Introducing Jeff Gough From Brisbane, Australia.



Most people know of Brisbane. They know it as one of the most popular tourist destinations in Australia; the heart of Queensland, and the gateway to the Gold Coast and the Sunshine Coast. But what do we know it as? We know it as one of the greatest rides in The Distinguished Gentleman's Ride, also alongside the Gold Coast and Sunshine Coast! Brisbane is one of the oldest cities in Australia and is one of the oldest rides in DGR. Alone, this city has raised over $100,000 in our fight for men's health, and since its inception, has been hosted by none-other-than Mr Jeff Gough.

 

We guarantee that those who know Jeff will tell you that he is one of the kindest, most thoughtful, and genuine human being they have ever met. You're probably asking yourselves, how can we guarantee that? Well, it's because we know Jeff. We asked Jeff two simple questions: What connects you to riding? and What connects you to the cause? It’s time for you to see why Jeff is such a legend...

"I’ve ridden since I was 17 (I will be 53 in October). Even when I didn’t have a working bike on the road, I was a postie terrorising the neighbourhoods on a fully-laden CT110. Getting into bikes was always going to eventuate. Motorcycling has been in my family for three generations now, and I’m passing it on to my kids. I remember, as an impressionable 'tween at my grandparent’s house on school holidays, sneaking off to the garage to sit and stare at my Uncle’s Honda 750 Four. My Grandfather rode a Triumph H2 before he went to war, both of my uncles rode, and my mother even had a Suzuki 750 Waterbus for a while. However, while bikes have always been there, it wasn’t until my late teens when I hooked up with some friends that rode, that the bug really bit. I’ve not been without one since."  

"My first bike was a Kawasaki GPZ 250 belt drive, and my second bike was a 1981 Moto Guzzi V50 Monza. A great little bike that carried me everywhere for years, including out of the deep dark hole of depression. It is one of those bikes that you should never sell. So I’m glad I didn’t. It’s still in my shed, sitting for that eventual time when the kids leave me enough money to get it back on the road. I’ve also got a 1974 50cc Gilera Tourer moped (the rare 7hp model) that is another ‘never to be sold’ project. My current daily is a ’09 Thruxton that I got new as a Father’s Day present (best Father’s Day ever). It’ll be ten years old in September and we’ve clocked almost 66,000km together."

"Motorcycling isn’t just a lifestyle for me though, it’s my thinking space, my therapy, my way to engage with people on a social level without feeling like I need to hide. It’s that one chaotic, reckless thing in life that I feel I have some illusion of control over. For a scrawny, effeminate, socially awkward kid with anxiety issues, it became the one place I felt like I was one of the cool kids. Somewhere I felt I belonged."

 

"I was a soft kid, I got hurt easily and often, I took everything personally, I had trouble feeling included (even though I was), and eventually just kept to myself, and spent most of my time either alone or with a few select and trusted friends. In the seventies, you either hardened up or took a belting until you learned to. As a result, my coping toolbox consisted of a social-chameleon cloak that I would put on every time I was around others. I’d adopt their views, agree with their opinions, and try to pass relatively unseen so as not to cause trouble. Armed with this extensive list of one coping strategy with which to pass into adulthood, it was no wonder that, in my mid-twenties when I hit a rough patch, I quit my job, ran off to the UK, drank too much beer, smoked too much pot, and tried to kill myself. The hole was big and deep... so it took me many years to drag myself out. It did, however, give me the curiosity to find out why I was the way I was, why I thought the things I thought…”

“From 2007, life imitated a Lemony Snicket novel for a time and became a series of unfortunate events that ultimately resolved into an opportunity for me to do something I never thought I would ever do. At 48 years old, I went to Uni to study psychology. Despite trying to write my Honours Thesis while working two part-time jobs, and with an unexpected addition to our family, I graduated in 2014 with 2nd Class Honours and a head full of knowledge. I also gained a Cert IV in Telephone Counselling that same year while volunteering on the crisis phones at Lifeline, alongside a part-time job at a mental health clinic. So my psych education was quite immersive.

It was during my studies that I found out what anxiety was when I ticked every box on the General Anxiety Disorder test. It explained a lot of my thoughts, behaviour, and pretty much most of my childhood.”

“I signed into a PhD and worked in various psych research projects while also developing mental health training workshops that I was able to deliver to carers and individuals with a mental health diagnosis. I eventually managed to score a full time position as a facilitator delivering Mental Health training programs at a carer organisation. Then, mid 2017, the company I was working for went into receivership. Pretty much everything I had worked toward for the past decade had now come to naught and, just two years ago, I found myself back in that dark hole... This time though, my knowledge and training saved me.”

 

“Right now, I’m back driving forklifts in a warehouse, but this time I have a very different view. What started nine months ago as just some casual work to give me a bit of security and means to feed the family has, as of recently, turned into a full-time position as the PM shift Team Leader. This will give me a stable ‘square one’ on which to start again, reassess, and begin moving forward.” 

“I still have a passion for passing on my knowledge and for building more resilient minds (my own included). Awareness is growing, but I feel people will resist opening up because they don’t know what to do, or how to deal with people battling mental health issues. The stigma is still too great. Even for me... But then, I have anxiety every single day and it’s only my knowledge that allows me to deal with most of it and interact with the world.” 

“I started hosting the DGR in Brisbane because I have always loved the cafe racer style and dressing up. I'd been actively searching Cafe Racer groups for about 3 years before I found the old Australian Cafe Racer forum and then, The Distinguished Gentleman’s Ride. The opportunity to combine bikes and fashion was too great. Once I did the first one, I was hooked. Now, I do it for the people who attend, and because it means something to me. There's a great satisfaction to be gained from doing meaningful things for others. The causes are close to my heart and my passion, so I do it for me as much as everyone else.”

Jeff, thank you for your tireless efforts in nurturing DGR Brisbane. But most of all, thank you for your friendship. We're honoured to have you by our side.

 

Photography by Set in Stone Photography.



Related Articles