A rumbling, rolling parade of chrome and tweed wasn’t planned for the city’s streets this year.
The fundraiser for men’s health encourages riders to dress and ride in large numbers in the name of fun.
But this year, the bikes could have stayed on their stands, the Sunday-best outfit left hanging in the wardrobe for another day.
A handful of us thought we’d don our finest dapper threads and ride anyway, to mark the day and support the causes. It seems a few others had the same idea. In fact, a lot of others seemed to have the same idea.
So yes, that was us on Sunday morning, stylish and loud. Waving and smiling at you as we passed the cafes and markets, sporting grounds and parks.
And thanks for smiling and waving back by the way, it is as much fun as it looks. Perhaps more so for us, because we’re on a mission.
We are agents of change – out fundraising in partnership with Movember – to save men’s lives and improve their wellbeing.
In fact, since the DGR was first “kicked-over” in 2012 by Australian Mark Hawwa, more than 300,000 motorcycle enthusiasts in 104 countries have raised over $34.5m (AUD) towards men’s mental health and prostate cancer research and awareness.
On the last Sunday in September every year, hordes of cool classic and old-style bikes wind their way through the streets in cities all over the world.
The friends, family, and other supporters that sponsor them play their part to get that change happening.
In Brisbane alone last year more than 600 registered riders and pillions raised over $99,760 (AUD).
Those funds are being directly channelled through Movember into medical research, facilities and equipment, as well as community-based information and awareness programs. All helping to spread messages of support to get men talking and sharing experiences, building connections with each other, and improving their overall wellbeing to benefit their partners, friends, and especially themselves.
The pandemic stubbed out the mass rides this year, but nevertheless a call went out, ‘#ridesolotogether’ it said.
Over 300 Brisbane riders and pillions responded and registered to ride alone, or in small select groups of bikes, to circulate COVID-safely as an alternative, and so far have raised $46,877 (AUD).
Our little gang of four set off from the Gabba, through the centre of town and snaked up over Mt Coot-tha planning to stop for a drink and take in the view.
However, when we rounded that final corner before the lookout? Wow, what a sight.
Smaller groups of gleaming machines, and socially distanced stylish Gents, and Ladies, completely filled the view.
Each as surprised and delighted as the next to find so many like-minded dapper folk out supporting each other and the causes. That’s riding, solo, together.
The ride was able to go ahead thanks to organiser Jeff Gough.
Andrew Lofthouse is a Brisbane Ambassador for the Distinguished Gentleman’s Ride.