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  • Psychs on Bikes

Wondering what a Psychs on Bikes ride is like?

Southern PoB had been seeking an opportunity for an over-night event and Ross Waddington suggested Ride to Remember out of Ararat on 6-7 February. It’s a dinner followed by a one-day ride on Sunday to remember police officers who have died on duty. It raises funds to buy state-of-the-art equipment for hospitals.

As the weekend approached, we obsessively monitored the forecasts predicting heavy rain. We also had to interpret the Victorian COVID rules and it seemed possible that R2R would be cancelled. However, very heavy rain did cross Victoria early on Friday but no-one’s travels were adversely affected.

A small group gathered in Delacombe on the fringe of Ballarat and led by Anthony Harrington rode a nice route to Ararat where our numbers swelled at The Sicilian Restaurant. Ian Pascoe, with Yvonne as pillion, and a couple of Ulyssian friends from SA joined us providing a great opportunity to get to know new friends and colleagues

Saturday provided some magic. The weather was perfect and Anthony took us through some of the very best of the Grampians, with stops at McKenzie Falls, and Boroka and Reids Lookouts. Great riding and great scenery. Ross Waddington, with pillion, Deb Gillick, did TEC duty for the 250km journey. There was an early pause due to the traditional Australian flock of jumpy sheep on the road and numerous pauses later as Craig and Jerome worked on our new tradition of setting up camera angles or getting their drone into position. With the riders also banging away on cameras and phones, it was a well-documented ride.

Saturday night was the R2R dinner and Graeme gave a short talk about the history, aims and MO of Psychs on Bikes. Our message about the need to deal more effectively with mental health problems in rural communities seemed to strike a chord.

For the main event on Sunday there were 549 riders and pillions and a massive and diverse collection of machinery to appraise. There were many bikes to drool over but most PoBs seemed to think there was nothing they would swap for their current ride!

The ride was about 200km and very well organised, with marshals at even minor intersections and police ensuring we had priority at the major intersections. It was a very enjoyable weekend.

Graeme Houghton and Deb Gillick. PoB riders.

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