6 May 2022

The Distinguished Gentleman's Ride returns to Canberra

| Aiden Rothnie
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John Aust and Simon Whitaker prepare for The Distinguished Gentleman's Ride 2022

(left to right) Simon Whitaker and John Aust will suit up and hop on their classic bikes for the Distinguished Gentleman’s Ride this year. Photo: Supplied.

The Distinguished Gentlemen’s Ride (DGR) 2022 will cruise into Canberra to raise funds for men’s health issues later this month.

The DGR invites people worldwide to don their dapper threads and converge on their vintage, classic or old-school motorcycles in support of causes such as prostate cancer and suicide prevention.

The event has raised more than A$43 million worldwide since its inception in 2012.

Canberra’s DGR host of the past four years John Aust said the Canberra community’s support has been fantastic.

“The community in Canberra really gets behind it, which I’m grateful for as one of the event’s hosts. We’ve really punched above our weight every year,” he said.

“We’re usually one of the best in terms of donations in Australia and we’ve managed to make it into the top 40 cities in terms of donations overall before.”

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According to John, Canberra has raised around $30,000 every year and more than $250,000 since it began participating.

He said he got involved in The DGR himself shortly after rediscovering an interest in motorbikes.

“I had just recently got back into bikes and didn’t have much to do outside of ride through the countryside, and then I saw something about a charity ride and figured I should get involved,” he said.

John Aust by his classic bike for the The Distinguished Gentleman's Ride

John Aust has hosted Canberra’s Distinguished Gentleman’s Ride for the past four years. Photo: Supplied.

John says posh suits and vintage bikes challenge the tough bikie generalisation, making The DGR quite the spectacle.

“Everyone polishes up their cafe racers or vintage bikes and we all just try to get as dressed up as possible,” he said.

“It’s far removed from all those outlaw bikie gangs people talk about; these guys are all good blokes just wanting to have some fun and raise some money for a good cause.”

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Annual attendance for Canberra meets average between 140 to 160 riders yearly, though numbers have dipped recently due to COVID concerns.

But Simon Whitaker, one of Canberra’s biggest donators who has participated every year since 2012, said interest in the Territory is steadily growing.

“The first ride was only about 20 people altogether and since then it’s been growing slowly but surely,” he said.

“We had our biggest year in 2016 I believe with nearly 240 people showing up to ride.”

Simon Whitaker crouched near his bike for The Distinguished Gentleman's Ride

Simon Whitaker has been participating in The Distinguished Gentleman’s Rides since they started in 2012. Photo: Supplied.

Simon said the rides have created a great community of classic bike owners and usually attract a lot of motorcycle enthusiasts.

“We get a lot of enthusiasts, people who like to make or modify their bikes or who have been into riding since they were young,” he said.

While the ride route is still top secret, there will be events and food at QT Hotel following this year’s rides in Canberra.

If you are interested in donating or participating visit The DGR website or click here for the Canberra rides.

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Frank Spencer11:45 am 09 May 22

A great event.

Great event and great cause too,

Come join us on Sunday May 22 ….just go to http://www.gentlemansride.com and register for the ride… ?????

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