One of the things that made the DGR so successful last year was the sense of fun and inclusion that it brought to the motorcycle community not just in Albuquerque, but around the world. This was the “little idea that could.” A few guys got together to dress in retro fahion on their old British iron to raise money for prostate cancer. The idea got picked up by riders everywhere and hundreds of rides sprung up.

This year, watching the interaction between Mark Hawwa and the organizers of various rides has been disheartening. While the idea of keeping the ride period appropriate, with only certain kinds of bikes and certain attire was understandable, the response to questions about including folks that didn’t have a bobber or a cafe was always a snarky “If you don’t like it, start your own ride!” Hardly the epitome of gentlemanly conversation. Petulant, you might say.

Strike one, as baseball fans might say.

This morning, I woke to an email from our tireless local organizer, Chris Beggio, who announced he was done with the ride after this year. His reasons were encapsulated in a missive from Hawwa that was, to not put too fine a point on it, rude. The DGR organizers out of Australia have made a point of stomping on any dissent or individuality in the local rides. In this case it was to complain about a ride tee-shirt that had been designed to give the New Mexico event an appropriate flair.On the chest was the DGR logo in a Zia — the symbol of the state of New Mexico and a religious symbol that inspires a lot of affection from the residents here.

Hope all is well! Have an awesome ride this Sunday! Can you please don’t create DGR merchandise, I don’t give you permission to its not accountable to the charities. Its a trademark infringement and we don’t want to set a precedence. Ontop of that it looks terrible and there is official merchandise available on the website…

Fair enough. You don’t want competing “merchandise” even though it was provided free by the vendor and people aren’t buying the shirts (unlike onthe website.) It was a bit of swag to encourage people to come back to the ride, not gouge for money. Rather than ask if that was the case, Hawwa tosses out the “trademark infringement” grenade. Strike two.

“Ontop of that it looks terrible…” One — before you send an email, check your spelling and grammar. Two — you could have stopped at the trademark infringement. But no, this was an attempt to be, plainly put, ungentlemanly. Strike three.

At risk of joining this less than gentile behavior, I might point out that having seen the DGR official merchandise, it’s hardly award-winning stuff.

So, this is my last time with this charity. I will ride gentlemanly and distinguished…but I’ll do it my own way.

Scott Rhymer