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Fight the Black Dog | Events

Bike-loving rocker’s death put focus on Aussie ride

The sudden death last week of The Prodigy’s Keith Flint, aged 49 years, has shocked the motorcycling world. Flint, known both as a pioneer of extreme musical performance and a motorcycle race team owner, had gained huge respect from UK riders and teams for his commitment to the sport.

The Prodigy, along with Flint, gave what was to be their last concert in Sydney last month. His death has sparked a renewed debate on depression and suicide.

One motorcycle group addressing this devastating issue is the Black Dog Ride organisation. On Sunday 17 March,  it held its annual one-day ride, which has legs in every State and Territory.

Organisers say the Black Dog Ride is an attempt to “kick start a national conversation around suicide prevention”. They go on to explain that eight Australians take their lives each day while 180 attempt it.

“The tragic loss of our loved ones to suicide drives Black Dog Ride to build a community culture of awareness, inclusion and acceptance,” they say.

Black Dog Ride is planning a 35-day ride around Australia in July to celebrate 10 years of operation. More information is at www.blackdogride.org.au

Mamola and Keith Flint, Spanish MotoGP 2008

The Firestarter

“I’m a kind of court jester meets asylum escapee,” Keith Flint said in a recent interview where he discussed his troubled childhood and “dark periods.” He appeared to have found a life balance in music and motorcycling.

“I can’t do something half-cocked. I’ve got to do something because I love it and because I’m truly passionate about it,” he said in a 2013 interview about both his music and motorcycle racing.

Flint’s motorcycle racing outfit, Team Traction Control, won worldwide attention when it signed Ian Hutchinson. In 2015 and 2016 Hutchinson won two Isle of Man TT Supersport doubles and an Ulster GP race for the team.

Tributes poured in after Flint’s death. Carl Fogarty described him as “a great guy who loved his racing”, while another British racer, Glenn Irwin, said he was “gutted” by the news. The Belfast Telegraph’s news desk tweeted: “Farewell to a great rocker and biker, Keith Flint, an adopted son of the Northern Ireland bike racing family.”

Mamola and Keith Flint, Spanish MotoGP 2008

By Hamish Cooper