Cape Town – The rallying cry this year is “Join the Gentry” and that really is what the Distinguished Gentleman’s Ride on Sunday 25 September is all about.
Founded in Sydney, Australia in 2012 by Mark Hawwa as a way to bring together café-racer and classic motorcycle enthusiasts and obviate the often-negative biker stereotype, the Distinguished Gentleman’s Ride became a global movement in its first year, with more than 2500 riders taking part in 64 cities, all formally dressed and neatly groomed.
In 2013 Hawwa decided to put that momentum to use for a good cause, asking riders to solicit sponsorship for their participation in the ride – and 11 000 dapper gentlemen and ladies raised $277 000 (then R2.7 million) for prostate cancer research.
The 2014 Distinguished Gentleman’s Ride, with more than 20 000 participants in 257 cities in 58 countries (including four in South Africa) realised more than $1.5 million (then R16.6 million), and in 2015 more than 37 000 neatly groomed motorcyclists in 410 cities across 79 countries raised an astonishing $2.3 million (R31 million).
Celebrate elegance on two wheels
Since then the tragic loss of one of the ride hosts to depression has somewhat changed the goals of the ride; from this year the ride will also focus on funding suicide prevention programmes, as well as prostate cancer research through its charity partner the Movember Foundation – and the target is $5 million (R71 million).
But more than anything else, it’s a celebration of elegance on two wheels. Shine up your classic, retro, bobber or old-school café racer, register on the Distinguished Gentleman’s Ride website and dress up in your Sunday best on Sunday 25 September.
Think tailored suit, neatly trimmed moustache, crisply iron shirt – in short, dress dapper, and be there. The ride is free, but you’re encouraged to get your family and friends to pledge sponsorship on your registration page.
IN SOUTH AFRICA:
The Johannesburg Distinguished Gentleman’s Ride will leave from the News Café in Woodmead at 9.30am and proceed via the Kensington Club and Mad Giant Brewery to Rim and Rubber Assembly
The Cape Town Distinguished Gentleman’s Ride will leave from Bardough by Jason, 31 Loop Street, at 10.30am, and proceed via the Wynberg Club and Constantia Nek to The Bungalow in Victoria Road, Camps Bay.
The Durban Distinguished Gentleman’s Ride will leave from the Moses Mabhida Stadium at 8.15am and end at Lineage Café Hillcrest, Drummond Ride.
The Bloemfontein Distinguished Gentleman’s Ride will start at 9am at Mimosa Mall, where the bikes have permission to ride on to the second floor. They'll leave at 11am and proceed via the South African Armour Museum and Naval hill to the Botanical Gardens.
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