Distinguished Gentleman's Ride
By Anthony van Someren - 25 Sep 12
Sideburn's Ben P...This was all started by Mark Hawwa and Rex Havoc from the Australian Cafe Racers and Garage Project Motorcycles, who enlisted co-conspirators from around the biker universe to set up local events from Australia to Asia, Europe to the US. The rest is now history. The criteria for attending was simple: Dress like a dapper gent. Wear open face lids, so we can smile at each other politely, and ride a bike with appropriate character, ideally custom/cafe/retro, but if the whole package added up to "Distinguished & Gentlemanly" then we were pretty open on bike choice. i.e. ...the more wrong the bike, the more right the outfit had to be. The London ride started out at the Dirty Burger, a small rusty shack hidden away behind Pizza East and the Highgate studios in Kentish Town, just a few hundred yards up from the legendary Forum. We gathered from around 10.30 to enjoy some dirty Brunch, Tea and bottomless Coffee (huge thanks to the Dirty Burger staff) and then after around 65 bikes had assembled we set off for a ride through Camden Town, Regents Park, Baker Street, Oxford Street, Marble Arch, Hyde Park corner, down Sloan Street and along the full length of the Kings Road until we hit Wandsworth bridge, ending at river side pub, The Ship. Everyone made a superb effort with the most dapper suits and eccentric styles, on bikes ranging from a rusty Honda c70 through the usual fare of cafe racers and retro customs, trackers and brats, through to truly-old school Harleys and even a rarely seen Nimrod.
Jerome looking Mafiosa
Sideburn Gary & Nick
BSMC stickers on show
Dutch and the Dutchess (above) and the Dutchess rides (below)
Barry from MotorcycleDeluxe
Adam from Untitled MC & HugoSpirit of the Seventies But it wasn't about numbers, it was all about the crowd, the vibe and the reactions we got from London as we made our way through it's busy streets. Everywhere we rode people stopped what they were doing and reached for their cameras and cameraphones. Oxford Street was packed with shoppers, as was the Kings Road, and traffic parted while drivers smiled and gave the thumbs up. Children waved, little old ladies smiled, discerning gentleman gave a knowing nod, and the city stopped to stare. There were pretty much no incidents. A small crew got lost and were picked up by Martin (thanks Martin). The Dutchess was nearly taken-out by resident stunter Jamie (who also did a burn-out directly into the Ship's BBQ kitchen - doh) but he redeemed himself later by helping Richard out when his bike spilled its guts all over the West End. It was amazing we didn't cook more clutches or overheat more air-cooled machinery, considering that the only way to keep the pack together in heavy traffic was to average around 20 miles an hour the whole way. It was really fantastic to meet some of the Bike Shed's contributors face to face, and see some metal in the flesh that I'd only seen in photos (especially Steve's Norzuki) and everyone was overwhelmed by the cool crowd, fantastic atmosphere and one of the best ride-outs of all time.
Adam Hugo & MartinHuge thanks to Mark Hawwa and Rex Havoc for inspiring such a fantastic event. Thanks also to Adam from Untitled MC who helped so much with organising, and huge thanks to the Dutchess who endured 2 hours on the Zed in heavy rain to collect the DGR badges and BSMC stickers, plus meeting and greeting every single person who arrived and making everyone feel welcome on the day. Thanks also to Tim vS who came just to take pics. Thanks also to Barry & Hugo for helping to marshal along the way, and to Chris at BikeEXIF, Gary & Ben at Sideburn (who also attended the ride) and Scott & Co at Pipeburn for helping spread the word. The are loads more pics on the Galleries in the BSMC facebook page. Tim's Pics Here. Pauls Pics Here. Ben's Pics Here. If we put them all on this page we'll blow our bandwidth budget, so let's have Facebook pay instead... ...and watch THIS VIDEO of 60+ bikes leaving the Dirty Burger. Can't wait till next year For worldwide reports and blogs checkout the Official DGRide Website and the Main DGRide FacebookPage