A distinguished achievement
In these difficult times when motorcyclists appear to hit the headlines for all the wrong reasons (especially in Queensland), one group is doing us proud. The Distinguished Gentlemen’s Ride was founded here in Australia in 2012, initially as a way to challenge the increasingly stereotyped public image of motorcyclists as scruffy undesirables.
The organisers hit upon a theme of snappily-attired riders on classic or classic-styled bikes, and some 2500, drawn from 64 cities, turned out for the first running. Beautifully presented bikes, impeccably dressed riders with clean fingernails, and not an offensive tee-shirt to be seen. That huge success led the group to channel this wave of enthusiasm into support for a worthy cause, and in this case there can be no more relevant cause than prostate cancer – an insidious disease affecting a large proportion of the adult male population. 2013 saw 11,000 participants in 145 cities in 38 countries raise more than a quarter of a million dollars for the charity. This year, the goal is $1 million, with at least 20,000 expected to take the ride on September 28 on all manner of classic-themed bikes.
To its credit, Triumph has become a major sponsor of the event, along with numerous other sponsors and supply partners. Despite the exponential growth of the DGR and the benefits to the chosen charity, the ethos remains the same; suitable motorcycles, elegant, tasteful attire, courtesy, and respect. As local film producer Cam Elkins (who will be riding his 1986 Honda GB250) says, “I am a big believer in chivalry. Which, when it comes down to it, is just plain and simple respect for your fellow humans.”
By the time you read this, the 2014 DGR will be run, and the organisers no doubt furiously planning the 2015 event. So you have twelve months to have that tweed suit in your wardrobe pressed, shoes polished, service the machine of choice, and practice etiquette and not dropping your vowels. See www.gentlemensride.com for all the news.
1971 Kawasaki W2-SS 650. See feature story on P58.