While I am here at my desk, typing away in the middle of the night, a bunch of my friends are pushing their way through the Australian desert on their motorbikes – on their way to the centre of Australia. But this is no weekend cruise – it’s a ride with a purpose. Riding4aCause are supporting the Black Dog Institute’s efforts to promote awareness of depression and bipolar disorder.

Having ridden to the “dead heart” many years ago, I certainly understand that his will be a challenging journey. It is often hundreds of kilometres between stops and the hours in-between create a vast psychic space between “where you are now” and the places and people that you have left behind. When I returned I felt like I had a continent of silence within me – a deep, enduring peace that I had never experienced. But that can also be terrifying. Confronting.

I am certain there will be some of that facing my friends. For while there is comfort in riding as a group, there is only one mind active in each helmet.

And while I am excited to hear of their adventures, I don’t have to wait for them to turn up to the next coffee morning. I can follow along on their blogs, watch their youtube clips and catch their tweets live from desert truck stops.

Be sure to follow along with Raz, Andrew and Rob as they traverse the country. And if you, a family member or a friend has ever struggled with depression or mental illness, consider donating to Riding4aCause. Your contribution, no matter how small, could well change another’s life.