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THAT SAME GOOD FEELING: ERIC HENDRIKX'S DISTINGUISHED GENTLEMAN’S RIDE STORY

Friday 17th May 2024

I was barely tall enough to reach the handlebars when I first tasted freedom—perched on my dad’s lap on his Yamaha Enduro, I was catapulted into a new world—a sensory explosion of sights, smells, and the thrilling rush of wilderness as we carved through the untamed landscapes. It was the '80s in Orange County, California, at the ragged edge of civilization where our cul-de-sac spilled into the wilderness. From these suburban confines, we'd blast into the wild yonder, riding through pungent sage-covered hills and citrus groves, exploring terrains both geographical and existential. On two wheels, I learned to discover more about myself, others, and the world.

Motorcycling isn't just about the ride; it's about plunging into the depths of your soul and the souls of others, across continents, cultures. In the saddle, you learn that fear is just the other side of freedom. I’ve endured torrential storms on unforgiving roads in Japan, coasted in the sun along the Pacific Ocean, explored the Italian countryside, and chased the stars through the Mojave Desert, each time a solitary traveler soon swept up into a bounty of friendships. In these fleeting connections, lifelong bonds are forged.

 

Consider the Movember movement and mental health programs supported—a natural fit with the motorcycle ethos. Because it’s about more than just the ride; it’s the ties that bind, the brotherhood and sisterhood, the shared strength in numbers that wards off the specters of isolation and despair. These rides, these gatherings we participate in under the banner of noble causes, they're lifelines for each of us, masquerading as social events.

 

The move from California to Toronto was a tough one. I landed amidst the chaos of a pandemic and, while I was very happy with my wife—we’d just started dating at the time—I also felt extremely alone, isolated, and without friends. Then my mother died in California, leaving me mourning and barred from crossing back to the U.S. It was my friend Mark Hawwa, founder of the Distinguished Gentleman's Ride, who checked in and threw me a lifeline, connecting me with Paul, the local ride host. We had an instant connection—our love for motorcycles and participation in the charity ride—and the immediate kinship was a balm to my frayed spirits. I get emotional when I think about it now; I’m prepared to give everything to this cause because it’s given so much to me, a warm embrace when I needed it more than ever. This year, Paul and I co-host the Toronto ride for the second time.

 

And I love the ethos of the Gentleman’s Ride—dressing dapper on classic style motorcycles, turning heads and unwinding stigmas about motorcycling. The ride is joyful, smiles all day, for many it’s the field from which meaningful relationships grow. Immersed in this community, I found solace and purpose, contributing to a cause that fights against prostate cancer and champions men's mental health.

 

Personal stakes run deep. Having lost heroes and friends to the abyss of suicide, the mission is a clarion call to save even one more life. My own battles with darkness came to a head after a brutal crash in the Swiss Alps that left me in a coma with dozens of broken bones, damaged organs, and a punctured lung. The wreckage left me pieced together with titanium plates and screws—a bionic phoenix rising painfully from the ashes. The road to recovery was grueling, laden with unexpected setbacks, but it was the open, vulnerable conversations with my friends that shepherded me through. These are the same people that I ride motorcycles with, so it’s the same community of people that love each other and support each other and support this great cause. That was really what helped me get through it in a positive way.

 

Being a part of the motorcycle community and the Distinguished Gentleman’s Ride brings me joy. Seeing its success around the world and the positive impact it has on people’s lives makes me proud and grateful to be a part of it. Every time I throw a leg over a motorcycle, I'm transported back to those curiously adventurous days on my dad's enduro, the outdoors sprawling before us, ripe for exploration. These social gatherings rekindle that childlike wonder, breaking down walls, fostering unity. It’s a beautiful thing. We ride, we share, we heal—together in the brotherhood and sisterhood of the road.

I'm Riding for Men's Health in The Distinguished Gentleman's Ride

Thursday 21st Mar 2024 On Sunday the 19th of May 2024, I'm riding in The Distinguished Gentleman's Ride with fellow men and women across the globe to raise funds and awareness for prostate cancer and men's mental health on behalf of Movember. Men die on average 6 years earlier than women and for largely preventable reasons. The number of men that are suffering is growing, and we need to do something about that. So, before I press my tweed and polish my boots, I'm asking you to join me in raising funds and awareness for these causes by donating what you can for this meaningful cause and to help the men we love, live happier and healthier lives.

My Team

Quad Lock

With 298 Riders

My Sponsors


Jean-Pierre LeBlanc

$18,843 USD

Natasha Koifman

$7,344 USD

Jean-Pierre LeBlanc

$7,270 USD

Natasha Koifman

So Proud of you!!

$3,670 USD

Rose Barroso

Congrats and thank you Until next year Rose & Jorge

$2,578 USD

Dax Dasilva

Thanks Eric for your leadership on men's health!

$2,205 USD

Jeremy Gladstone

$1,476 USD

Anonymous

$1,472 USD

Reetu Gupta

Dear Eric and Natasha, Keep spreading your Love and Light!!!

$1,104 USD

Daniel Greenglass

Good luck with the event xo

$741 USD

Sarah Saso

Thank you Eric for shining a spotlight on men’s cancer and mental health.

$737 USD

W.M. Fleischer Charitable Foundation

$727 USD

Paul Hardy

Thanks for your dedication to a worthy cause.

$600 USD

Rino Perruzza

Great cause!

$374 USD

Anne Lambrou

Great Cause. All the best!

$373 USD

Jeffrey & Lucia Remedios

$363 USD

Jeremy & Ellie!

$300 USD

Anonymous

Well done! Kate and David

$191 USD

Anonymous

$183 USD

Jimmy Molloy

Go Eric!!!!!!

$183 USD

Lane & Trang

Go Eric Go!!!

$152 USD

Mariana Milborne

$152 USD

Kristin Berry

$152 USD

SOUTH HILL HOME

Great cause Eric, you're making a difference!

$148 USD

Andre Nadeau

$113 USD

Nathan Marchio

$96 USD

Cara Hirsch

$76 USD

Matthew Willson

$76 USD

Giuseppe Scoleri

$75 USD

Joanne Bull

Thank you Eric for raising awareness and funds for this amazing cause! Sorry I can't be there tonight, I am helping my sister in law after her surgery out of town. Go Eric!

$38 USD

Kim Alexander

Thank you!

$38 USD

Eric Hendrikx

$23 USD

Alberto

Hi.. my first ride! As a prostate cancer survivor I thank you for what you all guys do!! Thank you

$23 USD