Once a year, bikers from around the world, ditch their leathers for tweeds, shine up their steel horses for a jaunt around the town in their finest fineries all for a noble cause. The Distinguished Gentleman's ride is the one ride of the year where riders get to come out from under the heavy armour garb to showcase their gentlemanly side. The softer nobler side, that is often lost in translation under wailing engine noises, thumping exhausts and heavy body armour. Since the ride itself was an embodiment of everything I held dear, I promised that this year, I would drag my lazy posterior off the bed on a Sunday and ride with the Triumph gang for this ride in Delhi. Which I did. Needless to say, this is likely to be the first of many such rides that I attend.
If you, like me, think that this Distinguished Gentleman’ ride concept is something very old and has a back story that would find you in the UK. You, like me, are in for a surprise. The ride is not a ye-old ride tradition that has been on for centuries, it, in fact, started as recently as 2012. In Australia!
In 2014, Triumph Motorcycles got on board and adopted the ride as their own, and began to sponsor worldwide rides under the same banner. Open to all genders, the ride was founded in 2012 by Mark Hawwa in Sydney, Australia — inspired by a photo of Mad Men’s Don Draper on a classic bike in a fine suit. It may sound a bit pop-culture, but the true reason for the ride is much more noble. Each group of riders riding across the town isn’t strutting their stuff because Tinder just isn’t classy enough. The idea is to show that riders are not just scary guys on big loud motorcycles, that underneath the armour and leather and fire-spitting, there’s a gentleman, a philanthropist who would step up to help his fellow man for a noble cause.
India too has bitten the bug hard, with over 1500 Triumph Motorcycle owners across cities joining in the celebrations with several parallelly running rides featuring dapper ladies and gentlemen on classic motorcycles. The ride was held on the 30th of September as it is every year, except this time, the riders were riding in support of Men's mental health and to raise funds to fight against the prostate cancer. Speaking on his first DGR at the helm of Triumph India Shoeb Farooq, General Manager Triumph Motorcycles India said that Prostate Cancer is one of one of the most rampant forms of the disease, and is still one of the least spoken about. Farooq said that through this prestigious annual ride event, Triumph not only raises awareness and funds for research to save millions of lives across the globe. He said that it bought them great joy as a brand to stand for something that was this momentous and represented such a strong message for bikers.
While the message was strong, the mood at the ride was light, there was no speeding no maniac riding and no blaring exhausts. The Triumph Delhi gang rode in tight formation, through the streets of Delhi, as the rumble of what must have been at least 50 big-bikes smashed through the bedlam of Sunday morning. Morning walkers gawked in astonishment, as the riders turned onto Raj Path set to the background of India Gate. It was a sight to see and memory to cherish.
The ride was followed by Breakfast where Triumph had organised some theme based competitions for the riders. Titles were handed out for Most Distinguished Motorcycle, Most Distinguished Couple, Most Distinguished Gentleman, Most Distinguished Lady, Most Distinguished Moustache, Most Distinguished Beard, and Most Distinguished Junior