Sunday, 27 September 2015

The Distinguished Gentleman's Ride 2015 Singapore

So you've heard of the Distinguished Gentleman's Ride (DGR), and perhaps you know that it's a motorcycle event where hundreds to even thousands of bikers decked out in their suits and ties, combing the streets on their classic motorcycles.

But, what's the story behind?

Let's find out!

Credits to Triumph Motorcycle Singapore
Founded back in 2012 in Sydney, Australia, the movement behind DGR is about raising funds and awareness for Prostate Cancer research, in hope to find a cure for it.

Some Key Points About Prostate Cancer

- Prostate cancer is also known as Adenocarcinoma
- It's one of the most common cancer among men in the U.S.
- More than 27,000 men die from prostate cancer each year in the U.S.
- Causes of it are subjected to various factors like age, diet, genes
- It affects the prostate glands, causing poor urine control
- Treatments for it ranges from Radical Prostatectomy (prostate is surgically removed) to Conformal Radiotherapy

Widely participated by over 400 cities around the globe this year, more than 30,000 well-dressed bikers looking really dapper are gathered together for this worthy cause.

And DGR (Singapore) is proudly organized by Motorwerks.

It was a lovely Sunday afternoon where I met up with a friendly bunch from the V-Max biker group in town as we made our way to the first DGR meet up point - Spruce @ Upper Bukit Timah Road.

Upon our arrival, we were instantly greeted by an overwhelming crowd - Bike enthusiasts of all sorts!

From your old school Café Racers, to modern classic vespas (some attached with adorable side cars), to quirky done up Scramblers and other funky two-wheelers!

I'm proud to be soaking in this atmosphere here with my baby Ducati..

And all these fine gentlemen!

Just last year in 2014, more than 20,000 bikers from 58 different countries participated in DGR, successfully raising more than USD $1.5 million for Prostate Cancer research.

This year, DGR has doubled its fundraising goal to USD $3 million.

How adorable can this get? Ferrari vespa side cars! How is this hooligan??

Raising awareness for men's health aside, there is another positive impact intended with such a well-themed motorcycle event. 

In the past, people tend to associate the image of bikers with hooligans, which has stained the mindset of many even up till this modern day and age.

But here at DGR, where men (and some women) eloquently dressed in their tailored suits and bow ties accompanied on their classic rides, it's an effective way to combat against the common negative stereotype image of bikers.

This is one of the biggest convoy I've been in
Not just that, but it's through such an event where it brings bikers from different walks of life, regardless of the different make and model of bikes we ride, all together.

It's just AMAZING seeing all these fellow bikers who share a common passion for life on two wheels!

And it's great bumping into friends and even family here too! All of us with big smiles on, catching up over light drinks.

Looking around, have you wondered.. What makes motorcycling?

To some, it's may be a mode of transport, or a sport, a hobby. Eventually, it integrates into your lifestyle and naturally, you are part of this lively community.

What a delight too, to see people bringing their pets into the event! It just adds life to it! This little bull dog is way too cute as it readily poses for photographs taken by amused passerbys (like myself haha).

It's a full house here as we made our second stop at Duxton Hill.

Check out the massive crowd. We (bikers) penetrated the whole area, into the carparks, even getting in between cars, overflowing onto pebbled-walkways. Definitely not something you see every other day!

From the female bikers: Here's to seeing more Gentlemen on their rides! ;p

My first experience here at Distinguished Gentleman's Ride has been fantastic, witnessing such a fabulous turn out with so much positive vibes around, clearly displaying the celebration of classic custom made motorcycles ridden by good mannered motorcyclists.

Why settle for mediocrity?

Distinguish yourself and be that Gentleman today ;)

Wednesday, 16 September 2015

Tristan Park Dirt Biking, Malaysia : Gettin' Down & Dirty With My Girls!

Are you currently working in your office, like every other mundane day?

Getting ready for our trail ride, about to cross the border from Singapore - Johor Bahru, Malaysia
Well, it's time to GET OUT THERE!!

Follow me as I'm here, about to have some superb off road trail ride fun with my girls! ;D

Got my new colorful Scorpion Off Road Full Face Helmet & Goggles from Hodaka Motoworld, ready for my long overdued dirt bike action!

Mel in full off road riding gears and her sports bike, how cute is that?!

For those who are into Enduro off road trail riding, we know that Singapore doesn't exactly have a legal piece of land or place for us to practice.

We'd usually have to travel across the border to our neighboring country, Malaysia, where we can dig into some mud there. Trails over at Nusajaya, Plentong, Ulu Choh (near Pontian) and sometimes Dato-Onn (flat track).

And now, let's welcome one new additional choice to enjoy some dirt biking! That's..


Located just barely 35KM away from Singapore city centre, it took us less than 20 minutes to get there from Woodlands Checkpoint (1st Link).

From the outside, Tristan Park house looked like any other landed property there. Step inside and be greeted by many shelves of gears. From jerseys, to full face helmets, elbow and knee guards which are all necessary protection for trail riding.

The amount of off road boots available overflows all the way into the second room!

With an impressive fleet of dirt bikes to choose from, you'd be spoilt for choice. From Pit bikes, to KLX150S, KLX150L, CRF250, KTM200, all ready for some good whacking time!

