Distinguished Gentleman’s Ride Back For Second Year In CT

Out of all the charity rides across Connecticut during the course of a year, this one stands out. It’s called the Distinguished Gentleman’s Ride. It features dapperly dressed riders navigating classic and vintage-looking motorcycles while raising money to battle prostate cancer and prevent suicide.

“We need lots of motorcycles. It’s really important that people give money,” said ride “host” Scott Hamilton of the event that’s scheduled for May 19. Hamilton lives in Willimantic, CT and last year rode his 2017 Triumph Bonneville while wearing a tweed jacket, blue shirt and red tie.

Ride Has Origin In Australia

The Distinguished Gentleman’s Ride began in Australia in 2012 and was inspired by a photo of the TV character of adman Don Draper astride a classic motorcycle on the AMC series “Mad Men.” Some 3,000 riders in 64 cities signed up in year one. Last year, there were 106,000 riders in 107 countries, and they raised nearly $7.5 million.

It wasn’t until last year that the Distinguished Gentleman’s Ride arrived in Connecticut. A total of $8,000 was raised by 25 riders. The goal this year is $10,000.

(2023 Distinguished Gentleman’s Ride / courtesy of Scott Hamilton)

The local ride is organized by the British Iron Association of Connecticut, the club that stages the annual Brit Jam meet. The ride begins and ends at the British American Club in Manchester, CT with a visit to the State Capitol being the centerpiece.

Peter Thiel of Prospect, CT rode his British-made 1952 Matchless G80S last year while wearing a corduroy jacket with black shirt and red tie. “A lot of people dressed up really nicely. One guy had a 1970s white tux jacket,” he said.

Thiel returns this year to remember old friends. “The cause is really important to me. I’ve lost six friends to suicide. That’s the big thing right there,” he said.

Time And Route Not Publicly Revealed

 In an effort to lure participants, neither the start time of the ride nor the route are publicly revealed. The only way to find out is to register to participate, although Hamilton said this year’s route between Manchester and Hartford will the same as in 2023.

“I put a $20 minimum on it,” he said, providing a suggested donation for joining the event.

More information on the Distinguished Gentleman’s Ride may be found online. For details on the CT ride, go to “The Rides” page, then click United States and find the listing for the ride in Manchester.

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Since 2010, RIDE-CT & RIDE-NewEngland has been reporting about motorcycling in New England and portions of New York.

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