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Get your motor running!

Bikers ride for charity

Jean Sandal Ryman Ride Oct18 1

Jean Sandel Village had the rubber meet the road on Sunday, when residents were treated to a stopover by the Distinguished Gentleman's Ride. Residents brought their own wheels out while they reminisced about their biker days.

Some of the classic and vintage bikes pre-dated them and some belonged to family and friends.

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Founded in 2012 by a group of Australian friends, The Distinguished Gentleman’s Ride is now a world-wide phenomenon.

Held globally on the last Sunday of September, the charity event attracts over 110,000 participants, or gentlefolk, on classic, custom-style and vintage bikes, in more than 600 cities, riding dapper through the heart of their city.

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The original idea was to change the perception of motorbike riders, while raising money and awareness for men’s mental health programmes, suicide prevention and prostate cancer research.

The theme was inspired by a photo of Mad Men’s, Don Draper on a classic bike wearing his finest suit.

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The monocles, moustaches, and machines descended on Jean Sandel Village in New Plymouth on Sunday to the delight of residents who joined the riders and relived memories of biking days.

Bow ties, tweed and cravats were de rigueur, accessorised with helmets, goggles and gloves as riders on their machines grunted into the village carpark.

Organisers for the New Plymouth event, Jason and Letitia Corcoran said there were 12-15 rides happening throughout New Zealand on Sunday.

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Locally, they have already raised $6,500.00 this year and over $17,000.00 in total since the event was first held in New Plymouth four years ago.

Jason said the slow ride around the city is a bit of fun for a worthy cause, raising awareness and money for the charity. And bringing the classic and vintage bike community together. “You’ll see old and unique bikes that are not often on the roads.”

The New Zealand events were the first in the world to herald in the ride.

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“With over 40 bikes registered this year it’s growing every year, as are the donations,” he said.

“It’s nice to stop off at the village so the residents can see something different. A lot remember having their own bikes.”

After a hot cuppa and a check of the bikes, the riders donned their safety gear and waved goodbye to the residents as they headed off to Fitzroy Beach for their next fundraising stop.

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