Dozens of smartly dressed motorcyclists will take to the roads of North Wales next week to raise funds for men’s health charities, with an event inspired by TV’s Madman Don Draper.
The retro-themed Distinguished Gentleman’s Ride on Sunday September 24 involves more than 55,000 bike fans around the world donning their cravats, tweaking their moustaches, tucking in a monocle, and slipping on their tweed jackets to raise funds and awareness for men’s health, specifically prostate cancer research and suicide prevention.
In North Wales, more than 60 male and female riders will be heading off from Rhyl’s prom at 11am to tour around Denbighshire and Conwy, collecting donations at stops at Pensarn and Llandudno, before concluding at Conwy Harbour around 2pm.
Among those taking part in the North Wales ride-out will be Tony Parry, joint chairman of parcels and pallets company Delsol, who will be riding his Ducati motorbike.
Tony runs Delsol, which has bases in Caernarfon and Sandycroft, with business partner and fellow biking fan Simon Walker – between the pair, they own a varied collection of motorcycles.
Tony has previously taken part in the North Wales leg of the ride, organised by Woods Motorcycles of Abergele, and which last year raised more than £2,000 towards the global total of $3.6 million.
He said: “The motorbike that I will be riding for the Distinguished Gentleman’s Ride is a 800cc Ducati scrambler – it is described as a modern-retro bike, and which came from Woods Motorcycles of Abergele.
“I took part in the event last year and I was stunned by how many people made a donation when they saw us at one of the stops. It’s a great event, and lots of fun as many families take part.
“The charity aspect is close to my heart, and I have friends and colleagues in the business who have been treated for prostate cancer. Men are never very good at going to their GP when there’s a health problem and I’d hope that events such as this ride will raise awareness of the condition.
“In addition, men’s mental health is an issue that affects so many families. Men do find it hard to talk about their feelings and problems – suicide is now the single biggest cause of male death in the 20 to 45 age group.”
One of the women taking part in the ride will be Anna Revell from Buckley, part of the sales team at Woods Motorcycles in Abergele.
Anna, who will be riding her Triumph Street Twin bike, said: “Although it is called the Distinguished Gentlemen’s Ride, we think it as the Ladies Ride as well, with women both taking part and helping out behind the scenes. I will be wearing a very formal outfit – tweed skirt and blouse with an open faced helmet and googles.
“My son Harry, who is 13, will be my pillion passenger, while my daughter Agatha, who is 11, will be riding with my colleague Clive Holland, who is one of our test drivers.
“Another colleague, Dave Ellender, will be taking his 13-year-old daughter Hannah on hisTriumph Bonneville.
“The event isn’t about covering lots of miles very fast, but rather a sedate run with lots of stops on the way.
“We have found that everywhere we stop people want to know about the event and many then donate cash, especially when they discover it’s for charity. Prostate cancer is a condition that affects so many families and so we are keen to help organisations that support people living with cancer.
“In addition, the event is again supporting men’s mental health issues and that’s something many people sympathise with.”
The Distinguished Gentleman’s Ride began in 2012 in Sydney thanks to Australian Mark Hawwa, who was inspired by a photo of Don Draper from hit TV show Mad Men, astride a classic bike and wearing his finest suit. Mark decided a themed ride would be a great way to combat the often-negative stereotype of men on motorcycles, whilst connecting niche motorcycle communities together.
Last year more than 505 cities in 90 took part and raised more than $3.6 million for charity. Now sponsored by Triumph Bikes and Zenith Watches, this year’s event is partnered with Moovember.
To support Tony you can donate at gentlemansride.com/rider/tonydelsolparry