Eurobodalla riders took part in the Distinguished Gentleman’s Ride on Sunday, September 24.
The event saw more than 80 riders roar through Milton-Ulladulla, raising funds and awareness for men’s mental health and prostate cancer.
Close to $25,000 has been raised from the event so far.
Riders from near and far, including from Canberra and Queensland, attending the successful event which was a first for Ulladulla.
“When I first started, I was a one-man band, I thought maybe, if we were lucky, we would get 40 riders here today and maybe we would raise $5000,” organiser Peter Percy said.
“Today, we have about 85 bikes, maybe even more, and we have raised more than $20,000 for a good cause.”
Distinguished Gentleman’s Ride began in Sydney and is now held in more than 600 cities and towns throughout the world.
The Milton-Ulladulla event saw riders leave the Coffee Guild in Milton, go along Croobyar Road, along Matron Porter Drive, around Bannister Head, Mollymook and along Mitchell Parade, before going through Ulladulla, to the Warden Head Lighthouse and eventually, stopping at the Ulladulla Civic Centre.
Mr Percy hoped the business community would get behind next year’s event.
“I hope this is an annual event here now,” he said.
“I need the business community to get behind it. They are a bit slow in recognising events. I would like business to get behind it and make it bigger and better next year.”
Describing the event as a “real success”, Mr Percy said he had not had any negative feedback.
“It went fantastic. Everyone concerned said it was fantastic and said they want to do it again,” he said.
“Everything was perfect; I wouldn’t change anything.
“We had 89 register this year. I would think there has to be more coming next year because the riders were so motivated and liked it so much they are going to bring friends.”
We had 89 register this year. I would think there has to be more coming next year because the riders were so motivated and liked it so much they are going to bring friends.- Peter Percy
The event’s cause was close to Grant Schultz’s heart, having lost his father to prostate cancer and his brother Nick to suicide.
Mr Schultz, of Milton, made an emotionally talk before riders took to the road, speaking about the importance of men being there for each other in hard times and getting tested for prostate cancer.
“It is a cause very dear to my heart,” he said.
“I have had personal involvement in both prostate cancer and men's health. In 2015, I lost my father to prostate cancer after a three-year battle. This time last year my brother Dean suicided as a result of depression.
“It has had a bit of an affect on our family.”
Getting blokes to keep an eye out for each other was important, Mr Schultz said.
“We are coming together to raise funds and to raise awareness for all of us. Us blokes aren’t real good at looking after our own health at times and we tend to try and tough it out,” he said.
“You have to get out there, get your prostate checks.
“With mental health, it can be difficult and we can all be touched by it. It is very hard to pick up but don’t be afraid to say to a mate, ‘look, I am struggling’.
“Look after your mates. Touch base with people and keep an eye on them; it is amazing how much of a difference little things like that can make.”
Mr Schultz rode his brother’s purple 2004 Softail on the day, with daughter Maggie on the back.
“I am riding for my brother today,” he said.
“One of the many reasons I am riding is because when my brother did get down, when he was in that bit of a black hole, Dad would go and get Dean and say ‘come on, let’s go mate, we are going for a ride’.
“It always made a difference to Dean.”
Organiser Mr Percy said he was “shocked” by men’s suicide statistics.
Mr Schultz thanked Mr Percy for getting a large crowd to the event.
“Pete has already talked about the amount of interest, but it is just out standing,” he said.
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