A national motorcycle ride to raise awareness of depression and suicide prevention will kick off its NSW leg in Wagga for the first time next month.
The 10th annual Black Dog Ride will leave from Wagga with at least 65 motorcyclists for a 2800 kilometre, six-day journey across the state.
Wagga Black Dog Ride NSW coordinator Graham 'Bear' Falconer said the ride was all about getting past the 'suck it up, princess' attitude that prevented many people seeking help for mental health issues.
"The 'Black Dog' is actually a phrase from Winston Churchill, who said the black dog of depression chased him every day," Mr Falconer said.
"That's why we have little (stuffed animal) dogs called 'Winston' who travel with us everywhere.
"The one on my bike is getting a bit old and grey like me.
"That dog has traveled more than 160,000 kilometres."
Mr Falconer said riders from across NSW and further afield would gather at Wagga Bunnings on August 4 from a 7am breakfast and 8.30 departure for the journey.
"Anyone is welcome to come down and have a look at the bikes, we'll have raffles going and people can grab a bacon and egg roll," Mr Falconer said.
"Registrations for the ride are still open."
The NSW stage is part of a larger 35-day Black Dog Ride across Australia.
"We'll be heading out from here to Euston, then to Broken Hill, Burke, Narrabri, Texas in Queensland and then Byron Bay.
The ride also raises money for charity, with the Wagga Harley Owners Group (HOG) already contributing $530 as part of its yearly donation to community causes.
"We don't set a goal, we get community donations and riders pay a fee to join for the support vehicle," he said.
"The ride is more to start conversations in the outback. People see 'Winston' on the back of the bike and are more than happy to have a yarn."
Raffles, 'fines' for making mistakes on the road and auctions also help to raise donations.
Many of those taking part have lost family members or friends to suicide.
"With the drought, it's getting worse and worse with third-generation farmers leaving the land," Mr Falconer said.
"We'll be talking to the people out there and handing out the cards with the Lifeline number.
"It's so they know there is someone to help and it's not the end of the line."
The ride's support vehicle has been donated by Griffith's Glen Dal Broi.
If you or anyone you know is in need of crisis support, you can call Lifeline on 13 11 14 or Beyond Blue on 1300 224 636.