The Distinguished Gentleman’s Ride (DGR) is a bit of an Annual Highlight. There is something about the sight and sound of so many Classic machines, accompanied by their Dapper Riders that really resonates with me. Its a spectacle that cannot fail to raise a smile. That taking part in the ride, also contributes to a simply massive worldwide fundraising effort just adds to the joy.
This year, for the second time, I hosted the Busselton WA DGR and I was keen to build on the success of the inaugural event last year.
The arrival in WA, all the way from Tasmania, of my good friend, and Two Wheels n Heels Contributor – Leonie made this years DGR very special. It was an amazing experience to finally meet her, after communicating online for so long.
At the end of the 2016 DGR, the riders retired to Occys inn Dunnsboough and we began to look at what improvements we could achieve for next yeas. This casual discussion over a well cooked burger and a glass of IPA or two, resulted, after much heartache and stress, the first ever “Distinguished Gentlefolk Dinner” here in Busselton.
We made it happen, A Black Tie fundraiser with a DGR Theme, entitled the “Spirit of 1901 Dinner.” So on the the evening before the ride, a dedicated group of truly dapper Ladies and Gents, assembled in a private function room on the beautiful Busselton foreshore and enjoyed a magnificent event of friendship, and fundraising. The fundraising was aided by the incredibly generous, and very anonymous donation, from a truly historic name in Motorcycle History, for which we are incredibly grateful. Thank You….
The highlight of the evening was an engaging and lively talk from a WA Speedway Legend, Mr. Rod Chessell, who used the Race Bike on display in the restaurant to give a very visceral display of his riding techniques. It was a real pleasure to have Rod along, his enthusiasm and passion for the sport could provide enough material for a lifetime of speeches.
The weather had been looking decidedly iffy all week, and the Perth DGR team made the decision to postpone their event, early on Saturday morning. With this news cascading through Social Media, I spent the day fielding messages and questions from riders about postponing the Busselton event, but I had no intentions of pulling the pin, unless it started to look dangerous. So many people had already travelled a fair distance to take part, there was no way I was going to let them down…
This decision was a very different approach to the one taken by the Busselton Lions, who had been booked for sometime to cook breakfast for the riders. They decided that it was going to be too cold and wet for them and pulled out with less than 24 hours to go. Thank heavens for good friends who stepped up and took over the vital role and cooking the snags.
The morning of the ride, was damp, and cool, but conditions were nowhere near the biblical storm that had been promised.
The Sausages were cooking, the bikes were prepped, and Leonie, Jane , and I were suitably Dapper. In fact, Leonie doubly so in her hand made Steam Punk Jacket that was still being stitched the evening before.
The riders started to trickle into the meeting point from about 9 ‘o’ clock, and what a magnificent sight it was, by the time we started there were around 50 machines, and lots of incredibly well turned out riders.
A contingent of the Perth Cafe Racer community arrived and I am delighted to say, stepped into the essential role of corner marking, which they do safely and it has to be said, with superb style. Thanks Guys…..
The rain held off and we enjoyed a great ride, that started with a slow parade, around a car park lined with cheering, waving spectators.
The DGR really is a genius concept, and once again, despite the stress and the challenges, we are already thinking about next year…
I’m pretty sure the presence of “Gentleman’s Ride” in the DGR name, has an impact on the desire of many Women to get involved. However, it was great to see that there was a good number of Women riders registering and riding, however, I was disappointed that I only managed to encourage one of the members of a Local Womens riding group to join in. Maybe next year, because this event is just going to keep getting Better and Better….
We would also like to acknowledge the companies and individuals that contributed items to our auction – THANK YOU