The Distinguished Gentleman’s Ride (DGR) is a motorcycle parade that began in 2012. It was established by Mark Hawwa in Australia, and has so far been held across 406 cities in 79 countries. Next Sunday , on September 27, it will hit the roads in Karachi, Lahore and Islamabad for the second consecutive year.
DGR aims to raise awareness for prostate cancer as well as change the negative stereotypes associated with heavy bikers; the latter is done by ensuring that all participants are dressed to impress. Interestingly enough, Hawwa’s inspiration to create DGR came form the series finale of the well-known TV show Mad Men, in which the protagonist, Don Drapery (played by John Hamm), rides off on a Vintage Cafe Racer to join a hippie commune, wearing a crisp three piece suit.
The man responsible for bringing DGR to Pakistan this year, is Haris Aziz, a chartered account by profession, who organised the event in Pakistan last year, after a relative of his succumbed to prostate cancer. To date, DGR in Pakistan has generated an estimated $1,400 (Rs. 146,069), thanks to its sponsors and donors. This amount has been donated to some of the world’s most well-reputed prostate cancer research institutes.
In Islamabad, nearly 36 riders are expected to participate in the parade which will begin at F-9 Markaz and end at F-11 Markaz; in Karachi, 66 bikers will make their way from Shahrah-e-faisal to Zamzama Mall, while Lahore will witness around 35 well-suited men riding from Gulberg to Mall Road.
On display will be some of the rarest bikes in the world, several of which date to World War II. Furthermore, motorcycle buffs will be able to feast their eyes on several Ariels in Karachi, Cafe Racers, British Matchless and Vespas in Islamabad and a handful of Triumphs in Lahore.
Given the fact that seeing well-dressed men riding vintage bikes is such a rarity – not only in Pakistan but the world over – the DGR parade is an event all bike enthusiastic should mark on their calendar.
By Syed Wajeeh-ul-Hassan Naqvi