Dapper gentlemen ride for men’s health

Richard Preest, Darren Leggatt and Damian Fleming. Video and photos by Rosalie Liddle Crawford.

More than 170 dapper and finely attired riders tweaked moustaches and embarked on the Distinguished Gentleman's Ride.

Rolling up at Club Mount Maunganui on their vintage and classic motorcycles, the riders were given a health and safety briefing before setting off on Sunday morning.

Event organisers Damian Fleming from Bay Ride Motorcycles, Darren Leggatt and Richard Preest, say the ride, which attracted 70 riders in 2016, and 140 in 2017, is essentially about men's mental health and prostate cancer research.

'This is the fourth year that we've done the Distinguished Gentleman's Ride here in Tauranga,” says Darren.

'And we are here to raise awareness for men's mental health, and to raise funds to try and eradicate prostate cancer.

'I think we've got 171 riders today, and we've raised over $12,000 already. Thankfully a lot of it stays locally and nationally. Hopefully we can raise more funds and make a difference.”

The ride was founded in Sydney, Australia by Mark Hawwa. It was inspired by a photo of Mad Men's Don Draper astride a classic bike and wearing his finest suit. Mark decided a themed ride would be a great way to combat the often-negative stereotype of men on motorcycles, while connecting niche motorcycle communities together.

That first ride in 2012 brought together more than 2500 riders across 64 cities. The success of the event encouraged the founder to consider how it could be used to support a worthy cause. Since then, the event has grown annually.

Harley Couper, Dave Stewart, Barry Anderson and Andy West.

In 2016, more than 56,000 participants in 505 cities in 90 countries raised more than $US3.6 million for prostate cancer research and men's mental health programmes in partnership with the Movember Foundation.

The event has continued to grow. So far in 2018, $US5,012,350 has been raised and 101,249 riders registered globally.

The 171 participants registered for Tauranga's event set off from Club Mount Maunganui, taking in the sights of the Mount before heading down to Truman Lane, then across to Fraser Cove, Bethlehem Town Centre, before returning to The Rising Tide. Stops were planned during the ride providing opportunity for the public to talk with the riders.

The Distinguished Gentleman's Ride is a celebration of the art of being dapper and classic custom motorcycles. Monocles, jaunty trimmed moustaches, silk vests, crisp shirts and tailored suits. Classic and vintage motorcycles, fine manners, and a sense of fun. Participants are encouraged to raise funds by asking their friends, family and colleagues to donate via a personal fundraising page.

Lady rider Bridie Morris taking part in the Distinguished Gentleman's Ride.

Thomas Hallen, Callum Blackmore and Andrew Wilson.


Leave a Comment

You must be logged in to make a comment.