The Distinguished Gentlemen’s Ride 2019

Last weekend was a blast attending the Easy Rider Live event and the Indian Larry Block Party. This weekend was Jillian’s birthday weekend and was packed with more fun as well. I will start with Sunday’s event since it’s most directly related to riding.

Distinguished Gentlemen’s Ride NYC

This year I decided to partake in the Distinguished Gentlemen’s Ride.

“The Distinguished Gentleman’s Ride” is a global motorcycle fund-raising event, raising funds and awareness for prostate cancer research and men’s mental health programs on behalf of Charity Partner, the Movember Foundation.

Folks who participate get dressed up, ride a classic-style bike and fundraise for the cause.

Friends, family, colleagues and even a guy I met on a cross country road trip chipped in to help. Thanks again to all of you who lent a hand with your donations. I appreciate you!

After a fun but exhausting Friday and Saturday, (which I’ll get to later), it was time to dress up for the ride. I sported a white shirt and tie with a black sweater-vest and a subtly plaid green Burberry jacket.

I signed up with Team Triumph Brooklyn for the ride. My bike is being served there as I write this.

The photos above and below are the Triumph shop in Brooklyn where they opened up early for coffee and donuts before meeting up with the 600 or so riders in Manhattan.

The Ride

The meeting place to begin the Gentlemen’s Ride this year was Peck Slip Plaza.

A long row of NYPD bikes lined the street awaiting their role as escorts for the ride.

Peck Slip Plaza is an open area just north of the old South Street Seaport and south of the Brooklyn Bridge.

Folks got suited up in all kinds of dapper designs and prepared for the ride.

Jillian joined me down at the plaza in a Burberry dress of her own. And my Bonnie sported a mustache on the headlight.

These officers were admiring this old Harley with a sidecar…

…so much so that they hopped in for a photo op.

Dad proudly displays the badges from many sidecar clubs as he and his boy await the start of the ride.

There were all kinds of bikes, but predominately Triumphs.

A Royal Enfield and a Vulcan.

This vintage Honda was in mint condition.

This guy goes by the name The Suited Racer. Jillian obliged with her own mask for this shot.

A Distinguished Triumph Thruxton with a wicked wheel shadow.

Cute pup on a Vespa.

This is Marcos from the Ducati shop in Manhattan. Ducati NY has put together this copper beauty that Marcos would be riding at the day’s event.

Members of the UPJET crew were in attendance. I didn’t know about these guys but Jillian did. They represent NYC mopeds and other dumb bikes. (Their words).

And away we go!

Jillian was on photo duty. So these shots on the road are all hers. We crossed the Brooklyn Bridge into Brooklyn then headed to Queens.

We stayed predominantly on the major artery highways as we rode about town while police held back traffic.

From Queens, we crossed the 59th Street Bridge and back into Manhattan.

It was great having police escorts because we didn’t have to stop for any red lights. Sometimes as we rode through the city streets I’d glance up, see the red color and have a strange feeling of caution. Like, Oh shit! Did I ‘F’ up? Did I run the light? Then I’d remember that it’s cool! And it is! It’s sooo cool!

They closed off the FDR Drive all the way uptown.

We’ve been seeing this bike about town recently. It’s got a Japanese Zero sort of vibe.

This guy below had that nice Gulf Racing Team color scheme going on his tank and helmet.

Rocking the hot red leather pants on a Triumph Speed Triple. Yowza!

A gentleman on a vintage BMW.

It was fun whipping around along the West Side Highway!

Tweed panniers? OK!

Check out the whiskers on the passenger in the Ural sidecar.

We cut into the city and stopped on 59th Street near the Plaza Hotel.

Then we headed back to our original starting point at Peck Slip Plaza.

This guy was shooting film with an old box camera. We also met a guy with a 1954 Nikon taking photos.

This BSA Gold Star was purchased by Triumph Brooklyn.

The guy in the red vest is the owner of that Japanese style bike we keep seeing. It was at Larry’s Block Party last week too.

