Steve Smith
Steve SmithImage by: Steve Smith
Steve Smith
20 May 2021

Steve Smith on Riding Dapper for Mental Health

No Author
2 minutes read time

As we get closer to the Distinguished Gentleman’s Ride we are scouring the country to find out why so many New Zealanders ride dapper to raise funds for Movember. Next up, we are chatting to Steve Smith of Auckland about how the loss of his best friend to suicide has him riding dapper for DGR.

How many years have you participated in DGR?

I started riding in July 2017 after my friend and I started revving (excuse the pun) our wives up about becoming bikers, we go so deep into the lie that to save face, we had to go do it.

" My closest friend, when I was younger, took his life at 18, another two weeks out from his wedding. Both still play heavily on my mind. "

What bike are you riding this year and how long have you had it for?

The journey into biking started with a Royal Enfield Classic 350, onto a Classic 500 and now I am riding the Royal Enfield Interceptor 650.

Why did you decide to get involved / What does DGR mean to you?

There are a few reasons that The Distinguished Gentlemen's Ride is so important to me, the first is that I've lost a few friends to mental illness. My closest friend, when I was younger, took his life at 18, another two weeks out from his wedding. Both still play heavily on my mind, I always ask myself could I have done something more, could I have listened, what could I have done differently. The Distinguished Gentlemen's Ride is all about raising donations to support those who support those who suffer from mental health issues, sometimes in silence. The cause also supports prostate cancer research, I am lucky enough to have a few close friends alive today due to the support they received.

What’s your favourite part of DGR?

I have so much fun fundraising, I have been on two different radio stations promoting the ride, put up posters around town and in the local shops, hand out flyers and send out over 1000 emails and SMSs to gain support and I ‘m always humbled by how prepared people are to donate.

I love everything it stands for and it gives me a chance to dress dapper (usually in work dress) and ride with similar people who care about the same cause. For me, this was an opportunity to try make a difference and perhaps save a few men’s lives on the way. Such little effort for a huge result and of course, it’s fun.

Most memorable moment from any of the DGR rides?

My most memorable moment is the friends I’ve made at the events that I see on a regular basis and we are always talking about the next DGR event.