Each year, men and women gather all over the globe to take part in one of the world's largest motorcycle fundraising events.
The event that started right here in Sydney, Australia: The Distinguished Gentlemen's Ride (DGR).
Sunday, 22nd of May
The days leading up to the event saw record rain fall, bridges washed away, and pot holes that lead to China.
Like most years, the morning of the DGR was brisk. Dark, rain filled clouds engulfed the sky and you even questioned if it would still go ahead due to the chaos from the previous few days. I lost count of the amount of the calls and texts that I received from fellow concerned dapper folk.
We pulled our socks up, threw our phones in zip lock bags, and kicked the bike in the guts. Dead battery, trickle charge, try to start, repeat.
As you can tell from these photos. The bike did start and the event did go ahead.
This year's Wollongong DGR kicked off from The Australian Motorlife Museum. If you ever get a chance I highly recommended a visit to the place. As volunteers we rolled in early to help out where needed, assist in the set up, direct traffic, and beat the coffee line queues.
The organiser of the Wollongong DGR, Jane, always delivers an awesome day and this year was no exception.
Live music, a barber, and coffee vans were in abundance to warm the hands of the hundreds of riders that rolled through the gates.
The carpark begins to fill. Honda's, Ducati's, Triumph's, Sidecars, Nortan's... 1 Chopper... and everything you could ever dream of.
Strapped to those classics were some of the most well dressed men and women donning retro suits, swanky leather shoes, and suspenders.
Special guests such as Mark Hawwa (Founder of The Distinguished Gentlemen's Ride), Ramsey Sayed (Sydney DGR host), and YouTuber Rob Charlwood (Throttle Downunder) were on the ground rubbing shoulders and riding alongside other well dress participants. Engines began to kick over and the ride was about to get underway. The Chopper wasn't having it and let out a almighty backfire that sent 1 unfortunate bystander deaf, my apologies.
The site of hundreds of bikes leaving the same destination never gets old. We rode south through the main street of Dapto, instantly noticing the smiles of onlookers. And frowns of drivers stuck at intersections... Unlucky.
It wasn't long until we were in the twisty hills of Mt St Thomas and Jamberoo. The roads were wet but we weren't in any rush.
It gives you the time to look around and take in the scenery that we so often fly through and take for granted.
After a short stint on the freeway to Shellharbour with a few sprinkles of rain we arrived at the finish location in Windang where we enjoyed a warm lunch and some cold beers.
You'd be forgiven if you've never heard of the DGR, it's a niche ride. So here are some pub facts about the event:
The DGR started back in 2012.
$31.6 million dollars raised thus far for men's mental health.
115 countries around the world take part on the same day.
340,000 riders have taken part.
Our Wollongong ride is usually in the top 5 cities of raising funds.