We pottered around in the morning and ran some errands (purchasing a throttle lock for James and an audio adapter for me to be able to listen to music through the headset on my helmet). We wandered towards Lasseters Hotel and Casino to catch up with the others who had amassed at the Heavitree Gap Resort. As we approached the roundabout, the riders had just begun streaming around, so we waited, and saw almost every bike on the Black Dog Ride to make their way through.
It was another fabulous day weather-wise in Alice Springs, with many bikes on display out the front of Lasseters, in readiness for a lunch (more sausages!) put on by the Lions Club. Steve Andrews, Michael Sluis and Damien Ryan (the Mayor of Alice Springs) gave a short talk before the ride out to Glen Helen. A couple of the statistics:
- 1 in 5 people will suffer from depression in their lifetime
- More people commit suicide each year than die on the roads
- Personal conversations with people you know and people you meet are more powerful in understanding and destigmatising depression than large billboard advertisements.
We stuck around at Lasseters having a great chat about various topics, and before too long it was 3:30pm (if you’re ever wondering what to eat, the calamari is absolutely fabulous). We got going somewhere after 4pm, again knowing that we’d be riding into the sunset. We stopped by the side of the road for a few pictures in the afternoon light. One of those pictures will become my new Profile picture (James took the picture with his sisters’ SLR camera). I shot some on-the-bike video of the sunset just to show the beautiful colours in the sunset sky, as well as document yet another stunning late afternoon ride into the sun.
We were the last to arrive at Glen Helen Resort. The place was already buzzing! We’re staying in a permanent tent with a real bed for the night, rather than having to grapple with our own tents in the dark. Many stories were shared amongst the riders, before, during and after the official festivities. The down-side of arriving so late was that we did not get to experience the waterhole, nor go for a walk up to the gorge. We’ll have to do that tomorrow instead!
It was a short day riding-wise, but it was filled with discussions, great people, great stories and tales of woe from the ride. A number of riders from the East coast seem to be heading home the same way as we’d planned, so our little group may expand to over 10 for the return journey – we’ll see who’s left in the morning to know what the next part of the adventure looks like!