1. Arts & Entertainment
  2. /
  3. Fun

Motorcyclists trade leather for tweed this weekend to raise money for men’s health

The Distinguished Gentleman’s Ride returns to Tampa Bay as local motorcyclists join a worldwide run to raise money for men’s health charities.
The Distinguished Gentleman's Ride combines dapper duds and vintage-inspired bikes on a ride to raise money for men's health charities. [Mari Sabra]
Published Sep. 26
Updated Sep. 26

Motorcyclists across Tampa Bay Sunday will be trading in their leather for tweed as they participate in the 2019 Distinguished Gentleman’s Ride.

The annual event, started in 2013, brings together more than 100,000 riders in 650 cities across 102 countries to raise money for men’s health issues. Last year’s ride made more than $6 million globally.

In Tampa last year, almost 300 riders raised $44,000, one of the largest of Florida’s ride. A sea of motorcycles surged through St. Pete and across the Bayside Bridge into Safety Harbor, then across to Tampa where the ride wrapped at Armature Works. Riders with finely groomed mustaches, quaffed hair and more tweed than a Cambridge University faculty meeting rode vintage Vespas, Triumphs, Urals and host of other vintage-inspired bikes.

Tampa Bay riders participate in the 2018 Distinguished Gentleman's Ride. [Mari Sabra]

This year’s ride, again hosted by Tai Truong and friends from Ronin Vintage, aims to be bigger than ever. The ride details are available only to participants, but this year features a block party at the Royal Palm Market outside of St. Petersburg’s Intermezzo Coffee & Cocktails, complete with a rockabilly band and maker’s market that’ll run from noon to 4 p.m.

“I was just starting at Tampa Triumph last year, so I didn’t have full support. This year they’ve helped in paying for a band, video and photographer,” Truong said. "Usually at the end point, we eat and disperse. I wanted to make it an after-party for the riders but also for families to come down who didn’t participate to come check out bikes.”

Riders head through St. Petersburg's Edge District during the 2018 Distinguished Gentleman's Ride. [Mari Sabra]

Truong and his family moved to the bay area from Vietnam in 1976. He looked up to his older brother, Devon, who helped get him into vintage motorcycles. Together, the two helped cultivate a scene for vintage bikes and cafe racers in downtown St. Pete and across the bay area. When Devon died shortly after a stage 4 liver cancer diagnosis in 2014, Truong took it hard, but motorcycles became a way to keep his brother’s memory alive.

“The Distingushed Gentleman’s Ride always comes a month after the anniversary of his passing. So I really push it in Tampa Bay,” he said. Maybe that’s why we do so well. I don’t know. It took sometime getting back on two wheels. Now that I’m back on, there is nowhere to look but forward."

It’s not too late to register and ride, he added. More information is available at


  1. Alison Krauss will perform at the Clearwater Jazz Holiday on Oct. 20. Capitol Records
    The Clearwater Jazz Holiday returns with a strong music lineup, Zac Brown Band plays Tampa and Barry Bostwick will be here to screen ‘Rocky Horror.'
  2. On Sunday, Wayne Brady will perform at the Mahaffey Theater in St. Petersburg. Courtesy of Mahaffey Theater
    Wayne Brady performs at the Mahaffey, St. Petersburg hosts the UpDog Triple Crown Challenge and Taking Back Sunday stops by Jannus Live.
  3. J.B. Smoove will perform at the Straz Center in Tampa on Saturday. RICHARD SHOTWELL  |  Invision/AP
    J.B. Smoove takes the Straz Center stage, plus Roboticon Tampa Bay at the Yuengling Center and the St. Pete Side Lot hosts the Guerilla Art Market.
  4. On Friday, Chris Stapleton will take over Tampa's MidFlorida Credit Union Amphitheatre for a performance. Courtesy of Andy Barron
    Chris Stapleton appears at the MidFlorida Credit Union Amphitheatre, Oktoberfest Tampa begins and Jeanne Robertson stops by the Capitol Theatre.
  5. Lizzo is scheduled to perform during this year's Jingle Ball at Tampa venue Amalie Arena. ALLIE GOULDING  |  Times
    Jingle Ball, which will feature acts like Lizzo and Sam Smith, leads the lineup, along with the Turtles and Kris Kristofferson.
  6. This artful Jack-O-Lantern bandleader on Main Street, U.S.A. in the Magic Kingdom,is part of the decorations in place for Mickey's Not-So-Scary Halloween Party held annually at the theme park. A separate ticket is required to attend for the event running through Nov. 2. Associated Press
    Find a pumpkin, a party or a haunted house this weekend.
  7. Smokey Robinson will visit the new Hard Rock Event Center at Tampa's Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino on Thursday. Courtesy of Mahaffey Theater
    Motown legend Smokey Robinson plays the Hard Rock, ‘And Then There Were None’ opens at Ruth Eckerd and rockers Adelitas Way hit the Orpheum.
  8. For Creatures of the Night, the Halloween event being held weekends at ZooTampa at Lowry Park, there are activities for all ages includes scare zones, nighttime animal encounters and a ghoulish dance party. Courtesy of ZooTampa at Lowry Park
    As we head into Halloween season there’s lots of both scary and kid-friendly choices to get into the Halloween spirit this week.
  9. Students from across Florida will show off their "Star Wars"-themed creations at Tampa's Yuengling Center on Sunday. Courtesy of Terri Willingham
    See student creations at Roboticon, find music and movies (and the Rays baseball game) in the park or check out Saturn’s rings at MOSI.
  10. USF walk-on receiver Bryce Miller (19) celebrates with guard William Atterbury (78) after scoring a touchdown in the fourth quarter at Tampa's Raymond James Stadium on Sept. 28. OCTAVIO JONES  |  Times
    It’s homecoming for the Bulls, and the Bucs and Bolts go international.