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BIKER NEWS: Bikers get ready for Distinguished Gentleman's Ride

BN- TRAVERSE CITY — Some bikers look for any excuse to get their hogs out of the garage. Or dust off their best suit and monocle. Or do b...



BN- TRAVERSE CITY — Some bikers look for any excuse to get their hogs out of the garage. Or dust off their best suit and monocle. Or do both at the same time.

Thousands of dapper motorcyclists attempting their best imitation of Mad Men’s Don Draper will hit the road Sunday for the annual Distinguished Gentleman’s Ride. The short cruise is designed to raise money and awareness for prostate cancer research. It starts at 10 a.m. at Bryant Park and ends across from The Little Fleet at noon.


If silk vests, crisp shirts, jaunty trimmed moustaches and tailored suits don’t draw the attention they’re looking for, the men and women hope their classic and custom motorcycles will do the trick. This year marks the second time Wandering Soul Touring Company has hosted the event in Traverse City.

“It’s an opportunity to get some old shiny bikes out of the garage,” owner Matthew Zerilli said. “This bike community is present worldwide. It’s a niche community that is something I’m really interested in and I’d like to try to spread that culture and get folks involved.”

Only café racers, bobbers, classics, flat trackers, scramblers and quirky, indefinable two-wheeled machines are eligible to participate. The requirements are in place to keep the global event smaller and more manageable, but also to preserve the eccentric style of a distinguished gentleman. Women are welcome

Zerilli rode alongside eight bikers and their significant others last year on his Ural Tourist 750 with a Russian-made sidecar. Brandon Johnson brought out his 1982 Suzuki GS450. Jason Pompei rode his retro-styled Harley Davidson Deluxe.

Johnson said pairing a vintage bike with gentleman's attire helps change some of the stereotypes associated with motorcyclists.

“A lot of times people that have motorcycles and are perceived as rough around the edges, but what I love about this is it’s a lot more sophisticated and shows motorcyclists in a different light,” he said. “It’s very genteel and civilized.”



The event originated in Australia and is organized in each participating city entirely by volunteers. More than 2,500 riders across 64 cities raised $277,000 during the inaugural event in 2012. Those figures more than quadrupled to 20,000 riders in 257 cities last year to raise more than $1.5 million.

This year’s goal is $3 million and the funds will be almost entirely redistributed to major cancer research entities on each continent. The Prostate Cancer Foundation is the recipient for the funds raised in North and South America.

Zerilli said prostate cancer is something that is often overlooked and deserves more attention.

“It’s important to make sure you get tested,” he said. “I’m 38 and it’s time to start thinking about these things.”



Riders can register for free at gentlemansride.com and are able to begin raising funds immediately through online sponsorships. Riders will gather at Bryant Park at 9:30 a.m. and depart at 10 a.m.

More: http://www.record-eagle.com/news/go/bikers-prepare-for-distinguished-gentleman-s-ride/article_dfeabca8-a550-5d07-bf39-92e709ec02a7.html

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Outlaws Bikers News : BIKER NEWS: Bikers get ready for Distinguished Gentleman's Ride
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