The Distinguished Gentleman’s Ride has hit streets across the globe for it’s 5th year, and 2016 would prove to be the biggest and most dapper year yet for this thriving ride. On Sunday September 25th, Sydney played host to the event with record numbers, as men and women pressed their suits, shined their shoes and jumped on classic and vintage motorcycles to take part in the world’s best dressed charity ride.
Founded in Sydney Australia in 2012, The Distinguished Gentleman’s Ride has grown organically over the years to cover the globe, with over 500 cities in 90 countries taking part this year for the 2016 DGR ride. With it’s initial goal of breaking down the often negative stereotype of motorcyclists, the popularity of the event in it’s beginning inspired founder Mark Hawwa to then add a charitable element to this new cause. Funds would now be raised to go towards fighting prostate cancer whilst also raising awareness for men to get themselves checked for this terrible disease that claims the lives of 1300 men a day, worldwide. Now in it’s 5th year, DGR has teamed up with The Movember Foundation to take on men’s mental health and aid in suicide prevention. Over 500,000 men take their own lives each year, so this is an issue that could not go unnoticed.
Over 750 dapper ladies and gents gathered at the historic University of Sydney at the start of the day, with excitement firmly in the air. The weeks leading up to this day had been spent raising funds in a truly valiant effort from all involved – Sydney alone raising over $173,000 USD by the big day, and that number is still growing. This charitable effort has been displayed across borders as well, with over $3.2 Million USD being raised globally and counting.
Stephen Broholm, the ride host for the Sydney event, raised his megaphone and gathered the sea of suits and tweed as the day’s ride speech began. The sheer scale of organising the world’s largest motorcycle charity event are daunting to think about. The countless hours and passionate dedication from Stephen and his remarkable team of volunteers shone brilliantly on the day as everything went ahead with out a hitch. Working very closely with the NSW Police, Transport Management Centre, and local councils ensured that the utmost due diligence was in tow to keep the Sydney event the thriving success that is has been since the event’s inception. The event has also gathered some sterling major sponsors that solidify the heritage and dapper style of the event, with Triumph Motorcycles, Zenith Watchmakers and Hedon Helmets answering the call to arms in the fight against prostate cancer and to improve men’s mental health.
There was a triumphant chorus as hundreds of motorcycles were kicked over and started – an awe inspiring roar that echoed through the gorgeous old sandstone buildings of Sydney University. The ride was now officially moving. Through the streets of Sydney this cavalcade of classic and vintage styled motorcycles chugged along. The footpaths were a sea of excited onlookers who waved and took photographs of the jubilant parade. The outstanding positive response from the public at the site of all these men and women riding through their city for a noble cause had every rider smiling from ear to ear.
As the dapper parade of motorcycles echoed through the city, they made their way over the Sydney Harbour Bridge. Each turn or change in direction that was required was marked out by a volunteer with signs indicating the correct way to go, ensuring none would get lost. The time and passion from the army of volunteers were an invaluable part of the event’s success. The ride would head back over the bridge towards the city to make a pit stop at the historic Government House Sydney – a remarkably appropriate setting for the bikes and their finely dressed riders. The NSW Governor and his wife generously allowed use of their home for the second time for DGR. Photos were taken, refreshments enjoyed and the sun shone for all as they basked in the sea of amazing machines.
There would be more riding to do, as everyone mounted their dapper steeds once more and set off through the city back to Sydney University where they would park up and the after party would get started at The Grandstand Function Centre. Food, drinks and live music would be a glorious reward for the gentlefolk that had heeded the call in raising both funds and awareness for prostate cancer and men’s mental health in the lead up to this sterling day.
A very appreciative and sincere thank you goes to the University of Sydney, The Governor of NSW, and The Grandstand Function Centre for their support. A very special thank you also goes to the countless volunteers that also helped run and fuel this ambitious day. To donate and find out more about what The Distinguished Gentleman’s Ride is striving to achieve head to www.gentlemansride.com