Gothenburg - the home of Volvo, the Gothia Cup, and over 548,190 magnificent Swedes. It’s also been a host city for The Distinguished Gentleman’s Ride since 2013 and today the numbers of dapper ladies and gents continues to rise, along with it a thriving motorcycle community.
We spoke with Gothenburg ride host and founder Niklas about how he brought DGR to his city, and what it’s become today. “I’d read about DGR in 2012, and wanted to go on a ride just by myself but it was raining so that didn’t happen. It was then in the summer of 2013 that I found out DGR was now a yearly event, so I applied to become the host of the Gothenburg ride.” Niklas had submitted his host application in the hopes of finding and bringing together riders of Gothenburg with the same passion for classic and custom motorcycles, since he scarcely saw riders that fit this bill and had no close friends that rode motorcycles.
For the first DGR Gothenburg ride, Niklas made flyers and posters for the event. “I attached flyers on parked bikes which fit the DGR style, and went to different dealerships around town and set posters up there. We had 37 participants on that first ride!” From here, one of the riders started a facebook group “Harbour Town Café Racers” which was then later renamed “Rockers Göteborg” which many joined, being able to easily keep in touch with one another. “We now have a really active facebook group which hosts lots of trips and events. To my surprise, the classic and custom bike scene in Gothenburg was actually thriving! We were all just missing one common ground to bring us all together, which is exactly what The Distinguished Gentleman’s Ride has done.”
Niklas had planted a seed in Gothenburg that was now growing, as DGR 2014 went on to host nearly twice as many riders as the previous year, and with 2015 numbers doubled yet again boasting over 100 riders. With more numbers came greater responsibility and work for Niklas as he would learn. “A response for the application to park and assemble such a large crowd from the authorities was dragging along as the date for the 2015 drew closer. This got me a bit worried, but one week before the event we received approval. We took a lesson from this, which is to make these applications much sooner!”
The 2015 ride saw the 100+ smartly dressed Gothenburgers begin pouring into the square which was the meeting point, as the mighty symphony of pipes and engines echoed through the streets. The local coffee shops soon got busy, as riders went to grab beverages and the shops patrons came out to see the spectacle and admire the bikes. After a pre-ride speech, some first-aid information, as well as drawing the winner of a competition who received a gift card from the local barbershop “Sharper”, the group headed off on it’s ride.
Through the narrow streets and tunnels of Gothenburg that troupe of dapper ladies and gents chugged along, soon to make their first at Götaplatsen, one of the hallmarks of Gothenburg, which is home to the statue of Poseidon. Here the public admired and looked at the bikes, making new friends and answering questions before heading off to the local brewery Beerbliotek, which is housed in a former sugar factory. Here everyone relaxed, and enjoy some food and drinks, while Niklas already began thoughts on the 2016 ride.
What makes Gothenburg such a special ride is that it not only raised money and awareness for prostate cancer, it pulled the custom and classic motorcycle community out of the woodwork and brought them together, forming something that is growing year by year.
With thanks to Niklas Borg (DGR Host - Gothenburg, Sweden) | Photos by Pontus Lernhag