THE ride of a lifetime was how Paul Gaffney described the NSW Black Dog Ride.
The South Coast Black Dog Ride co-ordinator, affectionately known as ‘Gaff’ was one of 60 riders who took part in the 2700 kilometre, week-long event.
The ride started in Brunswick Heads before travelling to Texas in Queensland, back to Nambucca Heads, to Chinchilla, Bathurst, Cooma, Batemans Bay and through the Shoalhaven before finishing in Penrith.
“It was just incredible,” he said “the ride of a lifetime, I’m so glad I’ve done it.
“We saw some incredible country, it was so green and rode on some magnificent roads.
“The Oxley Highway was unbelievable. There was something like 336 bends on the that section of the ride, it was awesome.”
Although it wasn’t all plain sailing, he had a collision with a kangaroo just out of Texas, thankfully both escaped serious injury as did his trusty 2013 Harley Super Glide Custom.
And it was rather cold when they left Cooma on the second last day of the ride when the temperature was minus two degrees.
“I got to meet some wonderful people,” he said.
“There were guys from all walks of life - there was an undertaker, a barrister and even a bloke who sold batteries - a great bunch of guys.
“I met a lot of guys who use the rides as an outlet for things like depression.”
Unfortunately Black Dog founder Steve Andrews, who had planned to join the NSW ride, had family issues and couldn’t make it, but Gaffney did manage to catch up with NSW co-ordinator Wayne Amor, who has helped with the South Coast ride.
“I also got to finally meet a lot of other people within the organisation who have helped with our ride,” he said.
The NSW ride raised $50,000.
He is now focused on South Coast one-day ride which will be again held next year on March 19.
Although down this year on the ride record of 210 participants, Mr Gaffney hopes to be back up at those lofty levels again next year.
Flyers for the ride from Nowra to Batemans Bay will be distributed next month.