This year will mark a first in the annals of the Distinguished Gentlemen’s Ride, with 2020 being the first year participants are encouraged not to ride in style with other dapper folks.
While it seems most events for motorcyclists are still dropping like flies, the global Distinguished Gentleman’s Ride - set down for September 27th - is carrying on the good fight for Men’s health with a few changes to the usual format ensuring the 2020 event stats the course.
With the DGR taking place all over the world, the organisers of the event have decided to pivot away from the usual mass gathering ride and change the format to participants riding solo or with a pillion.
“This Year’s solo event took a lot of time to decide on,” says DGR founder Mark Hawwa.
“As founder, I was personally going down the path of cancelling this year's event. Globally, the struggle is real and as we operate in 682 cities across 102 countries it is so important for the longevity of the event that we take into account all factors and feedback. We always want to maintain our integrity and ensure the safety of our participants. Running a full-scale event globally is insensitive after so many have been impacted and it was important to reduce the pressure on all our volunteers and riders. Globally, things haven’t returned to normal and dealing with all correct authorities to permit rides was looking to be near impossible.”
While the event has dodged a full-blown cancellation in the light of the pandemic, it’s not all doom and gloom for the men and women of the DGR community despite the high likelihood that the event won’t break any of its previous fundraising milestones this year.
“In times like this, riding motorcycles is more important than ever before,” Hawwa says.
“These are tough times mentally for all of us and as an escape and part of our mental well being, I felt it was important to give those an opportunity to have a sense of normality where suitable. So I opted to run the event as a solo event. There are no doubts that this will be a smaller event. It won’t raise the USD$6m we have before and that is expected, the message is simple for us, be there for your friends, support those next-door, support those overseas and ride with us on the same day, socially distanced but together in spirit. The cause is so important so we need help reminding those over 50 to get checked for prostate cancer and hopefully, we will be back together next year riding as locally as one!”
“As a global event, we simply can’t push multiple messages that conflict and we feel we need to lead by example for those in areas that don’t have Covid under control yet.”
With Triumph Motorcycles once again stepping up as an official sponsor of the event there are more than a few cool prizes for this year. Included among the prize offerings – which are not only open to riders who raise the most globally but also any rider who raises more than $200US – are aesthetically appropriate motorcycles in line with the DGR philosophy. These include a Bonneville T120, Scrambler 1200, Speed Twin and, for the top fundraiser of the year, a Thruxton RS.
The 2020 Distinguished Gentleman’s Ride is officially set down to take place on the 27th of September, and with the dapper folk of the DGR riding solo, this year chances are you’ll see them out on two wheels in their best threads on a road near you.