| Aziz Idris |
IN A most honourable and dignified fashion dapper gentlemen astride vintage motorcycles rode around town for the Brunei edition of the Distinguished Gentlemen’s Ride (DGR) in a worldwide cause to raise awareness for prostate cancer research yesterday.
Some 50 like-minded individuals braved the tropical weather and suited up to join the good cause, riding in their splendid two-wheeled beauties either on classics, café racers, bobbers, trackers, customs or scooters.
This was the first DGR event hosted in Brunei since the big ride was organised in 2012. Some 245 riders across 57 countries with an estimated projection of 20,000 riders were expected to join this year.
The ride’s worldwide goal is to raise a whopping $1 million to the Prostate Cancer Foundation in the US, UK and Australia, with a relevant men’s health charity in Asia to be determined, and according to the official website, it’s on track to make its mark.
The group gathered on a wet Sunday afternoon at Gadong Central in Gadong before riding leisurely through the highway to regroup at Jerudong Park Playground. After stopping over to take photos, the convoy rode back to the Centrepoint Hotel, Gadong branch of Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf.
According to one of the volunteering riders, Izam Said, the event was not just about having long rides on vintage bikes or donning their best suit but it’s also to make sure it creates that “interest” to the public to know more about the cause and men’s health generally.
“The success of the event lies in the individual who participated in the big ride. The group grew organically, and the turnout was impressive although having only less than two weeks to gather all the riders,” he noted.
Some passers-by who saw the gathering took photos of the motorcycles and the riders, and often asking the occasion of the themed ride, directly raising awareness of prostate cancer research as riders explained the cause to them.
The Distinguished Gentlemen’s Ride was founded in 2012. Inspired by a photo of Mad Men’s Don Draper astride a classic bike and wearing his finest suit, it was decided a themed ride would be a great way to combat the often-negative stereotype of men on motorcycles.
That first ride brought together over 2,500 riders across 64 cities. The success of the event encouraged the organisers to consider how it could be used to support a worthy cause. And the rest, as they say, is stylishly-attired history.
Last year, over 11,000 participants in 145 cities around the world raised over $277,000 for prostate cancer research.