It was a great day. I didn’t know what to expect. If you know me, you know I like the solitude of the road. I’m a Solo Lobo. But I got to tell you, this was a lot of fun!

Thanks again to everyone who helped out.

So that was Sunday! I mentioned at the beginning of the post that it was Jillian’s Birthday weekend. And because Rock n Roll is part of the ride I must include more of the weekend’s events here. Happy Birthday Jillian! Let’s back it up to Friday.

We bopped over for a nice dinner at NOBU on 57th Street.

It was delicious!

After dinner, we strolled down the street for a return to Radio City Music Hall. This time we were going to see Massive Attack!

Horace Andy was there with his high pitched haunting voice to compliment the band.

A little goofing off downstairs at Radio City.

The next day…more celebration and fun!

This time we were headed to the Metropolitan Museum of Art to see Steve Miller and Jimmie Vaughan!

The MET has been having a really cool exhibition called Play it Loud. The show consists of amazing musical instruments representing the history of rock n roll. This Steve Miller show was a celebration to close the exhibit.

I just happened to get tickets at the right time. It was fantastic! Jimmie Vaughan and his band came out first and rocked some Texas blues.

The venue was a small auditorium in the museum adjacent to the Ancient Egypt section. I had been there for art teacher meetings in the past. But tonight it would grace the presence of Rock legends.

I have been a huge Steve Miller fan since I was a kid. I’d stack his albums on the old phonograph and let ’em drop. Then turn ’em over and do it again. Remember those phonographs that you could stack a bunch of albums on?

On this night Steve Miller would open with Living in the USA, followed by Space Cowboy then Abracadabra and The Lovin’ Cup.

Jimmie Vaughan returned and jammed with Steve Miller on a few classic blues tunes by T-Bone Walker, Freddy King and Otis Rush. They played, All Your Lovin’, I Wanna Be Loved, and Let Your Hair Down.

Jimmie left the stage and then Steve Miller continued with Dance Dance Dance. Then he told a wonderful story about the electric sitar that is displayed in a glass case at the Play It Loud exhibition. But this time it was draped around his neck. He told us how he was walking around NYC back in the day and he stopped by Manny’s Music on 48th Street. He said he really wanted a Gibson Les Paul whose namesake happened to be his Godfather. But he could not afford a Les Paul and his godfather never gave him one. So he turned to Manny’s Bargain Barrel, which was literally a barrel full of guitars just strewn about in there. Take your pick for $150. He picked up this strange looking instrument and bought it. This is the instrument that makes those amazing sounds on Wild Mountain Honey. I always thought these were some type of synthesizer sounds. But no. After this engaging story, he played it live. It was those same amazing sounds! Beautiful!

Below is a Hi-Res photo I took of Steve’s Coral Electric Sitar from the Play It Loud exhibition. You can click it to see the details. It’s really cool.

Here is Steve Miller playing the same sitar in 1976 at the Capitol Theater.

After the sitar, Space Intro led to Fly Like an Eagle.

He told another story and had a giggle over this blue guitar covered with crystals.

He continued the show playing, Rock’n Me, Take the Money and Run, The Joker, and a spirited Jet Airliner to close.

We saw that there was tape over the first song on the playlist. We later found out that Swingtown was scratched.

We said hey to David Fricke, Senior Editor for Rolling Stone Magazine on our way out of the auditorium.

Then we headed back outside to see how they had renovated the front of the museum.

It looks great at night. The new fountains dance around like the Bellagio fountains in Vegas.

The next morning I had to get up early for the Distinguished Gentlemen’s Ride, bringing us full circle.

I was going to end the post here, but I can’t hype up the Play it Loud exhibition without sharing it.

We returned to the Museum to catch the last day of the exhibition. I had seen it earlier in the summer, but Jillian hadn’t. And after hearing Steve Miller talk about it Saturday night I was happy to revisit it.


What you see above is Steve Miller’s electric sitar that he played in the show. And to the right of it is Ravi Shankar’s sitar. This show is filled with iconic instruments from Rock’s history. Below are more of Steve Miller’s guitars.

