If you’ve never heard of the Distinguished Gentleman’s Ride, it’s time to get retro with it. This extremely dapper charity ride happens every year on the last Sunday of September, all over the world. If you have a classic style motorcycle and a nice suit, you might want to look into participating in this ride for a great cause.
Mark Hawwa of Sydney Australia founded the Distinguished Gentleman’s Ride (DGR) in 2012. Inspired by a photo of actor Jon Hamm (who plays Mad Men’s “Don Draper”) astride a classic motorbike (a 1957 Matchless G3LS, specifically) in a dress suit, Hawwa correctly predicted that combining this retro theme with a charity event would yield a great outcome.
The DGR originally partnered with prostate cancer foundations and charities all over the world, and in 2016 added the Movember foundation to their charity partners. The DGR works with these charities to raise money and awareness with the goal of improving men’s health issues. The funds raised by the ride go toward research into funding prostate cancer treatment and research, as well as mental health and suicide prevention programs. The Movember Foundation is the world’s largest men’s health organization.
As of the date of this publication, the DGR has already raised over a million dollars with this year’s ride, with just over 40 days until the day of the event. More than thirty thousand riders have registered to participate. The fundraising goal for 2019’s DGR is seven million US dollars.
In order to join the ride, you’ll want to break out your most dapper suit, and your own classic-style motorcycle. Per the DGR website, any bike that fits the following description is welcome: a Cafe' Racer, Bobber, Classic, Tracker, Scrambler, Old School Chopper, Modern Classic, Sidecar, Classic Scooter, or Brat Styled motorcycle. It is, I suppose, up to you to determine whether your bike would qualify.
One of the FAQs on the DGR website states: “DGR is about the niches within the motorcycle community, consisting of motorcycles that you might not regularly see during your daily commute. If you can borrow or rent a suitable bike, and are dressed appropriately, we encourage you to register and join the ride. If not, and you’d still like to support the event, a donation is a wonderful way to do so, as well as reach out to your local organiser to help them behind the scenes as volunteers.” In other words, don’t show up on your modern Harley-Davidson touring bike, or an Africa Twin. You could, however, participate on your new Triumph Bonneville.
Visit the Distinguished Gentleman’s Ride website to find a ride in your area. Pick your country and you will probably find an established ride quite nearby. If you do not, there is a provision on that site to start your own! It’s a great way to raise money in support of fantastic, and necessary, charities.