GREAT CAUSE: Nev Brodie and Brett Underdown at the Black Dog Ride.
GREAT CAUSE: Nev Brodie and Brett Underdown at the Black Dog Ride. Zizi Averill

GALLERY: Bikes hit the road to beat the Black Dog

OVER the roar of 240 motors, one message could be heard clearly - Let's Talk.

It's the message the Black Dog Ride aims to share in order to address suicide rates in Australia.

The Black Dog Ride group says eight Australians a day take their lives - one life lost to depression every three hours.

An estimated 180 Australians a day attempt to take their lives.

For many who rode their bikes down the highway on Sunday, this statistic strikes close to home.

 

Many riders said they were "closely associated" with the cause, having lost a loved one to depression.

For those who put on a helmet to ride with the Black Dog Ride, the event was more than just a chance to catch up with their fellow bikers.

Last year the Mackay Black Dog Ride raised about $10,000 for Lifeline Mackay/Whitsunday region to support its crisis counselling service.

From Bunnings on Holt St, riders rode together for three hours to raise money and awareness of depression and suicide prevention.

Members of the British Motorcycle Owners of Mackay who assisted in directing the riders said it was "quite a sight" to see the hundreds of bikes rumbling down the highway.

By midday the bikes had arrived at Mackay Aero Club and the rumbling of the engines was replaced by the hum of conversation.

As the bikers ate, a wheelbarrow filled with tools donated by Bunnings was raffled.

Depsite the prize being worth hundreds of dollars, the raffle winner decided to donate the tools back to the organisers so they could auction it off for more money.

Sons of the Southern Cross member Ken "Smiley" Hyde said he had ridden on the Black Dog Ride every year since it began eight years ago.

He said it was a fantastic event for the biking community to meet up and talk about the mental health issues and support within the local community.