Mark tells us he has been working on the project for three years to provide riders with a wide variety of charities to support when they register online for the ride. (*See below for the list of charities where you can choose to direct your donations.)
In the past six years, DGR has raised millions of dollars and involved more than 50,000 riders a year in more than 410 cities around the world. If Ride Sunday is anywhere near as successful as DGR, it will raise millions for a host of Australian and international charities.
Ride Sunday rides
Ride Sunday launched on June 7, 2017, and, according to their website, there are almost 1600 riders registered for 158 rides in 62 countries and more than $US32,000 has been raised for 50 charities.
“I started it because there was nothing like it,” Mark says.
“There was no International day of riding. I want July the 2nd (first Sunday of July annually) to be that day. But not just riding for ourselves but riding for others in need.
“Motorcyclists risk their lives daily unintentionally, avoiding mobile phone using drivers constantly. We know the value of life, that’s what makes us more charitable than most.
“I just want to bring together every rider globally, regardless of race, religion, age, gender, sexual preference and regardless of what you ride. This event is about two wheels, regardless of genre of motorcycle.”
Mark says Ride Sunday is open for individual people to organise their own rides “at a manufacturer level, dealer level, mechanic level, riding group level or just going for a ride solo”.
He had expected “tens of thousands” to participate, but there are so far only about 1500.
Spokesman Stephen Broholm says the response has been “somewhat slower than we’d hoped, primarily due to the short launch and campaign times as well as riders not realising that they can set up and run their own rides”.
“The messaging is clear, however it seems that their’s still a strong dependance amongst the riding community for events that are managed by key ride hosts,” he says.
Stephen says the event for 2018 should be better with motorcycle manufacturers confirming they will “activate their dealerships to host rides to engage with their customer base”.
Unlike the DGR, the event is not restricted to any particular types of motorbike. All varieties are welcome.
Win a new motorbike
There is no fee to participate, but riders are asked for donations or to raise money. For each $200 raised, riders receive a special event patch.
The rider who raises the most funds globally wins a new motorcycle of any make or model, to the value of $US15,000 from anywhere in the world.
“I anticipate the first year will raise over $1m, but with any new event you never know where it will go until you give it a shot,” Mark says.
He has a great track record with DGR which attracted 2500 riders across 64 cities in its first year in 2011, raising $277,000. By the third year it had passed $1m from 235 cities in 55 countries.
“We have received huge support from the manufacturers and they are all aware this is a communal event,” Mark says.
“A few have mentioned they will be supporting this and promoting it globally.
“It’s good for riding, it’s good for charities, it’s good for the world.”
Mark expects Ride Sunday will raise $20 million within three years, riding to $50m in five years.
* Charities you can elect to support on Ride Sunday: Unicef Australia, World Vision Australia, Variety the Children’s Charity of Australia, Cure Cancer Australia, Prostate Cancer Foundation off Australia, Endeavour Foundation, Starlight Children’s Foundation, Soldier on Australia, National Breast Cancer Foundations, Make a Wish Australia, International Funds for Animal Welfare (Australia), Ronald McDonald House Charities Australia, Movember Foundation, AbSec, Two Wheels for Life, Ronald McDonald House Parklville, White Ribbon Australia and International Justice Mission.