Nothing more distinguished than starting a #CR750 #racebike inside the #brownfox. #DGR2013 #gentlemansride
Preparing for the Long Ride
Preparing for a long ride, whether for charity like The Distinguished Gentleman’s Ride (DGR) or just for leisure, isn’t as simple as purely donning a helmet and riding into the wilderness; although this may sound romantic, most bikers know that a lot more needs to be taken into account, especially your bank account. Aspects such as your route, weather, protective gear, insurance and what should happen if something goes wrong, all need to be considered before setting off.
Looking Dapper En Route
Firstly, finding out where your route begins and where it finishes is a vital – albeit obvious – part of the journey. Researching the area, for example, its terrain, food stops and toilet facilities are necessary in not just having a safe ride but a comfortable one as well. Not having to wonder where the next rest stop is will be a load off your mind when nature strikes. For example, the DGR runs from Fremantle (Clancy’s Fish Pub), meeting between 9am and 9:30am, and ends at The Brown Fox in West Perth. Along the route there are three regroup spots where others can join the riders, as well as a restaurant, Zafferano, along Mounts Bay Road, in case you need to a break.
Dressing up and looking dapper is a fun aspect of any long ride. Be sure to check the dress code on the ride’s main website well before the date. The DMR, for example, requires you and your friends to don your best suits (whilst still remaining safe). If you don’t own a suit and your budget doesn’t allow for such finery, why not check out a thrift shop or rental establishment? That way, you can still look dapper and join in the fun, but for bottom dollar. You can also buy some motorcycle polish for as little as $20 to make sure your bike is looking as slick as you are.
Whatever the Weather
Nearer the ride, consult the weather forecast. If the weather’s hot, the rider will have to take multiple things into consideration, such as hydration; protective leathers make the rider sweat and in hot weather this can be dangerous. Heat cramps can also occur, starting in the legs and working their way up; if this happens, taking a break, drinking water and eating a snack is imperative to keeping your blood pressure at a safe level. These symptoms can also be indicators of heat exhaustion; in situations where the rider believes this to be the case, they should find shade as quickly as possible, loosen clothing and drink water. It’s then recommended that the rider does not continue riding but instead rests for 24 hours afterwards. To help prevent this, purchasing a 2L water bladder that you can put in your rucksack for as little as $20, is an efficient way of transporting enough water to keep hydrated while on the move.
Alternatively, in cold weather, the rider must make sure they’re not going to get cold, as this can effect concentration, as well as health. Wearing the appropriate clothing is crucial in maintaining a moderate body temperature. Special cold weather gloves for around $50 or motorcycle gloves which can set you back around $300; a heated motorcycle jacket, which you can pick up on EBay for around $100 or brand new from $200; and a neck gaiter from $40, all go towards preventing wind chill from getting to your bare skin. A good quality helmet is almost a must, as not only can it shield your face from the wind but it can save your life. Buying a helmet brand new is recommended as just one knock can leave the protective gear weakened. If you’re on a budget, make sure to set aside a decent portion to purchase a quality helmet and be prepared to spend as much as $800 to $1000 to acquire a prime piece of head gear.
Preparing your Ride
The weather can also affect the bike itself. Hot weather can affect the engine by causing pinging, or engine detonation, which sounds like a high pitched rattling, and will need the motorcycle to be tuned. Changing to a synthetic oil and installing an oil cooler can help prevent this.
Wet weather affects your motorcycle the most. Drizzle in particular, or the first hour of rain fall, is the most dangerous as the previous day’s dirt, oil and grease all mix with the rain, making it treacherously slippery. With the number of motorbike fatalities increasing over the last ten years by 17% in Australia, it’s a good idea to invest in some good wet weather tyres, such as Pirelli’s Diablo rain tyres for around $230 each. These special tyres have patterned tread, which displaces the water between the road and rubber, preventing the likelihood of sliding. Other tips such as slow, gentle braking also decrease the chances of the rider having an accident. However, should the worst happen, having a plan in place is always a sensible idea. Making sure the bike is fully covered on its insurance policy is a must; a policy such as multi-bike insurance, which, according to Money.co.uk, covers up to 6 motorcycles and costs around the same as insuring just the one, allowing you take your main bike on the ride, without having to worry about separate policies, whilst keeping your other bikes safe from theft or damage at home while you’re away.
Cold weather can make the fuel mileage decrease with air-cooled bikes, as the oil can’t heat up enough to burn off condensation. It can also affect tyres by making the rubber less flexible and giving the rider less traction with the road, similar to wet weather.
