The Distinguished Gentleman's Ride has been something Godspeed Co. has followed, participated in, and supported for years now. In fact, a couple of us met on the NYC ride, became fast friends and now biz partners. Today, we're proud to support it all in a big way, with Chris hosting in Chattanooga, Mike co-hosting NYC, and Allan capturing all the action in Hamilton, Ontario ... along with a very special edition of our Shop Rag Shirt! Tally Ho, indeed! - GSCo.
THE DAPPER DO-GOODERS
Words: Mike Higgins Images: Allan Glanfield
It's no small event now. Not even close. With over 100,000 riders in 650 cities raising $6 Million last year, it's a global sensation. But the thing about the Distinguished Gentleman's Ride that's so remarkable, and has surely contributed to its wild success, is that it makes any place on the planet feel small ... and tight nit. The ride brings people together. It takes a sprawling metropolis or a crowded township, and for a day in September, makes it small community of friends with a common passion and a shared interest in rallying for a cause.
The DGR has always been about raising money and awareness for men's health concerns. With that charitable cause focusing much more attention on mental health and suicide prevention the last couple years, this aspect of building community no small thing. In many ways, each ride is not simply creating a forum to put a spotlight on health issues, it's creating the opportunity to combat them. It's creating community.
There's very much a stigma about mental health, and in particular men's mental health. The idea of toughening up and just getting over it, is certainly a stereotypical male mentality. Throw in a guy that makes motorcycling part of his lifestyle, and the perceived need to display a certain amount of machismo increases. In the same way that the DGR set out to dispel the notion that all "biker gangs" are a rogue element of "hellraisers," this renewed focus is hell-bent on debunking the idea that men shouldn't show vulnerability or talk about real feelings.
Getting people together is the most important aspect of what DGR does, and an important first step. It gets a spirited group of folks out for a Sunday ride to talk about their passions, and to share in a great event for a great cause. And it's determined to get everyone that's so eager to talk bikes and beards and bespoke suits, to open up a bit more, and talk about anything that might really be on their mind.
And that's no small feat.
Images from the 2018 Gentleman's Ride, Hamilton, Ontario.
For more information on how you can get involved in the cause visit GentlemansRide.com.