 12 month contract. The two Administration Officers will be paid at a rate of up to (depending on experience) $33.06 per hour on a 12 month contract. A special government wage subsidy will apply to the two administration employees, which will greatly reduce our wage costs. With this arrangement in place the total salary cost to the organisation for the 1.7FTE will be budgeted at $5375 per month, or $64500 per year.

Office location

It is our intention to either sub-let or surrender the Perth office. The current managing real estate agent in Perth is being quite helpful with this process, so we are hopeful that monthly rental costs for the property can be minimised within the next two months.

We do not intend to establish a dedicated Black dog ride office during the coming 12 month period. As an interim measure the 1.7FTE staff will share an office area which has been provided to us for $500 per month, $6000 per year.

Short-term goals

Critical objectives for the next 12 months include, but are not limited to,:

  • Keeping Black Dog Ride operating – this should go without saying.
  • Seek opportunities to simplify operations, streamline processes and reduce costs. For example, Black Dog Ride merchandise is costly because it is labour-intensive and it ties up money in slow-moving stock. It will be necessary to reconsider what merchandise items we continue to stock, and the way we handle our merchandise across the country.
  • Seek opportunities to increase our revenue. We are currently working on obtaining corporate sponsorships and government funding, but these funding avenues generally take a long time to come to fruition, so we may not see a great deal of revenue through these sources within the next 12 months. We are also working on opening a Black Dog Ride membership program which is something we should do anyway, but may also provide the organisation with a little extra revenue.
  • Develop more effective ways to communicate with our volunteers and Black Dog Ride community. We are working on a few ideas at the moment that we hope to trial over the coming months.
  • Plan and coordinate long-distance rides and 1 Dayers, allowing long planning lead-times.
  • Facilitate disbursement of donated funds. A long long awaited community funding model should be released very soon. We’ll talk about this a bit more later in the newsletter.
  • Expand Black Dog Ride. We would like to establish new 1 Dayers across the country, and will consider the viability of adding some new activities to the calendar.

If you’d like to contact Richard he can be reached via email at [email protected]

Black Dog Ride indian scout bobber

Key stakeholders of Black Dog Ride have previously met for strategic planning sessions during 2017 and 2018. The result of those meetings was an initial rough draft three-year strategic plan.

A project specific board sub-committee was formed on 5th February 2019 to review and amend the draft strategic plan for adoption by the board as soon as possible. This committee was made up of Rachel Carter, David Lovell and Richard Brown, and was also tasked with making recommendations on the future structure of BDRA, and the future recruitment of a new CEO/General Manager/Business Manager.

Members of the project specific strategic planning committee have undertaken a significant reformatting and revision of the draft strategic plan over the past three months. The committee has also formed the opinion that this strategic plan should be adopted as a five-year plan, reviewed and adjusted annually.

Please take a good look at our new strategic plan. This plan will be put into a more presentable form with some new graphics and published on our new website which is due to be launched in July – more on our website later.

Please feel free to e-mail [email protected] if you have any questions, concerns or feedback on this plan.

The community Grants funding model was proposed over 18 months ago. Unfortunately, for whatever reason, not a great deal of work had been done on this until early this year. Between January and now Michael Young has put in a lot of work drafting a proposed new community Grants funding model, application form, and decision criteria with some input from Jo-Anne Harrison and Richard Brown.

We know this has been talked about for a long time now, but we really are getting very close to being able to launch this new initiative. Although our operating funds are low, we do have money in our “gift fund” account to provide to local community initiatives. Please stay tuned.

New website

In December 2018 the board commissioned the development of a new website by Perth-based Millstream, a long-time supporter of Black Dog Ride. Millstream have been working on our new website ever since and we are hopeful the new site will be ready to go active in July this year.

This new website will give a fresh new look and work better on handheld devices (phones etc.). We also expect this to be much easier for us to update (as the old one was complicated).

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

Riding sharpens focus, relieves stress

We probably didn’t need a scientific study to tell us motorcycle riding reduces stress and distraction, while increasing our focus and attention.

There have been plenty of independent studies over the years that show similar correlations.

Now Harley-Davidson has funded a new neurobiological study by three researchers from UCLA’s Semel Institute for Neuroscience and Human Behavior, so we can expect some positive results!

The study shows that riding lifts our focus and attention, and decreases relative levels of the hormone cortisol which is mainly released at times of stress.

UCLA researchPsychology mental health Transport Adventure dementia road trip travel motorcycles

The UCLA researchers used mobile EEG technology to record the brain activity and hormone levels of 50 experienced motorcyclists before, during and after riding, driving and resting.

After 20 minutes, riders adrenaline levels increased 27% and heart rate increased 11% which is similar to light exercise.

Researchers also found an increase in brain activity similar to drinking a coffee. This led to increased sensory focus and resistance to distraction.

At the same time, cortisol hormone levels dropped 28%, reducing stress.

Research team leader Dr Don Vaughn says the differences in participants’ neurological and physiological responses between riding and either driving or resting “were quite pronounced”.

Chemical process

Psych Shaz says "be happy with your purchase" buyer's remorse stress
Psych Shaz says “ride and be happy”

Psychologist and reborn rider Sharon Ledger told Motorbike Writer in 2016 that there are more than 10,000 chemical reactions going on in the brain every second.

“The chemicals that make you feel happy – oxytocin, dopamine, endorphin and serotonin – are produced by the endocrine system,” she says.

“Not all of these chemicals are released at the same time and each has a different outcome.

“However, more of these chemicals are produced when we look forward to doing something we enjoy, we get up early, we go outside in the sunshine and fresh air, we challenge ourselves, we meditate, we concentrate on an activity that requires skill and generally do things that motivate us.

“That pretty much sounds like motorcycling to me,” she says.

Stress and speedaction stress

However, a little bit of stress can be good for us.

The faster we ride, the more focussed we become, according to long-time motorcycle rider and flight instructor Peter Callil.

His theory is based on research into stress levels by human behaviour researcher Chris Welford. It shows that people perform better when their stress level is moderate and worse when it is too low and too high.

“In a road safety context, pressure relates to speed, and performance relates to our ability to operate a vehicle safely,” Peter says.

Therefore, a rider’s performance is degraded whether they are riding too fast or too slow for the conditions. That makes them more vulnerable to crashing.

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com