Suits, sunglasses and bikes. If you saw a lot of classic motorcycles on the roads in Sandton on Sunday morning, it’s no cause for alarm. It’s just Bruce Allen and fellow riders out raising money and promoting awareness for men’s mental and physical health.
Founded in 2012, the annual Distinguished Gentleman’s Ride puts classic motorcycles and enthusiasts in smart attire on a mass ride to raise money for men’s health. The global event saw over $6 million raised worldwide in 2019 to fund research for prostate cancer. While usually an event that shuts down the roads to the Johannesburg CBD with thousands of attendees – this year things were a little different.
“The impacts of lockdown, the pressures it’s put on people – the mental health issue is almost more prevalent right now. There’s a lot of stress and anxiety out there – people need help,” comments Triumph Sandton CEO Bruce Allen.
The pandemic has thrown a spanner in the works with no mass rides being performed anywhere in the world, so Allen instead arranged for a looped route centered around the Triumph dealership in Sandton, allowing for attendees to ride at their leisure. With fresh coffee, a food truck and social distancing guidelines enforced, the event nevertheless offered an opportunity to dress up and have a ride with some friends for a good cause.
With a bit of initiative, spirits were high, and some unique vintage motorcycles were on display. “We just want to support people we have as part of the motorcycling family, and get out and contribute – it gives people a sense of purpose as well,” concludes Allen.