DGR Cool In Bournemouth And Poole

Posted 2 years ago

How did you get involved in the Distinguished Gentleman’s Ride (DGR)?

In all honesty, on a family visit to London we spotted several suited and booted gents riding their beautiful bikes – it looked unusual but cool! I had no idea about the cause or the event at this point but I vowed to find out more. In short, it was the Distinguished Gentleman’s Ride, it looked like fun, so I signed up for my local Bournemouth and Poole ride in 2016. I rode a 1973 Triumph Daytona which had belonged to one of my best mates who had recently passed away; his son rode pillion and we had a great time.

What does it mean to ride for men’s health?

It turns out the cause was something I had to support and I was beginning to realise why; my wife’s father died of prostate cancer, a mate had recently taken his own life, I’d lost too many mates already and I’d had my own mental health issues. Just prior to my first ride I had a major health issue that could have resulted in life changing paralysis from my neck down. I know, if it had not been for my wife’s insistence that I get my numb finger and thumb checked out, that I would now be in a wheelchair. Thankfully, the risky surgery that followed was successful. I’m a fairly typical bloke who needs to talk about his health.

How have you involved the wider Bournemouth and Poole community in DGR?

I teach in a boy’s school and it seemed logical that involving the boys would, in the long term, improve the health prospects of men. So I decided to tell them about my participation in the Distinguished Gentleman’s Ride. The boys responded by adopting DGR as their house charity – I had hit a chord, and Bournemouth School continues to be involved in the ride to this day.

What made you want to become the ride host for Bournemouth and Poole?

I admit that I am a serial volunteer, if I think I can make things better and have a positive impact then I can’t resist. I believe that when we engage across our community and bring people together in a common cause we can have a huge impact. So I offered to help organise the end of the ride event at school with refreshments and entertainment – I rode at the front with the then host in 2017.

In 2018 I became the Ride Host for Bournemouth and Poole. We are proud to be the second biggest ride in the UK, second only to London. We have a ride/event that, not only takes in some spectacular scenery, but also includes a wide and vibrant motorcycle community. We encourage riders to engage with the NHS and talk about their health. There are numerous anecdotal accounts of men who have got themselves checked out because of the ride. I believe we’ve had an impact and saved lives.

And we’ve had a huge amount of fun over the years and will continue to do so! All in a great cause too.