Ultimately, taking part in a long ride isn’t something that should be taken lightly. Many aspects, especially finance and safety, need to be taken into account. Protecting yourself can cost thousands of dollars and is an aspect of riding that can’t be negotiated. Added extras, such as fancy dress and making your bike all sparkly, are just an optional bit of fun.
submitted by Eve Pearce
Raising Awareness with the Distinguished Gentleman’s Ride
Article submitted by Eve Pearce
Statistics show that in 2008, over 899,000 men worldwide were diagnosed with prostate cancer, with Australia and New Zealand having the highest percentage. The most common cancer amongst men has tripled in the last forty years. However, when caught early, the survival rates for prostate cancer are incredibly high, showing a need for awareness and encouragement to attend screenings more than ever before. This year, the Distinguished Gentleman’s Ride (DGR) is riding for prostate cancer research, with all the proceeds going to charity.
Distinguished Gentleman’s Ride
The Distinguished Gentleman’s Ride (DGR), sponsored by Gentleman Jack Tennessee Whiskey, takes place on 29th September and spans across 110 cities, including Perth, Toronto, London, Hong Kong and Austin Texas. Taking part are 15,000 riders of Retro, Bobber, Classic, Café Racer and custom bikes. This year it’s clear the DGR is not only about having a good time and riding stunning motorbikes, but raising awareness for men’s health issues and donating the funds raised to charities such as The Prostate Cancer Foundation Australia, Prostate Cancer UK and USA who research new ways to treat cancer by funding the doctors, as well as providing support for those already suffering and promoting changes to public policy so that cancer remains a prevalent health issue.
How does this affect you?
In 2008, prostate cancer claimed over 258,000 lives worldwide, proving the need for further awareness and encouragement for screening. It’s usually detected when the prostate, situated below the bladder, becomes so enlarged that it effects the sufferer’s ability to urinate. However, the cancer is slow to develop and by the time the small prostate gland becomes this enlarged, it is often at a late stage in the cancer and difficult to treat. This shows the importance of regular tests and keeping vigilant for any initial symptoms, which include any difference in your urine, such as needing to urinate in the night or blood in the urine itself; erectile problems; pain in hips, lower back or upper thighs; or chronic constipation. All of these may be not be serious and could be related to other health problems such as stress or a simple water infection but it’s wise to see a doctor to be on the safe side and to put your own mind at ease. With only nine in ten men visiting a doctor unless they absolutely have to, the need for awareness to encourage men to seek help is paramount. Men’s health is one of the least talked about issues in society. Therefore, funding research that aids support and medication for these issues is immensely beneficial to men’s health in general, not just prostate cancer.
If you’re over the age of 50, it’s sensible to have regular check-ups regardless of the above symptoms, as this is the age group typically affected. These screenings usually involve a blood test, quick rectal examination and a biopsy if any abnormalities are found.
If the cancer is detected early, removing the gland or radiotherapy can eradicate it reasonably easily. However, if left too late, the cancer can spread to other areas of the body and become incurable. Fortunately, when caught early, this illness has a high survival rate with 93.5% surviving the first year, 81.4% the next five years and 68.5% the next ten years. Actors such as Ian McKellen, Robert De Niro and Roger Moore have all suffered from prostate cancer and survived.
Why do we do it?
There are more ways than ever to get involved in fundraising with marathons, races and other various activities happening on a global scale. Other cancers have benefited immensely from such events, as not only do they promote awareness but earn the money that’s donated to the charities, which aids cancer research. For example, testicular cancer survival rates have rocketed to 96% from 68% in the 1970s. Lung cancer, the second most common cancer amongst men, has increased from 15% to 29.4%, almost doubling your chance of surviving the disease. Additionally, colorectal cancer, the third most common cancer amongst men, now have over half of cases living for over ten years after their initial diagnoses.
The Distinguished Gentleman’s Ride is a fantastic and fun way for men (and women) to get involved with raising awareness for such a worthy cause as men’s health. With rides taking place in over a hundred cities, there’s nothing to stop fellow bikers donning their helmets and taking part in these events. Why stop there? All over the world there are regular fundraisers and events, all designed for people to get involved and raise money to help not only preventing future cancer sufferers from developing the disease, but to support the existing ones to get better or cope with their illness.
The art of The Distinguished Gentleman’s Ride
If only 1% of my tumblr followers sponsored my ride at $5 a piece I’d be the second highest DGR fundraiser and we’d be able to give prostate cancer a real kick in the balls.
If you’ve enjoyed the content I’ve posted, then I’d certainly appreciate a small but important sponsorship.
Are you riding in DGR 2013?
You can sponsor my ride here
Are you ready for this years Distinguished Gentleman’s Ride?