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Riding dapper for a cause

by DEVIN WEEKS
Staff Writer | May 19, 2021 1:00 AM

COEUR d’ALENE — Besuited and perhaps bespectacled gentlemen looking their best in blazers and vests will mount their vintage motorbikes to enjoy a Sunday fun day of fundraising.

The Distinguished Gentleman's Ride will roll once more.

"Motorcycling, being a three- to four-month sport here, it's hard to find people who ride especially older bikes," Don Walters, a Coeur d'Alene High School social studies teacher and event coordinator for the Coeur d'Alene ride, said Tuesday. "It brings out that old iron that sits in garages for months out of the year and finally lets it see the light of day."

The Distinguished Gentleman's Ride benefits the Movember Foundation, a nonprofit that raises money for prostate cancer research and men's mental health.

"It is a ride that emphasizes classic style motorcycles and dressing dapper," Walters said. "It is a lot of fun, but it's for a very serious cause."

Classic and vintage motorcycle styles including cafe racers, choppers, bobbers, scramblers and sidecars can be found at this unique event, which first went kickstands up in Coeur d'Alene in 2012.

The ride was started in Sydney, Australia, by Mark Hawwa. He was inspired by a photo of Jon Hamm's Don Draper from "Mad Men" astride a classic bike and wearing his finest suit.

"We’re obviously not dressed like a typical biker. You won't find leather jackets and chaps," Walters said. "The first thing people notice is the bike, then they notice the dress. It’s all thumbs up."

Last year's ride was COVID canceled, and the year before was snowed out.

"Remember the Sept. 30 snowfall?" Walter asked. "That was supposed to be our ride day."

This year, the weather is looking much better, with highs in the mid-60s and some clouds.

The roughly 30-mile ride will begin at a downtown location, which will be revealed at registration, and will take dapper dudes on a scenic cruise with fun stops throughout North Idaho.

Registration is free, but online donations are encouraged.

Info: www.gentlemansride.com/register

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Photo by Bryan Wood

Dapper dudes prepare to take off for the 2016 Distinguished Gentleman's Ride in Coeur d'Alene. This year's event is Sunday.

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Courtesy photo

Vintage and classic motorcycle style will combine with efforts to raise funds and awareness for men's health on Sunday during the 2021 Distinguished Gentleman's Ride.

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