Vintage motorcycles.

Zenith watches.

A worthy cause.

I have tried to take part in the Distinguished Gentleman’s Ride (DGR) in Geneva for the last several years, but each year something happened and I was traveling or couldn’t fit it into my schedule.

This year, however, was different.

For one, Zenith was again the sponsor of the ride, and they helped me arrange a vintage-looking Triumph Thruxton (from my friends at Triumph Geneva and Triumph Switzerland, thanks, Alexandre!), and Zenith equipped me with a Pilot Extra Special to wear and a cool Zenith-badged open face helmet.

Distinguished Gentleman’s Ride
Distinguished Gentleman’s Ride

So, I blocked out Sunday for the ride and made my way down to the Quai Gustave-Ador (just next to the Jet D’eau) to soak up the atmosphere, and to pick up my bike.

The vibe was really great — a bunch of like-minded men and women, there to raise money (and a little good-natured hell) and have fun. Some were dressed in vintage outfits, and most everyone was dressed up a little bit. I even wore a shirt and tie under my riding jacket.

There were about 400 bikes, a real mixture of true vintage, modern vintage and just modern, and at 12:15 pm on an absolutely beautiful early Autumn Sunday, we took to the streets, complete with a police escort.

The police and safety riders made sure that we didn’t have to stop for a single stoplight or stop sign and didn’t have to yield at any corners or roundabouts. It was a great feeling of just riding, with incredible motorcycles all around. There were even people out on the streets to watch this cavalcade of motorcycles pass by, waving and cheering our efforts to raise money and awareness for prostate cancer and men’s mental health.

Globally, the DGR this year involved 92,000 participants in 581 cities and 95 countries and raised $4.4 Million. I was proud to be a small part of this effort.

Distinguished Gentleman’s Ride
Distinguished Gentleman’s Ride
Distinguished Gentleman’s Ride

I really enjoyed riding the Triumph Thruxton. It was powerful, comfortable and very reliable, unlike the real vintage motorcycles that were belching smoke and breaking down on the side of the road. Over the 45-minute ride, I didn’t get much of a chance to really let the Thruxton romp, but it was begging to be let off its leash. So, Alexandre, another ride is due.

The Zenith Pilot Extra Special is a fantastic watch. Big and bold, it’s vintage and modern at the same time. Easy to read, with big numerals and prominent, luminous hands, it fit the DGR and the Thruxton just perfectly. I’ve always admired the Pilot Extra Special, but never had the chance to wear one. Now, having put one on my wrist, it’s on my list of watches to add to my collection. Well done, Zenith.

And, well done, DGR. Sign me up next year and anyone reading this who can ride, come join me. And for those of you that don’t ride, get your licenses or donate to the DGR.

It’s all for a great cause, and it’s a very good time.

Distinguished Gentleman’s Ride