It’s time to suit up and rev your engines. The Distinguished Gentleman’s Ride is back in 2018 – and they’re looking to raise more than ever for men’s health. On Sunday, September 30th, men and women from 650 cities across 95 countries will don their fanciest suits and wheel out their most vintage motorcycles. The charity ride, along with The Movember Foundation, is hoping to raise $6 million USD from 120,000 gentleman and gentlelady participants.
Although the Distinguished Gentleman’s Ride is an opportunity for good times with good pals, there exists one goal above all else: stop men from dying too young. Mark Hawwa began the organisation in 2012 after seeing a poster of Mad Men’s Don Draper sitting humbly atop a fine vintage motorcycle. This was all the inspiration Hawwa needed; dapper suits and rad bikes. The first Ride in 2012 raised $250,000 USD and quickly garnered international praise. But this inception would only be the beginning of a great movement of men (and women) in the battle for male mental and physical health.
A Noble Fight
Distinguished Gentleman’s Ride began with a key focus on the prevention and cure of prostate cancer. As we all know, men are notorious for avoiding a visit to the doctor, especially if it involves anything to do with that region. DGR wanted to raise awareness of prostate cancer, as it is the second most found cancer in men around the world. What’s most dangerous, is cancer’s ability to grow without men experiencing any noticeable symptoms (fellas, regular checks are mandatory!). Obviously, this sickness only affects men, particularly older men. What else do most old dudes have in common? A love for smokers’ jackets and freedom machines, of course.
Fighting the good fight against prostate cancer is a noble cause. But this disease is a stroke of fate, an unwelcome curse from the gods if you will. In 2016, one of DGR’s ride hosts lost the battle with depression and took his own life. Unlike physical health, there is something so uncomfortably real about mental health. Your mind is no longer yours and you cannot control your outlook on life. Suddenly a world once filled with colour becomes dull and lifeless. The trouble is that most men with their ‘she’ll be right attitude’, try to push through this metaphorical (yet very real) barrier. 510,000 men die each year from suicide and countless millions more suffer from their mental health. DGR rightfully made mental health a primary focus alongside prostate cancer. All the distinguished gentlemen who participate in the ride understand that there is no shame in discussing mental health. Often all it takes is a couple pints and a good mate to begin on the road to recovery.
Movember and Distinguished Gentleman’s Ride: Brothers in Arms
As I mentioned, DGR’s goal is to raise as much awareness and money as possible for men’s health. The awareness goes out into the community. But where does the money go?
The Movember Foundation has many similarities with DGR. Also originating in Australia and spreading globally, the foundation prioritises the physical and mental health of blokes – particularly issues such as prostate and testicular cancer that only affect men. While Movember receives most of its funding during the month of (you guessed it) November, events such as the Distinguished Gentleman’s Ride give the organisation a much-appreciated boost in charity. Another striking similarity is both the group’s insistence on facial hair. Seedy moustaches just go so well with suede, cigars, and motorbikes.
Movember and The Distinguished Gentleman’s Ride are worthy causes. So, get involved! Both men and women are encouraged to get dapper and get on a bike. Here are some of the ground rules, as set out by DGR’s website:
- Dress: Tailored suits, silk waistcoats, crisp shirts, stylish caps and polished brogues.
- Ride: Cafe’ Racer, Bobber, Classic, Tracker, Scrambler, Old School Chopper, Modern Classic, Sidecar, Classic Scooter, Brat Styled motorcycles. Visit their style guide to check out the bikes that make The Distinguished Gentleman’s the unique event that it is.
- Do: Bring your finest manners, your most dashing drapes, a sense of fun, and a smile.
- Pay: We encourage those riding to make a donation to support the cause, as well reach out to friends, family, and colleagues to donate via your personal fundraising page.
Riders are also encouraged to have a chat to their bosses about potential corporate fund-matching schemes. But, if you’re like me and your motorcycle license got lost in the mail or have no idea what any of those vehicles are or what they look like, you can always support a mate. To register as a participant or as a supporter of one, head here: www.gentlemansride.com.
Sponsors Triumph Motorcycles and Zenith Watches are also offering great prizes for participants.
The Distinguish Gentleman’s Ride is breaking down the bikie stereotype: they’re swapping leather vests for tweed jackets, cigarettes for cigars, and Harleys for scooters. And its all with the purpose to raise funds and awareness for the men in our communities who need it most. Dig deep or dust off the bike, and let’s make The 2018 Distinguished Gentleman’s Ride the best one yet.
If you need someone to talk to, call Lifeline: 13 11 14
Head to Distinguished Gentleman’s Ride to register and check out the promo below.