MOCNTON – With their fearless leader ahead of the pack, East Coast White Trash charges through Moncton on their bikes like a gang on a mission.
The group looks a little rough around the edges, but this is definitely not a run-of-the-mill biker gang.
Chris Lewis started the bicycle group about five years ago. He was hoping to find some new buddies who shared his passion for all things pedaled.
“It is definitely a disease. So yes I kind of used to just ride around by myself and slowly it grew to this point,” he says.
“It’s freedom, it’s excellent. The wind in your face — it’s so fun.” says member Mike Deuce.
Once the group gained momentum, ECWT chapters soon popped up Saint John and Fredericton. Now over the bicycle club is over 400 strong and proudly displaying their crests on matching black hoodies.
But they don’t intimidate others — the cyclists just share a love for the unconventional and riding fixed-wheel bicycles – or “fixies” as they call them.
“Basically, if your tires are moving, your pedals are moving, so it’s a little bit of a different experience from a regular bicycle.” says Lewis.
Their rides are definitely old school. Most of their fixies don’t have even have brakes. They stop when the feet stop.
” We like to tease any of the guys with gears. We all generally tend to go single speed.” says Lewis.
Vickie Langlois-Groves is one of the few ladies in the group. She joined this past summer.
“I have a brake, so I cheat though. They tease me about it,” she says.
The club doesn’t always follow the rules of the road and helmets are few and far between. But the bikers, rather unexpectedly, have been asked to act as role models in the community.
“There is Youth Quest here who have asked us to help them out with some troubled teens and give them a little direction, even with just working on a bicycle,” says Lewis.
Regardless of where the road takes the crew, he says East Coast White Trash’s number one rule — no spandex allowed — will never change.
“If you have spandex on, they got to be under your pants, that’s the rule. And there’s got to be padding or something, some kind of purpose.”