A Distinguished Gentleman’s Ride


Back from Canada and the weather in the Midwest was wonderful. On the Milwaukee Vintage Motorcycle (MilVinMoto) there was talk of this all-around-the-world event called the Distinguished Gentleman Ride, or DGR. I don’t know how anyone had heard of it, but apparently on a certain calendar day, people dress in nice clothes and go for motorcycle rides.

MilVin does several themed rides a year, from Evel Kneival to Nuns. A couple of my friends were always interested in these rides, but since they were currently motorcycleless they usually just appeared at some of the stops and missed the actual ride. I’ve always felt a little bad about this, so decided Blue and I would do something about it. You see, along with Curiosity I have a Ural.

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Blue, always the well-dressed bear, was very excited about the event.

My friends, Mary and Jillian, lived near the start of the ride, and planned to meet me there, so I headed to The Fuel Café.

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The Fuel is a common starting point for MilVin rides, so the locals barely noticed a bunch of well dressed people riding up.

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The ride was through the city, with regular stops for talking and eating (and rehydrating. It was pretty warm). The route was the same for each of these themed rides (MilVin also helps co-ordinate the M2M, which uses a different route every year), so if riders get separated it’s usually easy to catch up.

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Mary and Jillian managed to fit into the sidecar together, mostly, though I think they were glad it was warm and the rides were generally short legs.

We started by riding through a couple parkways, then along the lake and some twisting roads. There are some twisting roads in Milwaukee’s urban landscape, if you have ever going looking for them. After this first, longest, leg of the ride we stopped at Iron Horse’s outdoor bar.

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Blue wanted a Bloody, but I made him stick with water. He’s unbearable when he’s drunk.

After an hour or so at Iron Horse we rode south to Café Lulu, the planned lunch stop. They had some tables set aside for us, and some riders joined up there.

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Yeah, a food pic. Those are ‘home’ made potato chips, blue cheese dipping sauce and a half pound burger with bacon. Delicious.

There was more ride planned after this, but some of the riders (myself included) had to peal off at this point for other obligations, so we headed to a train yard for a photo op.

DGR 1

Phone by Cormac Kehoe

dgr 2

Phone by Cormac Kehoe – See more of Cormac’s much better photography than mine on his Flickr page

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I can’t blame my camera – Cormac is just better at pictures than I am. That’s him in the blue tie. Most of these rides are his doing, and I think MilVin would be a much duller place without his input.

The group wandered off into different directions, and I am pretty sure this was the last ride of the year. Writing this in January when it’s –9f outside, I don’t think the annual New Years Day Ride drew much of a crowd either (I was working). Even though winter closed it’s clawed hand around the Midwest with more than a usual vengeance, I still managed a road trip to Ohio. I, um, might have cheated a little.

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