Bikes > Lifestyle

The Distinguished Gentleman’s Ride is happening this May 19

Also marking the 10th year for DGR Manila

The global event will see thousands of riders dressed dapper for a good cause. PHOTO FROM SAM BARHAM

Every year since 2012, hundreds of thousands of riders around the world have spent one fine Sunday morning cruising around town and having fun while dressed especially nicely. This year, the Philippines is taking part in the Distinguished Gentleman’s Ride (DGR) with at least 19 cities.

Founded by Mark Hawwa in Sydney, Australia, the DGR is meant to raise awareness for men’s health, particularly to raise funds for prostate cancer research and mental health. In partnership with the Movember Foundation, a global charity organization, the funds raised will be donated to both local and international programs.

Movember’s mission is to raise awareness about men’s health on a global scale. Since 2003, over five million people have joined the men’s health movement, helping to fund over 1,200 men’s health projects that focus on mental health, suicide prevention, prostate cancer, and testicular cancer. Over 300,000 men die from prostate cancer every year, while one in eight men will be diagnosed with it at some point in their life.

Riding is a form of therapy for many. PHOTO FROM NICK SELLS

Meanwhile, suicide is the leading cause of death among men aged 20-39, with one man taking his life every minute—that’s 500,000 deaths every year.

According to the International Association for Suicide Prevention, the global suicide rate is twice as high among men than women, with over half of all deaths by suicide occurring before the age of 50 years old. Furthermore, an individual suffering from depression is 20 times more likely to die by suicide than someone without the disorder.

If these statistics hit hard, chances are that it has happened within your own circle of friends and family.

Mental health is something that has to be taken seriously and not just another reason to take a day off work. In many cultures where men are expected to be strong and seemingly always have all the answers and all the solutions to the problems that life throws at them, it’s no wonder that depression can often be a silent killer.

At least 19 cities are participating in the Philippines. PHOTOS FROM KIM MACLOVIN AND MARK MCCULLIE

Now, for those who ride, they might already understand the recuperative power of “throttle therapy.” With the DGR, it’s both an annual parade and a gathering of riders who share in the brotherhood of riding and, more deeply, the challenges of living in an adult world.

Since 2016, Movember has invested over A$40 million (P1.471 billion) into prostate cancer research and men’s mental health initiatives from funds raised by the DGR. Locally, the event has raised more than $32,000 (P1,816,768) through the years. The local organizer, DGR Manila, hopes to raise at least $10,000 this year.

If you participated in the ride over the past several years, or just happened to be on the road while the DGR passed through, then you already know that a lot of riders participate.

Primarily men (of course), single, married, some with their kids, and also not a few women who also want to join in the fun. There were 1,883 registered riders in 2023, and it’s expected that there will be more this year given the continued popularity of motorcycle riding.

A few bring their kids along for the event. PHOTO FROM PAT STEVENSON

To be officially registered (and not just be a bandit rider), sign up at www.gentlemansride.com. A donation is not obligatory, but is of course encouraged to help support the movement.

Once you’ve signed up, you will receive more details about the event such as the itinerary and the participating establishments. You can also set up a fundraising page on its website to help add to your personal donation. Triumph motorcycles, Elf lubricants, Quad Lock, and Hedon helmets are DGR’s global sponsors.

Afterward, start preparing your DGR setup. According to the DGR style guide, the following motorcycles are permissible in the parade:

  • Café racers
  • Classic and modern classic bikes
  • Choppers
  • Brat-style bikes
  • Bobbers
  • Metal-bodied classic scooters
  • Trackers and scramblers
  • Classic bikes with sidecars
  • Classic cruisers
  • Modern classic electrics
Time to bring out the retro helmet then. PHOTO FROM MATHIEU DIRIBARNE

As for your clothes, the idea is to “dress dapper.” Thus, think formal suites, tailored vests or waistcoats (ideal for our tropical climate), suspenders, bow ties, pocket squares, tweeds, leather shoes or booths, ’50s-style dresses (for women), pantsuits, and the like.

You can follow @movember and @gentlemansride on social media to be updated on the event as the date approaches. Sign up, ride dapper, and be a good ambassador for the motorcycle lifestyle.

Andy Leuterio

Andy is both an avid cyclist and a car enthusiast who has finally made the shift to motorcycles. You've probably seen him on his bicycle or motorbike overtaking your crawling car. He is our motorcycle editor and the author of the ‘Quickshift’ column.