One day, every year, in over 500 cities across the globe, thousands of dapper chaps (and chapettes) climb upon their classic and vintage-style motorcycles, and take to the open road.
As well as having a ton-of-fun, these finely dressed gentlefolk are also raising funds and awareness for a very good cause... well, why wouldn't you want to join in?!
The Distinguished Gentleman's Ride (DGR) was founded in 2012 by Mark Hawwa in Sydney, Australia, and soon became a global fund-raising event to raise awareness of prostate cancer and male suicide prevention.
What can I say, this event is right up our street on so many levels, as soon as we heard of its existence, Neil and I just had to take part. Neil's always been a biker, and since his early teens has had all kinds of motorcycles, from a Yamaha FS1E (the good old Fizzy) to a GSXR 1000 (extremely uncomfortable as a pillion!) He now settles for something a little more sedate (and economical) and tootles around on a Sinnis 250 Retro Star, with one eye firmly on a Triumph Boneville when finances permit. We both have an interest in all things 'classic' and 'vintage'; and ultimately just enjoy dressing up and having fun! Add to that, the fact that this event is all in aid of a very good cause, and we were totally sold.
The Leeds Leg of the DGR saw the gathering of over 200 immaculately attired ladies, gents, boys, and girls each arriving at our meeting point to the sound of throbbing motorcycle engines. It was a wonderfully bright sunny Sunday morning, in a car park on the outskirts of Leeds City Centre, and the excitement and anticipation was palpable.
Participants gathered, chatted, admired one-another's bikes and outfits, and drank coffee from a nearby McDonalds, before hitting the roads in and around Leeds as participants in this marvellous global awareness and fund raising activity.
From Kirkstall to Poole, Otley to Golden Acre Park, taking in the fabulous Roundhay Park Mansion on the way, we had a wonderful ride through some beautiful Yorkshire locations. People along the way were amazing, waving, cheering and even chatting while we waited at traffic lights, curious to know what this eclectic convoy of motorcycles ridden by immaculately turned out enthusiasts was all about.
This global event, held in September each year, is nothing short of remarkable! It's fun, it's inclusive, it's 'vintage', it's 'classic', it's a sociable motorcyclist's dream, and it makes a massive difference! In fact I understand that the Leeds Leg of the DGR alone raised over £14,000 this year, with a humongous $4,856,861 raised worldwide.
I was so taken with my pillion experience, I'm considering acquiring a customised Italian-style retro scooter of my own in time for next year's DGR. What a ludicrous idea, me becoming a fully-fledged distinguished rider in my own right?.. watch this space!
Fancy taking part yourself, or simply supporting the cause? visit: https://www.gentlemansride.com/
Thanks for reading (more pics below) :-)