Tag Archives: october

fundraising for the Black Dog Institute

Just sent out a huge batch of emails to friends asking them to part with their hard earned dollars in support of my ride next month. Copy reproduced below. If you are reading this and are of a generous spirit, feel free to forward it to any kind, generous soul you may know.

Thanks in advance.


Hello friends, family, colleagues and acquaintances

In case I have not yet mentioned it, I will be cycling from Sydney to Dubbo, Oct 14-16, over the Blue Mountains, raising funds for the Black Dog Institute. As I will be cycling 135km, 170km, and 115 km over Friday, Saturday and Sunday, I was hoping you would consider sponsoring me on this ride. I will be financing my own travel, food, accommodation and support so that every dollar you contribute will go directly to the Institute.

The Black Dog Institute is a not-for-profit, educational, research, clinical and community-oriented facility offering specialist expertise in depression and bipolar disorder. The Institute’s mission is to advance the understanding, diagnosis and management of the mood disorders by continuously raising clinical, research, education and training standards. In so doing, the Institute aims to improve the lives of those affected – and in turn – the lives of their families and friends.

One out of every 5 Australians will experience some sort of mental health issue every year, three out of every ten will be seriously affected. Depression alone is predicted to be one of the worlds largest health problems by 2020.

The Institute’s activities include:

  • Supported clinics: Depression Clinic, Bipolar Disorders Clinic and Perinatal Mental Health Clinic
  • Research into mood disorders
  • Professional education and training
  • Community programs

So if you can spare a few dollars, please consider sponsoring my ride or if not, consider forwarding this email to people whom you think might be interested in supporting this very worthwhile cause.

my blog:


The Black Dog Institute:

The route we’re taking:

Zoo2Zoo 2011

As some of you may have noticed, I am a cyclist. I’m certainly not shaped like a typical cyclist, certainly not like the ones who ride the Tour de France or barrel down bush trails on bouncy bikes at scary speeds, but a cyclist nonetheless.

If you know me well enough no doubt you’ve heard me pontificating on some aspect of city cycling. My motto: “cycle as if everyone is out to kill you” holds true in Sydney even more than it did when cycling in London or Toronto and has kept me relatively unscathed so far. The few close calls I have had are all due to either an adrenaline rush of aggressive action or a temporary forgetfulness of my only cycling rule (see above). In other words, my own fault. Even though work is only a 7 minute cycle I deem to close to bother with, and I regularly have pedal-free months, I still consider myself a cyclist at heart, evidenced by this lovely picture by Allison.

Joe in cycling jersey and lycra, standing astride a bycycle, in the park.

The duration of the overwhelming majority of my cycle journeys have been within an hour; mainly commutes, shopping and recreational rides. To break that pattern, and to make up for those pedal-free months, I am currently training for an exception to that precedent, the Zoo2Zoo Sydney to Dubbo ride in October, raising financial support for The Black Dog Institute. To be honest, it scares me a bit; my last ride of this sort was in 2005, when I rode about 350-400km over 5 days across Cuba, fund-raising for Mind. This time I’ll be riding 420km over three days, starting with an ascent of the Blue Mountains on day one, weighed down by age and a noticeably larger spare tyre stuffed inside my lycra.

This week the training proper will start, including getting back into my regular gym sessions and a good 100km cycle every other weekend, possibly with some company to help keep me challenged and channelled (any Sydney volunteers for a weekend ride?). I’ve also started the fund-raising page at everydayhero.com/zoo2zoo-2011 in case you were so inclined to help support The Black Dog Institute in their most excellent work researching to fighting mood disorders likeĀ  Bipolar Disorder and depression.

So please bear with my tediousness these few months while I bore you with my training travails and possibly even a few pics and maps of some of the journeys. All for a good cause, eh?