Bow ties, tweed jackets, open face lids… cities around the globe were filled with strange sights on Sunday morning as thousands took part in the fourth Distinguised Gentleman's Ride
It’s a fun event with a serious objective. The DGR seeks to bring people together to raise awareness and funding for research into prostate cancer and the Mouvember Foundation, which is committed to helping men live healthier, happier lives.
A massive total of 56,514 riders took part in the ride, which featured in 90 countries raising a staggering US $3,297,898. It has become a massive global affair that has connected and united this niche area of the custom and retro motorcycling world.
The event first started in 2012, where 2500 riders took to the streets in their suits, growing at an astonishing rate to get to the 56,000 riders that took part this year.
The UK has a big part in the ride, with 4647 riders taking part in events that ran up and down the country, raising a total of £408,581 for the associated charities.
The London ride featured the largest number of riders of any around the world. A total of 1061 finely dressed gents showing the capital a dapper time, stopping passers by in their tracks to admire the metal and marvel at the absurdity of what was happening.
Speaking to MCN about the London ride, DGR founder Mark Hawwa commented; “It’s been a really remarkable day. We’ve managed to shift a thousand people through Sunday London traffic, effectively without causing too much congestion. I’m feeling pretty proud.
"Everybody’s enjoying themselves, raising money and learning something about the cause. To be able to do what we do and do it without frustrating people is cool.
"We feel that we’re at a point now where we are raising awareness and getting guys to go get checked for prostate cancer but there are still so many other issues that men face that people don’t realise.
"We’re here to make sure that men can live a happy healthy life but we’re also here to have fun and showcase motorcyclists in a different ray of light. We all know what the stereotypical assumption is when you hear a motorcycle. The majority of the general public will always think it’s something a little bit negative whereas here we’re able to show that it’s positive.”
Hawwa’s idea to bring people together has worked wonders; he’s somehow managed to help bring the custom and modern retro scene together in a united cause. The numbers involved prove a massive point too. With Triumph and Barbour also throwing massive support into the DGR this year, it is proving that this is a scene that is no longer underground and is thriving.
Hawwa further commented “If we open this ride up to absolutely everything on two wheels, the thousand bikers that we have riding at the moment would have been 6000 bikers and we would have been shut down and never be able to operate that event again. And if we can’t operate that event, we can’t create the awareness, we can’t create the funds. The amount of awareness we create on a global scale is insane. Last year we calculated we reached 120,000,000 people just across our digital platforms alone which is insane, we don’t even know how to calculate the rest!”
Though funding is up massively on the $2.2 million raised last year, there is still time to donate. Check out the Distinguished Gentleman’s Ride website for more.
Photos: Michael Jershov, www.mjstudio.co.uk
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