The Distinguished Gentlemen’s Ride

There are no shortage of group rides for charity, or to raise awareness, or for any number of public rally rides. It’s part of motorcycle culture. The Distinguished Gentlemen’s Ride is one of those rides, and being new to the region I decided to take part and meet some new people, and raise money for charity while dressed to the nines.

Established in Sydney, Australia back in 2012, the DGR is a global annual event specifically for riders of classic and vintage styled motorcycles, and despite the name, it’s open to all genders. Riders dress and act, well, distinguished! Look classy, act classy.

To date, the DGR has raised $31.6 million USD for awareness of and research for prostate cancer and men’s mental health, on behalf of The Movember Foundation.

Our ride started bright and early on a cloudy May morning in Richmond, Virginia. There was free coffee and Krispy Kreme, and more than 100 riders meeting up pre-ride. We narrowly avoided a rain forecast, but the cloudy skies meant I’d be better off shooting B&W film rather than color. I loaded JCH 400 into my Canonet rangefinder with the wonky light meter… it has never been remotely accurate, but luckily the Canonet QL 17 has a manual shooting mode so I can still shoot using a handheld light meter. It’s a pain but what can you do with old technology like this? I usually prefer SLRs to rangefinders, but the Canonet has the benefit of being small, light, and classic-looking. An attractive accessory to go with my outfit while riding a Triumph Bonneville.

The ride took us through 20 miles of winding city streets, through many of Richmond’s most noteworthy neighborhoods. It was a long train of more than 70 motorcycles, yet we managed to hold the group mostly together, and ended the ride with brunch and prizes (my partner and I even got one: “Best Dressed”). Our first time out enjoying bike culture in a new town, and they give us a prize. You can’t beat that kind of welcoming!

My partner and I raised about 200 bucks for the charity, and our group in total raised just over $23,000, and I got some fun photos.