Men urged to ride in name of good health

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by Alexia Johnston

Lads, it is time to dust off your suits for the return of Timaru’s Distinguished Gentleman’s Ride.

The event, designed to promote men’s health, will return to the streets of South Canterbury on September 24.

Riders will meet at the piazza, overlooking Caroline Bay, at 11.30am.

Timaru hosted its inaugural ride last year, thanks to the work of Jonty Penney and Richard Brown.

“It’s about pulling something out of the shed that’s old and dressing in your Sunday best; and going for a ride in support of men’s health.” – Richard Brown

The pair initially planned to take part in the Christchurch-based ride, but after realising it was not going ahead in the city last year they opted for plan B – to organise their own.

“By the next day we had our own [event] registered,” Mr Brown said.

Last year, riders cruised in convoy at no more than 50kmh to a range of locations, including Timaru’s Scenic Reserve.

Mr Brown said “classic” motorcycles were the key, along with formal attire.

“It’s about pulling something out of the shed that’s old and dressing in your Sunday best; and going for a ride in support of men’s health,” he said.

“So, it’s not your average motorcycle ride.”

Mr Brown will cruise on his Suzuki GS650E for the occasion.

“I bought it because it was my year of birth; and I was drinking whisky,” he said.

That was four years ago. The motorcycle has been an ongoing project ever since.

Anyone with a similar “project” in their shed is encouraged to dust it off for the Distinguished Gentleman’s Ride, which has a similar fundraising concept to Movember. Participants are required to register and raise funds for the cause.

There were already more than 17,500 people registered worldwide. The city with the largest following, to date, was Sydney, where at least 2280 people were registered.

There are 477 riders registered throughout New Zealand so far.

Mr Brown hoped more would soon sign up, particularly for the Timaru ride, something that had to be done via the official website.

For more information or to register visit gentlemansride.com and for local event information visit the Facebook page DGR2017 – Timaru NZ.