Published by BBC NEWS - 21st May 2023
  • Published
Members of the DGR in 2022Image source, Charlie Davidson

A team of motorcyclists is joining a global fundraising ride in aid of men’s mental health awareness.

Bristol’s Distinguished Gentleman’s Ride (DGR) is starting its journey in Cheddar and ending in Keynsham.

Riders are invited to don dapper gear and ride classic and vintage motorcycles as part of the annual event, which began in Australia.

Sean Good organised the first Bristol DGR in 2014, because he “loved the focus and what it was all about.”

The DGR was started in Sydney, in 2012 by Mark Hawwa.

He was inspired by a photo of the TV Show Mad Men’s Don Draper, who was featured riding a classic bike whilst wearing his finest suit.

Members of the DGR in 2022

Image source, Del Hickey

Mr Good suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) after serving in the army for 16 years.

He spent the majority of his time with 24 Commando Royal Engineers and served in Afghanistan and Iraq.

He set up the ride in Bristol, after first taking part in a similar event in London.

The event is focused on men’s mental health, suicide prevention and prostate cancer research and organisers work with the people behind Movember.

Bike helmet

Image source, Del Hickey

Mr Good said military life had left its mark on his mental health and those of his colleagues, after being “thrown in at the deep end” on tours.

“It’s nice to see the tide turning – there is more discussion about [men’s mental health] and more promotion of men opening up and talking,” he said.

“I’ve seen it from the extreme masculine side of being in the military where a lot of people just grit their teeth and go through it, and I’ve seen now that it’s getting to a worrying point.”

Sean Good and a member of the Brsitol DGR riding their motorcycles

Image source, Del Hickey

Mr Good, who now works in planning, said he was always happy to talk about mental health and is aware that looking after it is always important.

“Even now, I’m taking a break and a bit of time for myself whilst recognising those signs of taking better care of ourselves,” he said.

“There’s still this expectation that [men] are the provider and protectors of our family, but obviously you need to look after yourself first.”

In 2022, the Bristol DGR raised more than £22,000 for charity.

“It’s been good to see the event expand and it’s amazing to see the goals that the event sets in terms of fundraising,” Mr Good added.

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