1961 Gibson, Les Paul TV special. Painted by surfboard artist Bob Cantrell.

Steve Miller talked about visiting the exhibition during the show we saw. He said he had many peeks of the show in the evenings when he could bring friends. The best part about each visit was the stories people tell. The rich history of the instruments really touches a soft spot that incites memories in everyone.

The Joker, 1996 by Triggs Guitars.

Below is Eric Clapton’s 1956-57 Fender Stratocaster, “Blackie”. It was actually built from three different Stratocasters.

Eddie Van Halen’s “Frankenstein”. He built it and decorated it himself with Fender-style body and neck and Gibson electronics.

Jimi Hendrix’s 1967 Gibson, Flying V.

Keith Moon’s 1966-67 Pictures of Lily drum kit. The snare drums feature nude photos of Lily Langtry, the subject of the song, Pictures of Lily. They also display the words, “Keith Moon Patent British Exploding Drummer”.

Keith Emerson’s Moog Synthesizer atop his 1968 Hammond Organ.

Paul McCartney’s 1962 Höfner 500/1 “violin” electric bass.

Rick Nielsen’s 5 neck Hamer guitar.

Ron Wood’s 1978 Tony Zemaitis guitar.

Jeff Beck’s 1965-66 modified Fender Esquire.

Bo Diddley’s 1960 Gretch, The “Twang Machine”.

Pete Townshend’s 1975 Gibson Les Paul Deluxe.

Jack White’s 1964 Valco Airline.

Jerry Garcia’s “Wolf”. Commissioned from Doug Irwin in 1973.

Jerry Garcia’s “Tiger” Doug Irwin, 1979.

Joe Strummer’s 1966 Fender Telecaster.

Jimi Hendrix’s 1968 Olympic White Fender Stratocaster. This is the guitar that Jimi used to wake the crowd up at Woodstock when he played the Star-Spangled Banner.

Pete Townshend’s Gibson SG Special that he smashed for a Rolling Stone photoshoot.

It is encased in lucite and displayed at Rolling Stone Magazine’s headquarters.

There were many more iconic instruments in the collection. Real jaw-dropping stuff.

Before leaving the museum, we stopped by to see Leonardo Da Vinci’s St.Jerome. St.Jerome is an unfinished Leonardo Da Vinci painting on loan from the Vatican Museum to memorialize his death 500 years ago this past May.

We left the museum, but we weren’t done. We walked through the park to see an art opening.

What you are seeing below is not shellfish.

Ce ne sont pas des crustacés

It’s soft shellfish. Very soft. This is the art of Lucy Sparrow.

Heeeeeere’s Lucy! As the Play It Loud show had its closing, Lucy Sparrow’s Gourmet Deli had its public opening today.

There are 30,000 items at the deli all made of felt. It’s a surreal scene!

There are various sections at the deli. Meats, Fish, Shellfish, Cheese, Bakery, Fruits, Vegetables, Macaroons, and canned goods.

They even have Sushi.

There are all of the sections one would expect to see in a fancy deli. And each section is filled with little works of felt art. Each one signed. All 30,000 of ’em.

Lucy Sparrow’s Delicatessen on 6th is located on Sixth Avenue between 49th and 50th Streets, and is open daily from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m., through October 20th.

Hope you enjoyed the post. Steered a little off-topic, but what the heck!


3 Responses to “The Distinguished Gentlemen’s Ride 2019”

  1. I have a vintage pearl white Harley Softail just like the one the Cops were admiring! Good to see, great post.
    Ride safe,

  2. Reblogged this on My Ride Blog and commented:
    Check out this post from a fellow blogger here on WordPress. You may want to consider subscribing to it as well. I enjoy reading his posts.

  3. Pat Barnes Says:

    Can’t even imagine how much of a good time was had by all/both! A great ride, a great time and a beautiful woman to celebrate a birthday. I miss mine. Glad you had yours

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