Biker clan meets biker clan. If you didn’t know any better, you’d think it was going to culminate into a fight scene as part of a film plot.
Fortunately, it’s no stereotypical Hollywood movie — though what we’re talking about will undoubtedly be picturesque.
The Distinguished Gentleman’s Ride (DGR), a motorcycle event bringing together different clans from the riding community, is actually a charity event that not only combats the often-negative stereotype of men on motorcycles, but also raises awareness and funds on men’s health issues.
It was founded by Mark Hawwa of Sydney Cafe Racers in 2012, and bikers all over the world, including Singapore, came together to dress dapper and ride for good. This year’s DGR in Singapore (to be held on Sunday, 25 September, at 2PM) will be hosted by Motorwerks, and will focus on Suicide Prevention.
We spoke to Team Motorwerks to learn more about this year’s DGR.
What was it like to gather like-minded individuals to come together and ride?
The Distinguished Gentleman’s Ride is probably one of the few events that brings everyone in riding community — from sport bikers to tourers and off-roaders — together. It’s great that a common cause can bring motorcyclists together; everyone’s willing to have a good time! Last year, DGR raised over USD2.3M for prostate cancer research, and encouraged many to take responsibility for their health, and get checked or seek support.
This year, you guys are focusing on Suicide Prevention. What should we know about suicide?
We lost a fellow ride host to depression, and The Distinguished Gentleman’s Ride decided that more should be done about this health issue. Suicide is the biggest killer of men aged 20 to 39 and 75% of all suicides are male. 510,000 men die from suicide each year – that’s one per minute.
What’s the gentlemanly (or womanly) way to approach the topic?
The kind way to approach the topic is to take note of your tone, and to ensure that you are doing it with a genuine heart. Be patient, and make an effort in helping them feel comfortable, so that they may open up to you. A no-no is to shrug it off when you see someone in need.
Why do you think men are holding back how they feel?
We are in no place to comment on why men hold back. Perhaps it’s the societal norm for both boys and men to take the heat “like a man”, though this varies from person to person and it is not right to generalise. Reaching out to someone in need is the first step to showing compassion, which can positively impact many lives.
What does it mean to be a gentlemen?
“Manners Maketh Man” – William Horman, adapted by Harry Hart in Kingsman: The Secret Service (2014).
Gentlemen are respectful of everything around them, and dressing dapper gives the image of a working class man, which for many years has been the appearance that relates to decency.
What should a first-time participant wear?
A first-time participant can get as creative as they want, as long as they appear as a gentleman or a genteel lady. Most participants show up in full suits – despite Singapore’s climate and humidity.
For the safety of the ride, the start and end locations of The Distinguished Gentleman’s Ride will not be released. Participants of the event can gain access to this knowledge upon registration on the Gentleman’s Ride website.