This year’s route began at the Vintage and Veteran Club Johannesburg before the parade turned heads as they proceeded through the leafy streets to Constitution Hill for a group shot. They then swept up historic Munro Drive before finishing at the Victoria Yards renewal project where participants could enjoy great craft beer, delicious food, interesting stores and entertaining buskers. The majority of riders had gone to great lengths to remain true to the vision of founder Mark Hawwa in terms of dressing the part and riding classic motorcycles, but also by going the extra mile to raise funds for important men’s health issues.
“We are honoured to have sponsored this event which was not only an exciting experience for the riders and spectators, but also helped raise awareness of important health issues,” commented Mercia Jansen, Motul Area Manager for Southern and Eastern Africa. “We’re proud to have been able to do our bit for an immensely enjoyable event that also gets a serious message across”. The Distinguished Gentleman’s Ride aims to raise awareness and funds to support men living with prostate cancer and mental health issues, with Movember being the official charity partner. The Johannesburg event saw the equivalent of over US$37 000 being raised through pledges and sponsorships via the official website, placing Jozi 15 th overall for top fundraising city in the world. So far in 2018, US$5,7 Million has been raised globally. As well as the old-school glamour of the event, riders shared real-life stories of surviving cancer and losing friends both to cancer and to depression.
Johannesburg event organiser, Marnitz Venter, reflected on some sobering statistics when he commented that “A million men die annually due to cancer and suicide; in fact, 3 in every 4 suicides are men. It’s important to me to organise an event where these issues are brought to light, as well as the fundraising. I’m really proud of Johannesburg – as a city we have made a really meaningful contribution to achieving this year’s global target of US$6 Million”.
Although the event itself took place on Sunday September 30 th , donations can still be made via the Distinguished Gentleman’s Ride website until mid-October: https://www.gentlemansride.com/rides/south+africa “We’d like to thank the dapper riders, both male and female, of Johannesburg – and beyond – for turning out in such numbers for the Distinguished Gentleman’s Ride. It was wonderful to see so many Triumph and other classic motorcycles in action,” commented Bruce Allen, the CEO of Triumph SA.
“Triumph is proud to be the global partner for this important initiative, and we hope to see even more riders register (early) for next year’s event, so that we can anticipate how many gentlefolk we will be riding with. Given how fast this event is growing, that will definitely assist the organisers”. Gentlemen and ladies are also encouraged to post their images of the day on social media (including the event’s Facebook page) using the hashtag #DGRJohannesburg to further spread the word, and encourage any final donations. And with Movember just around the corner, now is the ideal time to really pledge and show support for men’s health.