Ride Dapper. The Distinguished Gentleman’s Ride takes on Adelaide

DGR_Adelaide_14 (19)In a lot of ways, men are like children. Now hang with me a second here, and give it some thought as I make this comparison to my three year old nephew, Ethan. It’s impossible to feed him a banana. You can go on about how good it is for him, how much better he’ll feel after eating it and you can sprout the benefits ad nauseam but he’s just not interested. But if you bake it into a sugarless banana bread; he thinks it’s cake and you can’t keep him away from it.

DGR_Adelaide_14 (43)Men don’t like talking about prostate cancer, and heaven forbid they’d ever actually go and get the test no matter how important it’s purported to be. And could you ever imagine actually going to a prostate cancer awareness rally? But if you disguise it with an eclectic range of classic cafe racers, bobbers, trackers, customs, scooters and modern classic motorcycles and make it mandatory that everyone has to wear the most dapper suit they can lay their hands on, you’ve suddenly got one of the hottest annual events going around. Suddenly that message is sinking in at 9,000rpm through cut-off exhaust pipes on a Sunday morning. It’s devilishly clever.

DGR_Adelaide_14 (22)DGR kicked-off in 2012 and was such a success that the chance to use its momentum for good was too great to ignore, so for 2013 it was decided that the purpose should be to raise funds and awareness for prostate cancer charities. The ride spread like wildfire, and in only its second year it attracted over 11,000 registered riders, riding on the same day in 145 cities around the world. Any Given Reason happened to be in New York at the time, so I went down and checked out the Manhattan DGR. You can click the link and read that story here.

DGR_Adelaide_14 (31)Back on home soil this year, I went down to Ebenezer place in the heart of Adelaide’s East End to check out the 2014 ride. With over 130 registered bikes this year’s ride was easily the biggest yet. The worldwide goal for 2014 is to have 20,000 riders raise $1million, and I think they’ll easily get there.

DGR_Adelaide_14 (53)The only real suggestion for the DGR is that the bike must fit the character of the event, and must be cool.

DGR_Adelaide_14 (45)Exhaust header wrap is an easy one.

DGR_Adelaide_14 (51)Bikes that place style and speed over comfort – in.

DGR_Adelaide_14 (66)Bikes that look like they could have just pulled in off the TT Mountain Course in the mid seventies – in.

DGR_Adelaide_14 (38)Bikes with subtle references to highly antisocial speeds – in.

DGR_Adelaide_14 (35)Bikes with brake ducts – in.

DGR_Adelaide_14 (55)Bikes styled like something Steve McQueen might have attempted to jump over a fence on – in.

DGR_Adelaide_14 (59)Ducati’s with Conti pipes – unquestionably in.

DGR_Adelaide_14 (34)This thing – I don’t even know what it is but it’s definitely in.

DGR_Adelaide_14 (64)Mustaches – in.

DGR_Adelaide_14 (48)Beards – in.

DGR_Adelaide_14 (15)Did I mention beards? They’re in.

DGR_Adelaide_14 (32)Just before departure the crowd gathered to hear ride organiser Blake give his welcome and a few instructions. The ride wasn’t about speed, rather cruising in the left lane through some of the busiest strips in Adelaide to raise some awareness.

DGR_Adelaide_14 (30)The starting procedures of the assorted bikes highlighted the variety. Many thumbed starter buttons, but there were a few authentic old racers that required a good kick to get them running.

DGR_Adelaide_14 (28)With the group thrumming and the combined release of right-hand clutch levers aplenty, they were away.

DGR_Adelaide_14 (27)Regular cafe goers at Felici were bemused. Motorcycles are usually ridden by old men with greasy hands or young daredevils in leather jumpsuits, so how could these fashionably dressed gents be disturbing the peace so?

DGR_Adelaide_14 (26)With Blake leading the way they were off…

DGR_Adelaide_14 (25)… well at least for the first hundred meters or so.

DGR_Adelaide_14 (17)But once the green light was granted the throttle’s were rolled on out of the CBD and through North Adelaide.

DGR_Adelaide_14 (12)The halfway stop was for coffee on the beach at Semaphore, a very fitting thing for a bunch of cafe racers.

DGR_Adelaide_14 (7)From Semaphore the ride traced the coast down to Glenelg.

DGR_Adelaide_14 (5)Without a bike myself (yet…) I was relegated to the footpaths, and it looked like a whole lot of fun to be riding with the pack.

DGR_Adelaide_14 (3)After viewing them stationary, it was a good chance to hear them in anger.

DGR_Adelaide_14 (16)From Glenelg the ride turned inland and headed back into the city, finishing in Ebenezer place where it began. The Adelaide ride has so far raised just shy of $27,000 – not a bad effort for a bunch of guys going for a ride on their bikes. You can see how much each country has raised, and donate, on the official DGR website.

DGR_Adelaide_14 (52)Next year, AGR simply must be a part of it, on two wheels. I’ll see you there!

DGR_Adelaide_14 (18)Words and photos by Andrew Coles



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1 Comment

  1. Dirk. A. Davidson October 13, 2014 Reply

    We all had vehicles we should never have sold. That yellow Ducati 750 Sport may well have been the one I bought new back in Adelaide in the seventies , and should never have let go. I wonder if it was RG455 before it was SPORT.
    I eventually didn't keep the wife who pressured me into giving it up either, but that doesn't balance the ledger!

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