The Los Angeles Distinguished Gentleman's Ride
The annual Distinguished Gentleman's Ride is a worldwide event that raises money for prostate cancer medical research. Last year's event in Los Angeles involved 480 riders who traveled a route from Griffith Park to the Ace Hotel in DTLA. The ride raised about $50,000, making Los Angeles the number one contributor in the United States and the sixth largest Distinguished Gentleman's Ride fundraising city in the world. Only London and Sydney had more riders than Los Angeles.
The 10-33 Benefit
Los Angeles motorcyclists donate their time and money every year to participate in a charity motorcycle ride that benefits the families of police officers and firefighters who lost their lives. This year's South Los Angeles 10-33 ride took place on May 9. Highlights of the 2015 ride appear on the event's Facebook page.
Bonding and caring
The motorcycle community in Los Angeles is close-knit. The recent death of Tammy Hilton, a beloved member of that community (and the owner of a beloved Ducati), was commemorated with a memorial ride last month, sponsored by the Venice Vintage Motorcycle Club (VVMC) and attended by 150 riders. The VVMC also set up a gofundme account to help pay the expenses of Tammy's funeral and memorial.
The VVMC recently held a benefit for a motorcyclist who was hit by a driver. The driver reportedly ran a red light while playing with a cellphone and struck the rider broadside. The fact that Los Angeles area riders rally to support each other when one of their own is injured is one reason we take pride in helping injured motorcyclists receive the compensation they deserve.
Amazing rides, amazing riders
The Snake, a two-mile stretch of Mullholland Drive, has been a famous destination for LA motorcyclists since Steve McQueen made it popular in the 1960s. Current celebrities like Jay Leno (in a car more often than a motorcycle) continue to lend LA glitz to the road, making it a place where (like much of LA) ordinary people rub elbows with the rich and famous.
Unfortunately, The Snake tends to encourage showboating as unskilled or inexperienced riders push themselves beyond their limits. The California Highway Patrol responded to 43 crashes on The Snake in 2013. A Wired story gives some tips for riding The Snake, emphasizing that the key is not to overthink the hairpin turn where most crashes occur.
The Wired story tells us something else important about the LA motorcycling community. Many more crashes occurred on The Snake in 2013 than the CHP reported. Videos confirm “an air of camaraderie, with riders helping each other pull bikes from ditches as others slow incoming traffic and even sweep up dirt and debris to prevent another crash.”
Riders helping riders is what the motorcycling community in LA is all about. Helping motorcycle riders is what we do every day. Motorcyclists who are injured by careless drivers — most commonly, by drivers who make an unexpected left turn in front of the rider — suffer devastating injuries. The least fortunate survivors of Los Angeles motorcycle accidents suffer permanent brain or spinal injuries. Others must cope with broken bones, blindness, and facial scarring.
We want to do our part to help injured motorcyclists and their families. Helping riders recover lost wages, medical expenses, and the expenses required to accommodate disabilities gives us a chance to bring justice to an extraordinary community. In Los Angeles, where riders help other riders, we feel good about helping injured riders get their lives back on track.