If you are into bikes and haven’t heard of the Distinguished Gentlemens Ride, your either off the grid or living in some sequestered spot of the globe.
Bali may be far-flung from the western world, but we’ve not only heard of DGR, we’ve been participating for at least eight, if not nine years. DGR has been running since 2012, it is a ride that unites custom, classic and vintage style motorcycle riders across the entire globe to raise funds and awareness for prostate cancer research and men’s mental health. This year they were set to have over ninety thousand riders in almost every country in the world, including three rides in the Ukraine.
Here in Indonesia, there was sixteen rides, but for the most part the country is rather light on when it comes to the riders seeking donations, however it is into raising awareness. Not to mention that everyone in Indonesia loves a good excuse to go for a ride.
Over 150 passionate partakers gathered at the Temple of Enthusiasm last Sunday morning. We soaked up delicious coffee while taking in the continuous parade of Dapper Gentlefolk as they arrived on their bikes. Friends were greeted with a laugh and chat. New ones made with just as much ease. Smiles and laughter are the wonderful currency of these events.
At ten in the morning, Dirk from Malamadre grabbed up a mic, jumped on a chair and welcomed the diverse group of participants. Dirk has been the DGR Bali organiser for more years than I can remember. Working with his right hand woman, Elo and his team from Malamadre Garage. This year they spread the organising workload with Treasure Garage, Nuel, Nugra and their squad and Errico, Ano and the Deus Canggu crew.
Dirk ran through the do’s and more importantly don’ts. Presented our ride captain and his back branding that was to be looked out for and touched on where we were headed. Because the Bali ride is more about the ride, and we can have terrible traffic congestion on the rather average road system, we were headed into the mountains. Our destination, a place called Kampung Kopi Camping and while it may only be about thirty five clicks out, Bali’s less than terrific traffic made it so we’d be lucky to do it under an hour and forty five.
The route took in villages and hills. Built up areas and expanses of ricefields. We slowed for Hindu ceremonies, broken away asphalt with potholes aplenty and a traffic jam of trucks we came upon up on the highway. We made it to the rustic residences of the destination, but first needed to safely navigate the four hundred metres of lead in track, so rough and slippery that we saw several people take a tumble just trying to get up and into the parking.
We flowed into their restaurant as quick as the beer was soon flowing down out throats. Orders for Nasi Goreng could be heard and smelt for the entire time we were there. Shuffling off to take in the bikes and have a chat, you couldn’t help but be gob smacked by the beauty of the location. We were on a hill in the highlands, Mount Batukaru, Bali's second-highest mountain at 2,276 m., was just off to the east, its summit unseen as it disappeared into the clouds. You could literally turn 360º with nothing but a colour pallet of green. We really had arrived in one of the most picturesque places to do a ride of this sort.
Without any rush, after an hour and a half had past, we finished up and paid our bills before ambling back into the carpark and threw a leg over our bikes to head back the way we came.
There’s not much more to say than thanks for all the participants.
Thanks to all the organisers and the marshals on the day.
Thanks to the guys that pre-rode the course, damn, you definitely done good.
And an indescribable amount of thanks to Mattia and his Blacksand Brewery. These guys gave us a destination to ride back to, while also putting a couple of hundred of their delicious Kölsch beers on ice for our arrival that we collectively drank to wash the bugs out.
If you still want to donate, hit the LINK
See you all next year.