For bikers there’s nothing like the freedom of the open road
Riders in Bendigo’s first Distinguished Gentleman’s Ride will be avoiding the open road at all costs however.
In their upcoming ride the men and women will take to the streets at a slower speed.
Well, the dress code is “dapper”. As charming as they look, tweed suits and cravats are not a practical option for speeding along at 100 kilometres per hour.
Instead the riders are hoping to attract as much attention as possible on local roads.
It’s not just themselves they’re hoping to draw attention to, it’s the cause of men’s health.
Bendigo organiser Rod Gilbert said he believed any effort to keep men’s mental health affected a much wider range of people than it might seem.
“Any efforts for men we can help to keep check of their mental health is a useful exercise,” Mr Gilbert said.
It’s not just the riders who will be distinguished, their bikes will all be of a healthy vintage as well.
Mr Gilbert decided to begin a Bendigo Distinguished Gentleman's Ride ride after being invited to Ballarat’s last year.
With other members of the Bendigo’s Vintage Japanese Motorcycle Club Mr Gilbert decided Bendigo could sustain its own ride.
So far they’ve had about 16 people register to ride, and Mr Gilbert is estimating that will double before the ride on September 30.
The Distinguished Gentleman’s Rides began in 2012, to raise funds for research into prostate cancer.
Donations are now split between this and men’s mental health charities.
Over 120,000 people in 650 cities worldwide will ride on Sunday September 30, wearing their best “dapper” clothing.
“Dapper” is always interpreted a variety of ways Mr Gilbert said.
While in theory Mr Gilbert said it involved a classic look of tweeds most people would end up wearing a modern suit.
And on vintage bikes, riders will always be exposed to both the elements and the whims of an older engine, even at low speeds on local roads.
“Pretty much whatever you’re wearing you’ve got to sacrifice to the motorcycle gods at some stage,” Mr Gilbert said.
Riders aren’t just in it for the funds. Having fun together on motorbikes is just as valuable for the cause of men’s mental health.
Mr Gilbert describes motorcycle clubs as like “a moving mobile Men’s Shed”.
“It has significant value to a lot of men out there,” he said.
“With a lot of the motorbike clubs that are out there, these are actual enthusiasts clubs, is that a lot of men use them as a form of social interaction.”
Watch out for Distinguished Gentlemen in and around Bendigo on September 30.
For more information visit gentlemansride.com/rides/australia/bendigo
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