FAYETTEVILLE, WV (WVNS)– Motorcycle enthusiasts gathered in Fayetteville Sunday, May 21,2023, to raise awareness and funds for men’s health.
According to a study published by the National Institute of Health, male life expectancy is more than three and a half years shorter than that of females. The study states men seek healthcare less frequently and are concerned about showing perceived weakness.
This prompted Mark Hawwa in Sydney Australia in 2011 to create a themed ride gathering vintage bike lovers and riders to ride and raise awareness.
“The reason why we’re dressed up, everyone’s dressed up and whatnot is because it brings attention,” said organizer Chris Tope. “Instead of the leather and motorcycle gant attire, you see people driving in dapper attire it causes you to stop and say, ‘Hey what’s this group about?’”
In Fayetteville, southern West Virginia’s second annual Distinguished Gentleman’s Ride gathered at the Love Hope Arts Center. The group of over 3 dozen riders cruised Fayetteville, the new river gorge, and ended at Freefolk Brewery in Hico.
Focusing on Prostate Cancer research and men’s mental health, organizers want men who were dealt a tough hand to know they are not alone.
“It’s a stigma. It’s one of those where men, they get nervous or they have pride or their ego, and they think, ‘Oh I’m fine, I’m tough. I don’t need to get checked up,’” said Tope. “I’ve had a lot of friends that had issues and luckily they caught it early enough.”
All the funds raised are invested into research and prevention programs through the largest men’s health organization, Movember.
“So far to date, they’ve raised $40 million over 12 years of being active,” Tope told us.
This year’s ride through Fayetteville raised over $6,000 while Ensuring nobody rides alone.