Distinguished Gentleman's Ride: Suited for a good ride
Local bikers gather to do their part in worldwide event that raises funds and awareness for men's health
They turned up in force and in style last Sunday, with close to 400 bikers from various motorcycle clubs in Singapore dressed up to ride in support of global movement Distinguished Gentleman's Ride (DGR).
DGR was founded by Mr Mark Hawwa in Sydney, Australia, to "combat the often negative stereotype of men on motorcycles" while raising funds and awareness for men's health.
Mr Gary Eng, 41, who organised Singapore's DGR 2017, told The New Paper: "I feel a great sense of camaraderie worldwide, that motorcycles can make such an impact on a global scale and have lots of fun while at it - all to raise awareness about men's health, prostate cancer and male suicides among other causes."
The first ride in 2012 brought together over 2,500 riders across 64 cities. The next year, more than 11,000 participants in 145 cities raised over US$277,000 (S$376,000) for prostate cancer research.
Now, DGR, which is supported by Zenith watches and Triumph Motorcycles, has more than 93,000 registered riders worldwide. It raised around US$4.6 million this year.
But more help is needed, said Mr Eng, who is a brand and marketing officer at Harley-Davidson of Singapore.
He said: "Locally, we raised about US$10,000... We are close to this year's global target of US$5 million."
"Locally, we raised about US$10,000 (S$13,500)... We are close to this year's global target of US$5 million."Singapore's DGR 2017 organiser Gary Eng
After forming up near Seletar Aerospace Park, the Singapore convoy rode to the scenic Yishun Dam and along the long and shaded Thomson Road.
They then proceeded to the midpoint at Dempsey Hill, where retro diner Kombi Rocks provided refreshments.
Then, it was a cruise along Orchard Road and Shenton Way before they ended up at Handlebar, a biker-themed restaurant and bar at Gillman Barracks.
It was a spectacle not only for onlookers but also ardent bikers such as Mr Muhammad Alkhatib, who participated in the event.
The 41-year-old, who owns a digital firm, said: "There were plenty of vintage bikes. A few pre-World War II bikes, old-school dirt bikes and vintage Vespas. I rode my 20-year-old Honda XR650 dirt bike."
Getting into the DGR spirit, the participants wore suits, overalls and other non-traditional biking attire while riding Triumphs, Harleys, 1990s Japanese naked bikes and scooters and other motorcycles.
But Singapore's DGR 2017 nearly did not happen, as the previous organiser had pulled out at the last minute, Mr Eng said. That was when he was contacted by Mr Hawwa.
Mr Eng then roped in bikers from motorcycle group Rollas to assist in the planning, and more help came from Mah Pte Ltd, Triumph Motorcycles Singapore, Harley-Davidson of Singapore as well as Kombi Rocks and Handlebar.
Other riders also volunteered as route marshals.
Mr Eugene Mah, managing director of Mah Pte Ltd, said: "When Rollas decided to step up and take over as the organiser just two weeks before the event, we decided to throw our weight behind them... It was a mad scramble. But looking at the many happy faces last Sunday, it was all worth it."
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