Chris and Shakeera heading onto the route for the ride.

Johannesburg - The Distinguished Gentleman’s Ride event that took place last weekend was a great success, according to organisers, with some 120 000 riders turning out (and impeccably turned-out at that) in 650 cities worldwide.

The Johannesburg event was particularly well-attended, with an estimated 1500 gentlemen and ladies present.

This year’s route began at the Vintage and Veteran Club Johannesburg before the parade turned heads as they proceeded through the leafy streets to Constitution Hill for a group shot. They then swept up Munro Drive before finishing at the Victoria Yards renewal project where participants could enjoy great refreshment, delicious food, interesting stores and entertaining buskers.

The majority of riders had gone to great lengths to remain true to the vision of founder Mark Hawwa in terms of dressing the part and riding classic motorcycles, but also by going the extra mile to raise funds for important men’s health issues.

“We are honoured to have sponsored this event which was not only an exciting experience for the riders and spectators, but also helped raise awareness of important health issues,” says Mercia Jansen, Motul Area Manager for Southern and Eastern Africa. “We’re proud to have been able to do our bit for an immensely enjoyable event that also gets a serious message across”. 

DGR Joburg organiser Marnitz Venter and committee member Mercia Jansen.

The Distinguished Gentleman’s Ride aims to raise awareness and funds to support men living with prostate cancer and mental health issues, with Movember being the official charity partner.

The Johannesburg event saw the equivalent of over R530 000 being raised through pledges and sponsorships via the official website, placing Jozi 15th overall for top fundraising city in the world. So far in 2018, US$5.7 million has been raised globally.

As well as the old-school glamour of the event, riders shared real-life stories of surviving cancer and losing friends both to cancer and to depression. 

Johannesburg event organiser, Marnitz Venter, reflected on some sobering statistics when he commented that: “A million men die annually due to cancer and suicide; in fact, three in every four suicides are men. It’s important to me to organise an event where these issues are brought to light, as well as the fundraising. I’m really proud of Johannesburg; as a city we have made a really meaningful contribution to achieving this year’s global target of US$6 Million.”  

Although the event itself took place on Sunday September 30th, donations can still be made via the Distinguished Gentleman’s Ride website until mid-October.

IOL Motoring