Be­come a Dis­tin­guished Gen­tle­man

Motorcycle News (UK) - - 2016 Missions Spring Edition -

Q Dis­tin­guished Gen­tle­man’s Ride Q Char­ity do­na­tion/spon­sor­ship Q Septem­ber 25 Q Lon­don and lo­ca­tions world­wide Q www.gen­tle­man­ “That’s cheat­ing,” the lad on the 60s-racer style Honda spe­cial to my left as I thumb the starter on my Du­cati Scram­bler FT. “I know,” I shout back over the fumy rum­ble of en­gines. “But there’s noth­ing to kick.”

Mean­while he’s reach­ing down in neatly ironed shirt­sleeves and waist­coat to flip out the pedal for an­other prod as the lit­tle sin­gle re­fuses to idle. It’s a bizarre but joy­ous scene as the Scram­bler and I pre­pare to set out across cen­tral Lon­don in the an­nual Dis­tin­guished Gen­tle­man’s Ride which raises mil­lions for prostate can­cer.

Star­tlingly, there must be nigh-on 1000 bikes here. Every­thing from Nor­tons and Vin­cents to Chi­nese Sin­nis-based spe­cials and a smat­ter­ing of Scram­blers (both of the Du­cati and Tri­umph va­ri­ety). We weave across Tower Bridge, tourists ogle and take pic­tures, and the whole thing is a riot.

Lon­don is the big one, but there are si­mul­ta­ne­ous rides in towns and cities around the country, and in­deed the world. Reg­is­tra­tions aren’t open yet but ex­pect a small sign­ing-on fee and then crack on rais­ing spon­sor­ship. the GIAG cat­e­gory with the in­ten­tion of keep­ing it sim­ple. There’s no lock­wiring of sump plugs, no catch tanks, no need to drain coolant. The idea is to make your first go at hill­climb­ing as ac­ces­si­ble and af­ford­able as pos­si­ble. All you have to do is at­tach reg­u­la­tion num­bers to your bike, tape up the lights, get your rid­ing gear and hel­met ap­proved for the event and then just have a blast.

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