If you were out and about this weekend chances are you would have heard the roar of motorbikes.

On Saturday there were Harleys in town, their riders raising money for Canteen on their annual Hawke's Bay Harley MC Spring Run. They have already handed over a cheque for $3000 but say there's more to come because not all proceeds from the auction and ride have been finalised.

Yesterday The Distinguished Gentleman's Ride took off from The Emporium in Napier. While the ride was the first for the region, the worldwide event had its inaugural run in Australia in 2012.

The aim is to raise money, but more importantly awareness, for men's health, especially prostate cancer and suicide. The riders were asked to dress in a "dapper" style.

When Mr Neat read about this ride he decided he was going to go. That was about six weeks ago - let me just tell you it's been a long and trying six weeks - for me. Especially the last one as the event approached and he still had "nothing to wear".


He had been too busy in the shed perfecting timing, changing tubes, greasing this and that and doing goodness knows what else to his English classic bike.
He did manage to get a haircut and moustache trim.

Parcels were arriving in the mail almost daily. Gloves - they were not perfect so back they went. A pipe (Mr Neat has never smoked in his life) - when I pointed out it wasn't really the look for a health ride, he replied that lots of "dapper and distinguished men back in the day smoked pipes".

Then came the goggles and a second pair of gloves which passed inspection.
However, by the Thursday before the event he was in a flap. The most important item hadn't arrived - an open-faced helmet.

He was ringing the person who sent it, then the couriers and finally on Friday he tracked it down. It was at the Onekawa Post Shop. They asked him if he wanted it delivered on Saturday morning but by that stage he was talking no chances.

So on Saturday morning we were off to collect the helmet and go shopping. Shopping with Mr Neat is really stressful, but I was ready. First stop a second-hand shop in Napier where we found the bargain of the day. Well two, actually, because you- know-who couldn't make up his mind which one he wanted so we walked out with two very smart suit jackets, both pinstripe, one blue and the other black, for the total sum of $12.

Off to a flying start. Next we had to find a waistcoat. Not so easy and not so cheap. After visiting I don't know how many shops he finally settled for a waistcoat and white shirt from Vintage in Napier.

I have to say the lady in the shop who helped us was amazing. She knew what would look good and even laughed at Mr Neat's jokes.

So finally he had everything - he had a little dress rehearsal when we got home and was happy with his 'distinguished gentleman's look".

Everything was good to go - then Sunday dawned and it was raining. "I don't have any wet weather gear".
I won't bore you with the dialogue between us - he went.

And guess what- he loved every minute of it. One man came up to him before the ride to admire his bike and asked him what the ride was all about. When he told him he replied that he'd had that and it wasn't very nice.

That's what this is all about. Men talking to each other about health.
Women are good at it - there are loads of pink events - men not so.

So good on the organisers. Hopefully it will be an annual event.

Mr Neat told me he rode through the streets of Napier with the pipe in the corner of his mouth, taking it out now and then to wave at people along the way.

Best he keeps his dapper clothes in good nick for next year because I think I might make myself scarce the week leading up to the event to save my sanity.