Distinguished Gentleman’s Ride
By Chris Gibbany
For the first time ever, my husband Gabe and I are hosting the Distinguished Gentleman’s Ride in Harrison, Arkansas. The Distinguished Gentleman’s Ride is a global motorcycle fund-raising event to raise awareness of prostate cancer and male suicide prevention. The parade is held in over 600 cities across 95 countries with people dressing “dapper” while riding classic and vintage styled bikes. Riders are required to wear dapper clothing, such as silk vests, tweed suits or while sporting their “Sunday’s best”. Although the ride is to raise awareness for men, women can ride also to support the men in their lives. The ride carries no entry fee, and riders are encouraged to raise sponsorship money for prostate cancer research and male suicide prevention on behalf of charity partner The Movember Foundation.
The event has specific rules about the type of bikes that can participate- café racers, trackers, scramblers, classics, bobbers, vintage scooters, old school choppers, bratstyle, side cars and modern classics. The style guide can be viewed here. The event is not open to sport bikes, cruisers, adventure bikes, dirt bikes or modern scooters. It is focused on remaining small with a niche group of riders and bikes to ensure that the ride is kept manageable. DGR is a niche event that is centered on certain bike styles that you don’t normally see in your daily commute. The ride is about being SEEN on city streets so the bikes will be running at very low speeds. The idea is to limit its growth but increase its longevity. The dapper attire adds to the appeal.
The event was started in 2012 by Mark Hawwa from Sydney, Australia as a way to connect the local and global scenes for a bit of fun and theatre. Mark was influenced by an image of fictional character Don Draper from the series “Mad Men” sitting atop a classic Matchless motorcycle. In 2012, he got over 2500 people to participate in over 64 cities. In 2013 he decided to partner with a charity to keep moving forward.
Only registered riders can participate in the DGR event. Riders can register here. Each rider can then choose which city they want to participate in, create a profile, choose a fundraising goal and then strive to garner donations. Only riders who are registered on the event’s website can see the ride route. This ensures that no drop-ins of unregistered riders occur, as well as maximizes fundraising potential. There are lots of prizes to be won by the riders who bring in the most donations through sponsorships.
All riders who raise over $200 will receive the exclusive Ride Dapper patch in recognition of their work in helping fight prostate cancer and improve men’s mental health. These patches can only be earned, not bought.
The highest fundraiser globally will receive a treasure trove of highly esteemed prizes in recognition of their exemplary efforts for DGR 2017. The prizes include: All-new Triumph Bonneville Bobber, Limited Zenith DGR Ton-Up Watch, and the exclusive 2017 DGR x Hedon Kingpin Helmet, a one-of-a-kind custom Hedon Heroine full-face helmet. There are also second and third prizes that are almost as great which also include a Triumph motorcycle, Zenith watch and Hedon helmet. This year, for the first time, all riders who unlock all of the badges in their rider dashboards will go into the draw to win other prizes. Winners will be chosen at random.
The ride will take place globally on Sunday September 24. If you would like to support my ride for men’s health, you can sponsor me here. There are only three other cities in Arkansas that are participating in the DGR so let’s put Harrison on the map and make this a successful city to help men’s health.
At the time of this writing, with just 13 days to go, there are 47,534 riders registered and $1,828,001 has been raised. The small and dedicated team from Sydney, Australia who manages this has a target of $5 million dollars to add to the already raised $8 million that the event has raised in its four years of fundraising.