The ground shook with the sound of a thousand engines and polished tanks glinted in the rare autumn sunshine at 2017’s London DGR. The event saw more than 1,000 classic motorcycles and smartly dressed riders take to the streets to raise awareness of prostate cancer and men’s mental health.
The mass of motorcycles thrummed, spluttered and barked as the convoy moved off as a single unit. Bonnies and Thruxtons took centre stage as tweed-clad riders lined up for the sixth Distinguished Gentleman’s Ride. The gleaming paintwork and overwhelming noise turned the heads of Londoners as riders on everything from 125s to big 2-litre machines completed a loop of the city centre. This year’s ride started near the Olympic Park, before heading in to the centre, over Tower Bridge and past the Houses of Parliament. FTR spoke to three participants, fresh from the ride, including the top Triumph UK fundraiser.
Without a doubt it’s one of my favourite events of the year. I’ve done four DGRs now and it’s a great means of raising money and awareness in a cool and interesting way. I live in London and ride my bike to work every day, so it’s my natural environment. It was such a special feeling to ride in a big group on my local roads.
What a brilliant day. It’s my first DGR after missing out last year due to my bike being stolen. The buzz of riding with so many people is indescribable. As we all pulled away together it sounded like thunder – it’s the sort of sound that makes your hair stand on end. I loved the sense of friendship and camaraderie, and everyone rode really sensibly too. I’m glad to have finally made it and I won’t miss it again.
Gavin and Ferdi Haywood
For me and my son, Ferdi, it’s our first DGR and we’ll be doing it for many years to come. We rode my Thruxton R with a few modifications, including a new seat, tail tidy, extra footpegs for Ferdi and low bars. It was fun to ride with so many people – not a lot of room though – but I loved it. We’re actually the biggest fundraiser on a Triumph in the UK as we’ve raised around £5,500 and hope to match that figure next year.
That’s a wrap
Thanks to every one of the 92,000-plus well-dressed riders in 580 cities across 95 countries who took part; the DGR 2017 was by far the biggest event yet. If you want to see pictures from around the world, check out DGR’s Instagram. As of today, 4.36 million USD has been raised with more to come as the final figures roll in.