Back in September 2014, I took part in my first ever Distinguished Gentleman’s Ride. I opted to join the Sydney ride, as it happened to correspond with the weekend of a birthday party for a good friend of mine in Sydney.
I rode down the evening before and thoroughly enjoyed the party – that’s unrelated to bikes though, so won’t be discussed in detail here!
The point of the DGR is to dress dapper while riding classic and vintage motorcycles, in order to raise money for prostate cancer research.
Since I subscribe to the ATGATT (All The Gear, All The Time) school of thought on motorcycle safety, I opted for an oversized suit that would fit motocross body armour and mid-layers underneath.
Here I am in the safety gear bought from ALDI over the course of the weeks leading up to the ride. The pose is because the mid-layer pants left nothing to the imagination when I stood up.
My outfit for the ride. Cannonball helmet and gloves were also from ALDI, while the suit was from a local op-shop. The welding goggles just happened to be in my collection of props and interesting outfits.
I discovered while riding to the meeting point at The University of Sydney that the welding goggles severely limited my peripheral vision, so I put them on top of the helmet instead.
I asked another gentleman rider to take a couple of photos of me in front of Scarlet before the ride.
I then decided to see what I could see in the way of interesting motorcycles that were there for the ride. There were quite a lot!
The organisers and ride leaders gave a short speech and safety briefing, during which it was announced that we had collectively raised over US$1.5 million worldwide and that the 500+ Sydney riders had raised over AU$150000 – almost a tenth of the worldwide total!
Departure time was upon us, so off we went through the streets of central Sydney.
After about an hour, we stopped for shade and water at the rendezvous point in Barangaroo.
Here’s Scarlet in amongst all the other vintage bikes, cruisers and cafe racers.
I’d noticed that Scarlet was having trouble at idle by the halfway point and the speedo still wasn’t working reliably, so I made a mental note to follow these up once I got her home.
After a short break it was back on the bikes, across Sydney harbour bridge and back to the university where cold water, a fundraiser BBQ, merchandise stand and live music awaited us, with a bar upstairs for those who wanted something a little stronger.
Although I’d already bought the 2014 patch and sticker set, I bought a couple more patches from previous rides to put on my outfit for next year!
Although the following Monday was a public holiday in Canberra, I opted to head home from Sydney that evening.
About a month after the ride, I received a letter from the organisers thanking me for raising over $100 that included a sticker and another patch, so these will be going on my suit and helmet for the 2015 ride! The original patch and sticker set I ordered before the ride are on the left, the new ones on the right and the patches I bought at the ride are at the bottom.
I’ll definitely be going again this year and getting onboard footage with my GoPro. I might stay in Sydney a bit longer this time too. I’ll be on my full licence by then, so might even take a pillion if I can find one willing to dress dapper for the occasion!