A rather dapper event

About 150 riders participated in the 2014 Auckland ride. Photo: Phillip Kite.

Tauranga’s dapper gents and elegant ladies on top of steel steeds shall be spreading joy throughout the city whilst raising awareness for men’s health come September.

The Distinguished Gentleman’s Ride is a global fundraising event involving more than 30,000 smartly-dressed gentlefolk across the world to raise money for prostate cancer research.

For the first time, Tauranga will play host to a ride and so far seven motorcyclist have signed up for the event which takes place Sunday, September 27.

Local organiser Wayne Cockburn says he is looking forward to bring the event to Tauranga, having organised the Auckland ride for the past two years.

“The brutal reality is about 600 blokes will die from prostate cancer each year in New Zealand,” says Wayne. “The Distinguished Gentleman’s Ride is one of those events where you can get involved in something cool and actually make a difference at the same time.

“Why do I keep coming back each year? Because it’s a bloody good cause, the money goes to a deserving charity, and I’ve got to say, it’s damn good fun.”

A HISTORY OF DAPPERNESS

The DGR was founded in Australia back in 2012 by Mark Hawwa, who was inspired by a photo of ‘Mad Men’character Don Draper astride a classic motorbike while wearing his finest suit.

That first ride brought together more than 2500 riders across 64 cities, and encouraged the organisers to use the DGR as a way of supporting a worthy cause.

Fast forward to 2014, more than 20,000 riders from 257 cities in 58 countries turned out for the event and in the process raised some $2.2 million for prostate cancer research.

In 2015, so far 30,812 riders from 386 cities in 76 countries have signed up for the ride and the goal this year is to raise $4.5m for Prostate Cancer Foundations around the world.

For Wayne, one of his most enduring memories was from the 2014 Auckland ride when the group were riding down Quay St along the waterfront.

“You’ve got this rumble of 100-odd bikes behind you and people turning around frowning because all they’re hearing are these noisy bloody motorbikes,” remembers Wayne. “But they did a double-take as soon as they realised what they were seeing, the look on their faces was absolutely priceless.

“It’s quite a cool sight when you have that amount of people, dressed up to the nines and riding motorbikes, it’s definitely not something you see every day.”

WE HAVE A STRICT DRESSCODE, SIR

Wayne says though the event is tailored towards custom and classic motorcycles, no rider will be turned away on the day.

But it is important that everyone dresses up for the occasion, as this isn’t your normal ride where you turn up in your leathers and head for a jaunt around the Coromandel.

“The guys will need to be suited, up to and including tuxedos level, while ladies will be dressed up in their Sunday best,” he explains.

“The whole point is getting together with some likeminded riders to raise funds globally for the Prostate Cancer Foundation.”

The 2015 Tauranga Distinguished Gentleman’s Ride takes place on Sunday, September 27. For more details and to take part all riders must register at www.gentlemansride.com

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