The NEPA Rockers motorcycle club hosted their fourth annual Rocker’s Roll on Saturday, July 27, in Pittston. Initially organized by Rocker Pete Oulette, the gathering had been known as Ace Hooligan’s Rocker’s Roll, and offered something different from a typical bike show: British bikes, vintage bikes, café racers, and mod scooters, among other things. That tradition has been carried on by Jeremy Sexton, a member of the club who hopes to expand the event every year. At the Roll, Rockers and non-Rockers alike enjoyed custom motorcycles, Rockabilly music, discount beer from Susquehanna Brewing, free samples from Three Guys and a Beard, a Betty Page look-alike contest, and unique trophies for contest winners—all right next door to the newly opened Tomato Bar. The day kicked off with a ride to Tunkhannock for those who wished to register.
“They’re beautiful. They’re not dead.”
– Rocker Jeremy Sexton on vintage bikes
The British term “rocker” refers to a biker subculture that emerged in the 1950s. Numbering among the working class of the UK, rockers often wore leather jackets and centered their lives on café racers and rock & roll. Another term, “mod” (derived from the word “modernist”), denotes a separate subculture in 1950s Britain. Mods were into fashion; various music from other cultures such as African-American soul, Jamaican ska, beat music, and R&B; and motor scooters—usually Vespas or Lambrettas. Historically, mods and rockers often clashed, but at the Rocker’s Roll they embrace one another.
This reporter was previously unfamiliar with anything scooter- or motorcycle-related, but was welcomed with open arms. “We’re all just one family,” NEPA Rocker Louis Bales explained. “We’re all about stripping down bikes, riding fast, and drinking pints.” While the thrill for Bales is the speed, Sexton said he prefers the build, having built five bikes so far. He would definitely like to see more people revive the old bikes they may have sitting out back. “They’re beautiful. They’re not dead.”
You can find bike nights and NEPA Rocker events or get in contact with other vintage bike aficionados via facebook at NEPA Rockers. If you’re a Harley owner, or possess any other kind of non-vintage bike, you are still welcome. “Doesn’t matter what you ride—we love ya,” Bales said with a smile.
Don’t fret if you missed this year’s Rocker’s Roll—next year promises to be bigger and better.
Check out some pictures from the event!