Biker takes innovation on long ride

Mobile mocha: Brian Ross has built a coffee machine on his sidecar to provide other riders with the ultimate quick caffeine fix.
Mobile mocha: Brian Ross has built a coffee machine on his sidecar to provide other riders with the ultimate quick caffeine fix.

Now at 61 and having suffered from depression, Mr Ross is not afraid to cry and speak openly about his feelings.

He is encouraging other men to do the same by taking part in the 32-day Black Dog Ride around Australia to raise awareness of depression and suicide prevention.

Mr Ross said the old-school way of ‘you’ve got to be a man and deal with it’ doesn’t do any good.

‘It’s not a sin to cry, but we were told different,’ he said.

‘Before I was diagnosed with depression I had three deaths in the family in 18 months. I lost my first wife, my eldest daughter and my mother-in-law.

‘I ended up in the foetal position on the floor crying my eyes out and I spent nearly 18 months sleeping 18 hours a day.’

About 14 years on and the motorbike enthusiast is one of 70 riders who started the 14,500km trip on Saturday from Bateau Bay in New South Wales to Bondi Beach.

For the ride, Mr Ross built a sidecar with a coffee machine to help sustain riders, which he said was the first of its kind.