The World Wide Ride Makes A Major Announcement For Their 10-Year Anniversary
The Distinguished Gentleman’s Ride, the annual world wide motorcycle event that attracts hundreds of thousands of riders across the globe, made a major announcement regarding their 10-year anniversary in 2021. The ride, which raises awareness and funds for prostate cancer and men’s mental health, was first launched in 2012, and has since grown into a world motorcycle ride encompassing every continent on the planet with the exception of Antarctica. Since its inception in Sydney, Australia, the ride had always been held on the last Sunday in September, officially going “kick stands up” around 10:00 AM in Sydney, then across the globe as rides rolled out when their time zones hit that mark. The ride has spread to include over 316,000 riders in 104 countries, and has raised nearly $25 million (in USD) in its first nine years.
For 2021, the DGR will ride on Sunday, May 23rd.
According to the press announcement we received, the rationale behind the shift to May was to rekindle enthusiasm for the ride after the disruptive year that 2020 turned out to be- the ride had to be conducted around the world “riding solo” due to each country’s COVID concerns and guidelines. Also, the May date will open up the riding season for many in the Northern Hemisphere, while riders in the Southern Hemisphere will hopefully be able to ride in more favorable weather conditions for that time of year, their autumn season. The shift will come on the 10-year anniversary of the world event, and couldn’t be more welcome.
Some scenes from DGR rides around the world. Photos by DGR.
What makes the Distinguished Gentleman’s Ride so unique, aside from being a world-wide coordinated event, is the theme. Birthed in the mind and heart of Aussie Mark Hawwa, the ride was inspired by a photo of television show “Mad Men” character Don Draper astride a classic motorcycle, and wearing a sharp, pressed business suit. Mark decided, “A themed ride would be a great way of connecting niche motorcycle enthusiasts and communities while raising funds to support the men in our lives.” So every year, men and women dress up “dapper”, ride classic, vintage, antique or modern classic motorcycles, and raise funds for the Movember Foundation while riding with like-minded and similarly dressed fellow Moto-enthusiasts. I participated in 2017, taking part in the Greenville, South Carolina ride, and was looking forward to the 2020 event before COVID changed everyone’s plans.
The author and a few of his esteemed colleagues at the 2017 DGR event in Greenville, SC.
In its first year, the ride launched in Sydney, Australia and included some 3000 riders from 34 cities, riding for local causes. In 2013, the ride officially partnered with the Prostate Cancer Foundation Australia, and saw its participation skyrocket, with over 11,000 riders in 145 cities, and raised $277,000 USD equivalent. Soon, the DGR found partnerships with Prostate Cancer UK, Prostate Cancer Canada, Prostate Cancer USA and Prostate Cancer New Zealand, among others. Significantly, legendary motorcycle brand Triumph Motorcycles signed on in 2014 as a sponsoring partner, a relationship that couldn’t be more appropriate. The ride has grown exponentially since, by 2019 witnessing over 116,000 riders in 648 cites, 104 countries around the planet, all riding in their respective time zones on the same day. In 2020, the ride went solo, and as of this writing, we could not find any hard numbers on participation and results of the September 27th event.
Men and women, around the world, riding for a singular cause. Photos by DGR.
The organizers hope the DGR will be able to ride together again in 2021, stating, “We know how important it is to physically connect with our community. The group events of DGR are integral in celebrating together, so we’re taking a turn in 2021 and shaking things up to bring us together, sooner.” Here’s hoping 2021 will bring renewed openings and new opportunities, and a return to the togetherness of the Distinguished Gentleman’s Ride, in cities and countries across the globe.
For more on the Distinguished Gentleman’s Ride, click here: DGR
For more on the Movember Foundation they support, click here: Movember
*photos by author and DGR