The Distinguished Gentleman’s Ride, Birmingham - 2019
Words: Scott Blackburn Photos: Drew Deas
Composed to: Black Sabbath - Black Sabbath
Every year, riders around the world take part in the festival of charitable motorcycle riding that is the Distinguished Gentleman’s Ride. Designed to raise as much money as possible for the Movember Foundation and men’s physical and mental health, the ride is largely an excuse to dress up, ride whatever you’ve got and raise a bunch of money.
While London is the UK’s largest ride, the country is dotted with smaller processions, all with the same aim. Birmingham’s ride is not only our closest but also takes on a special quality thank’s to the city’s industrial history and recent re-injection of celebration courtesy of the Peaky Blinders.
The rally point for 2019 was Streetbike, on the Dudley Road in Halesowen, with riders making a procession through the Black Country to the Black Country Museum. The roughly 40 minute ride making a noisy line of tweed and fumes through the heart of the Midlands.
As riders began to assemble at Streetbike in the early (or at least early for a Sunday) hours, the procession began to build. While the focus of the event tends towards classic bikes and tweed suits, the variety of bikes at the Birmingham ride, with everything from ‘90s sports machines to early 20th century Ariels, made the atmosphere that bit more special.
With what must have been near 200 riders assembled, the procession emerged onto the Dudley Road around 11, carving their way through the Black Country’s A roads to the Black Country Museum for shortly before 12. One of the best reasons to attend the event seems to be just the looks of sheer joy on rider’s faces, as they ride together for a good cause and look the business doing it.
After arriving at the Museum, riders were granted entry and free reign, releasing a sea of beards and tweed into the museum and somewhat bewildering the tourists. With families and riders of all levels welcome, the DGR rides are definitely worth showing up for, why not raise some money and have an excuse to get dressed up for a day while riding your pride and joy?
To learn more about the DGR and how you can contribute or just think about next year’s rides, click here.