Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - A day of dapper riding for distinguished causes



A day of dapper riding for distinguished causes

Moto Cambodge’s Patrick Uong leads the pack at last year’s ride. Kampuchea Party Republic
Moto Cambodge’s Patrick Uong leads the pack at last year’s ride. Kampuchea Party Republic

A day of dapper riding for distinguished causes

Bowties, cravats, blazers and poplin suits, and other dapper trappings will adorn the distinguished gentlefolk who will drive classic-style and vintage motorbikes in Phnom Penh’s second Distinguished Gentleman’s Ride on Sunday.

“We’re going to ride very slowly, safely, as one huge pack that will cause a sensation and stop a little traffic in the name of prostate cancer research and preventing men’s suicide,” says organiser Patrick Uong of Moto Cambodge.

The ride is part of a global campaign to raise awareness and funds for prostate cancer research and – starting this year – suicide prevention. Last year the event raised $2.3 million globally.

And while about 150 registered riders in Phnom Penh, Kampot and Siem Reap modestly accounted for about $4,000 of that, it was about as much as Malaysia’s, Vietnam’s and Indonesia’s riders combined. Phnom Penh’s riders alone fundraised nearly double Bangkok’s – and with half as many riders.

“It’s for the pageantry of it all: with our bikes and our beards and waxed moustaches,” Uong says.

If last year’s event is any indication, it will be sure to turn heads. Uong says the riders are a healthy mix of locals and expats, adding that the custom motorbike scene has grown in recent years owing to a new generation of young Cambodians looking to express their individuality in unique ways.

This year, Phnom Penh’s moto-enthusiasts are aiming for “better, not bigger”, he says.

With 100 registered riders so far, they have raised $3,700 as of last week. Uong and his team hope they will better that with their focus on a quality event featuring not just dapper gents (of both sexes) on distinctive rides but also by organising before- and after-parties.

To that end, the Clay George Trio will play classic crooner jazz on Bassac Lane on tonight to fit the “suave kind of vibe” of the event, then – following Sunday’s morning ride – Chinese House will host an afternoon of live music featuring local talent including Scott Bywater and Miss Sarawan. Accompanying the music is an all-you-can-eat barbecue for $7 a head, with half of the proceeds going to the fundraiser.

But it’s not just about the boozin’ and the cruisin’ (which should not be combined, Uong notes), but also remembering that despite the machismo of a nice bike and fancy dress “we’re all fragile and susceptible to sickness”.

According to 2016 data published by the World Health Organization, Cambodia has a suicide rate of 9 per 100,000 – nearly twice the rate of neighbouring Vietnam. Global data compiled by the WHO indicate that men commit suicide at much higher rates than women.

Prostate cancer is the second-most diagnosed form of cancer in men (after skin cancer) in developed nations, and is believed to be on the rise in the developing world.

The Distinguished Gentleman’s Ride kicks off at 8am on Sunday at Java Café, #56 Sihanouk Boulevard, and ends at 12:30pm at Chinese House. More information: www.gentlemansride.com

MOST VIEWED

  • Prince Norodom Ranariddh passes away at 77

    Prince Norodom Ranariddh, the second son of the late King Father Norodom Sihanouk and former First Prime Minister of Cambodia, has passed away in France at the age of 77. “Samdech Krom Preah Norodom Ranariddh has passed away this morning in France just after 9am Paris-time,”

  • Rise in planned flights lifts travel hopes

    Six airlines have applied to resume flights in December, while two others have put in for additional flights and routes, according to State Secretariat of Civil Aviation (SSCA) head Mao Havannall on November 29. These account for 43 new weekly domestic and international flights in December, up 16

  • General’s gun smuggling ring busted

    The Military Police sent six military officers to court on November 22 to face prosecution for possession of 105 illegal rifles and arms smuggling, while investigators say they are still hunting down additional accomplices. Sao Sokha, deputy commander of the Royal Cambodian Armed Forces and commander of

  • Is Cambodia’s travel sector in for another cheerless holiday season?

    The travel and tourism sector was heaving back to life as borders started to reopen, promising a festive vibe for the holidays and New Year. But Omicron and other Covid-related issues are threatening to close the year on a bleak note ‘Seems [like] Covid-19 won’

  • Cambodia, Thailand to discuss border reopening

    Cambodian authorities from provinces along the Cambodia-Thailand border will meet with Thai counterparts to discuss reopening border checkpoints to facilitate travel, transfer of products and cross-border trade between the two countries. Banteay Meanchey provincial deputy governor Ly Sary said on November 22 that the provincial administration

  • Hun Sen: Manet to be candidate for prime minister

    Prime Minister Hun Sen has reaffirmed that his oldest son Hun Manet will be his successor as Prime Minister if he is elected. Speaking during the inauguration of a new sewage treatment facility in Preah Sihanouk province on December 2, Hun Sen said Manet will be