When you think about a motorcycle group the first thing that probably comes to mind is a group of big burly dudes, with long beards, and menacing skull patches over leathers. Hunter S. Thompson’s Hell’s Angels were acid-dropping outcasts and outlaws who enjoyed their mad-dog reputation. A reputation that created a perception that motorcyclists are very clique and unapproachable. But that is often not the case, even the Hell’s Angels took a perverse kind of pleasure in being friendly to counter that cultural stigma.
That is exactly the case when it comes to the E-Town Rumblers—an Edmonton-based motorcycle group that was created during the first years of Covid. Charles MacEachern, an Edmonton firefighter and founder of the E-Town Rumblers, first started the group as a way to connect riders old and new to a community that was inviting and not perceived as clique—and to enjoy a good cup of coffee. The group meets every Tuesday at 6 p.m. at Caffe Sole, to show off their bikes, meet new people, and socialize while enjoying coffee.
A lot of moto meet-ups can be very intimidating for new riders. There are many different types of motorcycles and experience levels in our city. With that in mind, it was Charlie’s goal to create a space that was seen as inclusive and welcoming. Now, with 80 to 150 riders showing up to meets, from all walks of life—Police officers, engineers, artists, labourers, and bankers. “It didn’t take much on my part at all, and now we are this quirky group. With guys who are meeting outside the group, working on motorcycles together, and are borderline best friends. It’s been really cool to see.” says Charlie.
And on October 3, 2023, E-town Rumblers hosted their first Film Festival at Longroof Brewing, which asked its members to submit their short films about motorcycles, being a Rumbler, and that each video include a wrench as a special item.
The E-Town Rumblers Film Festival was such a huge success—with over 80 people showing up and eight short films making the ballot—that Charlie believes it will be an annual event for the group moving forward.
The idea of making short films about motorcycle culture is almost an ode to the Easy Rider movie that was released in 1969 that arguably sparked the idea of freedom on the open road in North America and urged the idea of making personal films on a small budget!
“Motorcycle culture is changing, I hate to use the word hipster, but it is becoming more refined and polished.” And with that in mind, Charlie looks forward to continuing to create space where anyone can come and hang out, socialize, and learn. As the Rumblers slogan says, No egos, just bikes. So if you’re looking for people to socialize, learn, create, and enjoy good coffee while being surrounded by awesome motorcycles—Ride over to the next meet and grab a coffee. You will not regret it!
See below the Winner “Gotham” and the runner up “The Freedom Machine”.