More than 100 men and women braved a wet and windy start to Sunday to take part in the inaugural Black Dog Ride from Wollongong to Nowra.
From 7am, they started arriving on motorcycles at Bald Hill, with many walk-up registrations coming as the rain set in.
Within the first hour, 116 people had signed up for what is set to become an annual event that aims to raise awareness about mental health and suicide.
Event coordinator Scott Quayle organised the first ride after a conversation with the chief executive of Black Dog Ride.
"I put my hand up and said I really think we should have a go," Mr Quayle said.
"We are the second largest non-capital city and don't have a Black Dog Ride.
"I pushed that forward and from there we got the go ahead and started talking to people about it."
Fellow Wollongong volunteer Adam Thompson created a Facebook site and the interest in the first ride was immediate.
"Word of mouth got around," Mr Quayle said.
"A lot of people are touched by depression and suicide and this is why they are all here."
Despite the weather their intent was clear: to send a clear message that it is okay to talk openly about topics such as depression, mental health and post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
"Depression doesn't stop because it is a miserable day. Neither does suicide. We are actually riding from here to the Veterans Motorcycle Club's South Coast Chapter".
Mr Quayle said with so much interest in the inaugural ride it is definitely going to be an annual event.
"The main mission is to raise awareness of depression and suicide prevention," he said.
"Depression is the number one causal factor of suicide. We are more of a bottom up organisation. We have no professional counselors but he have all these individuals who are prepared to talk to their friends about depression and then refer them to professionals if need be".