Mel trying out the CRF250
We were excited to try the different bikes available before deciding which are the ones we're most comfortable on.

Readily geared up right from the start

Tristan Park is huge and the trail sections consists of different levels - from easy to challenging. So, whether you're a Novice (like me), or an experienced rider, you'll be able to thoroughly enjoy it!

During your booking, you will indicate your level of riding experience after which the Tristan Park guides will prepare to bring you to the most suitable route of off road riding.

Ok so my girls and I picked our dirt bikes. Mel and I took the KLX150S and Deb selected the CRF250 since she has long legs. Loaded the bikes up onto a truck as we took a short drive to Tristan Park itself, where the fun awaits.

It's now 12 noon, the sun is out but shying from the moderate haze.

Getting used to the KLX150S
Deb on the CRF250
Time to start em engines and let's go look for some dirt!! >:)

We had two guides, one to lead the way in the trail and one sweeper to make sure no one gets left behind.

We started off with some flat open trails in the densely grown oil plantations..

Gradually narrowing into tight trails and corners..

Splashing into mini stream crossing..

Challenged ourselves with some rocky downhills and moderate steep hill climbs..

All the way till we reached the top of the hill!

We had an awesome panoramic view of.. the damn HAZE.
It just covers everything in sight :(

After close to 2 hours into our trail ride now, we decided to take a rest here.

Chose a shady spot and luckily it was pretty windy. Removed all our gears and relaxed. Haha our gears were all over the place. As unglamorous as we are, we talked and chilled, as we hydrated ourselves with drinks that I brought along in my backpack.

You know that feeling after resting for a while, you just don't wanna move already. I laid down here and almost wanted to take a nap.

After a short break, our guides got us up and it's time to continue on the trail!
This time, we decided to ride at a faster pace to make it more exciting, especially at the tight corners.

Power slides anyone? Hehe.

Being on the KLX150S which is significantly smaller compared to my own Suzuki DR200, I felt that it was really easy to control. It had a quick but gentle throttle response, hill climbs were not a problem at all.

It was a relief that the bikes were well maintained - Brake and clutch levers in place, average biting point adjusted, brakes working effectively etc, hence the ride was very enjoyable. They're even better than those learning bikes at our Driving Centres. 

Occasionally we'd encounter a herd of cows, where we'll stop to let them pass.

Credits to suggestpic
DO NOT hit into them. If you do, you'll be in big trouble! As they are the livelihood of the villagers living in the area.

We were into our third hour of trail ride, our speeds were getting faster and I was getting a little tired.
We rode and rode until I saw this huge hard hump.

Next thing I knew, BAM, I flew, and I hit head first on the ground.

I lay there, motionless. It was painful. The guide rushed to my aid immediately.
My girlfriends came over and were really helpful too,

"OMG babe are you okay??" while snapping pictures of me on the ground.

That what friends are for, right? LOL. Helping me capture the moment of fallen glory.

"Take a close up view of her! Hahaha Vaune is down!" they laughed.

I love my caring friends. They've such a unique way of expressing their concern.

Got away with just some bruises and a slight abrasion on the hip.

Got back up and continued on the trail for a short while more before we came to the end of our off road exploration in Tristan Park.

It's amazing how the guides can remember the routes. Tristan Park is really quite big and with so much plantation all around, it's easy to get lost inside. Having the guide is definitely necessary.

The convenient thing about Tristan Park Group is you pay a fixed fee, and everything is provided for; all the gears, bikes and guides who will take you through the trail.

It's especially great for beginners who are keen to try out the sport, to experience what off road riding is like without having to spend a bomb on gears and bikes. AND! Best part is you don't have to worry about washing any gears when you get home!

Headed back to return the bikes and hopped onto our own rides, because the fun doesn't end here!

Credits to liquidlifestyle
Next, we're gonna sail into the sunset with our PADDLEBOARDS!!

From where we returned our bikes, we rode about 30KM over to the beach where our paddleboards laid ready for us to take em out to sea.

It seemed easy - Basically you kneel/stand on the board and start paddling. 
After a short briefing on safety and how to maneuver the board, to the waters we go!

Deb seemed like she's done this many times already! Paddling like a pro, but kneeling down haha.

After 5 minutes, I was sailing abit too far out. More like I actually just let the current push me. Trying to change direction can be a lil tricky at times with the water currents.

We knelt till our knees were tired, then we decided to try standing. It takes a while to get that balance, then I tried to do a super-fail yoga pose which made me almost fall into the water! The aim is not to get wet.

Looks like Mel beats us all! She's like WALKING ON WATER! 

Mel damn happy here

After paddling for about an hour into the sunset, relaxing with the gentle breeze blowing by, our boatman pulled us back safely to shore before it gets too dark.

Changed back into our jerseys and went for a super delicious seafood dinner just next door before heading back home to Singapore safely!

What a fun-filled day it was! Spent almost the entire day with activities so well organized by the Tristan Park Group. A playground you don't want to miss! ;)

Definitely worth it!

Tristan Park
Johor Bahru, Malaysia
Cost Range: SGD$120 - $180/pax, meals not included
For bookings, contact them directly at