Because Motosport is a motorcycle and motorsports company, most of our customers are men. We are very lucky that more women are shopping with us each year, and we're grateful for this! However, we are deeply concerned about losing any more of our male customers. Our problem is not our competition; we can handle those guys. Rather, our worry is poor health care for men and poor communication.
The women do a much better job of sharing their health care stories with each other than men do. Come on, guys! When was the last time you and your buds hung out in the garage, drinking cold ones, wrenching on bikes, and asked "So, Spike, have you had a colonoscopy recently?" We don't talk openly about these things, and by not talking about them, we might neglect them, so we don't realize how common some health issues are, and what to do about them. We have more conversations about cancer at funerals than we do in the garage with our friends.
I do a better job at maintaining my motorcycles than I do my own body. I know when to schedule my next oil change and valve-adjustment, but I don't know when to schedule my next physical examination. I know that I should pay closer attention to my health; my own dear old dad died of cancer at 75 years old.
Another thing us guys don't do very well is dress up when we go out; just ask any woman. My usual dressing-up for dinner out means that I put on my "new" jeans and my cleanest flannel shirt.
Well now, we have a fun way to start the conversation, take action, and a great excuse to dress-up! The Distinguished Gentleman's Ride was created to raise awareness, and raise money, to fight one of the most common killers of men today - prostate cancer.
The Distinguished Gentleman's Ride started in Sydney Australia in 2012, so for 2015, this will be the Fourth Annual event. This year's ride is scheduled for Sunday, September 27th, and will take place in over 300 cities around the world. Of course, ladies are invited to participate along with the gentlemen.
The Distinguished Gentleman's Ride has grown from 2500 riders in 64 cities around the world in 2012, to 20,000 ladies and gentlemen in 257 cities, in 58 countries, in 2014. Last year, Distinguished Riders raised 1.5 million dollars (US) to support prostate cancer research. We are shooting to double that in 2015.
I participated in the 2014 Ride, and saw that the event created the exact conversation it was supposed to. I mentioned my dad's battle with cancer and came to find out that other ladies and gentlemen had similar stories with their families. We discussed health care and check-ups. I remembered that my last tail-pipe inspection was in 1998, so I had another done in 2014 (everything was fine, for now).
By dressing up in our finest livery, and parading across town as a group, we present motorcyclists to the public in a new light. People see us on our classic-bikes in the uncommon garb and are curious. With us biker-trash cleverly disguised as civilized gentlefolk, outsiders feel invited to ask questions. So, we tell bystanders exactly how we are raising funds for prostate cancer research. I encountered sweet little old widows, just leaving church, who informed me of their husbands' cancer, and thanked us for what we were doing.
Right now is the time to register! Check out The Distinguished Gentleman's website to find a ride in your area. If there isn't one listed in your area, create a new one, and invite your gang, club-members, and friends. As you polish the pipes on your vintage bobber, don't forget to make your appointment to have your own pipes checked out, too. As you bend over and reach for the clip-ons on your cafe racer, get yourself comfortable in that position for when the time comes for your inspection. If you can't ride in the event, please donate to the cause.
Dress smart and ride smart! Ride long and prosper.
Paul Andor Nagy