A dis­tin­guished achieve­ment

Old Bike Australasia - - LETTERS TO THE EDITOR -

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.

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