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The Valley’s ‘distinguished gentleman’ rides again

110,223 motorcycle riders from 105 countries have raised $51.75 million for men’s health and prostate cancer since 2012. A Hinchinbrooke resident, Eric Pritchard, is one of those riders. On May 19, Pritchard dressed in his finest attire, saddled up his 1968 Triumph Bonneville, and set off to join the Distinguished Gentleman’s Ride (DGR), a classic and vintage motorcycle ride to raise money for men’s health. This initiative proudly supports the “Movember” fundraiser to collectively raise millions of dollars while, at the same time, raising awareness of men’s “natural health, and prostate cancer.”

DGR was founded in Sydney, Australia, by Mark Hawwa who was inspired by the TV show Madmen. In the show, the character Don Draper sat astride a classic motorcycle wearing a suit. Motorcyclists in the DGR are dressed in suits and ties, which lends a distinguished air to motorcycling.

Pritchard has been participating in this ride for the past three years and has raised $4505 so far. This year he was able to raise $2,204 for the cause and is in fifth position in Montreal for donations raised. “Men’s health and prostate cancer are two important causes, and I have lost many friends. I think that this event showcases motorcycling in a more favourable light,” he says.

 

Eric Pritchard proudly stands beside his 1968 Triumph Bonneville that he bought 20 years ago as a box of bits PHOTOS Yvonne Lewis Langlois

 

Montreal is one of 28 Canadian cities participating in the event. This year, 275 riders surpassed the goal of $50,000 and raised $54,874. The 46.21-kilometre ride began under the midday sun at St. Ambroise Brewery and ended in the east end of the city one hour and 47 minutes later. 20 to 30 policemen on motorcycles blocked off the route as the ride progressed through the streets “like a relay,” explains Pritchard. “It’s a sign of a well-organized ride when you don’t stop,” he adds.

Pritchard is thankful for all the support that he has received. “I want to thank everyone for their generosity, all the people who donated – friends, family, and neighbors.” He says he is touched by “seeing all the enthusiasm of the population watching and riding with likeminded people.”

The best part for him? “To get to the finish line without the old bike and the old rider breaking down!” he laughs.

To donate to the cause, go to https://www.gentlemansride.com.

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