31 months ago

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The Roadside Riot: Mods & Rockers Unite!

Starts: Sep 23, 2021 at 6:00 PM 2 Villiers Street, Toronto, Ontario, Canada

The Roadside Riot event is happening on Thursday September 23rd, 2021 at the Keating Channel Pub in Toronto, 2 Villiers St, Toronto, ON M5A 1B1.

The Roadside Riot~ Thursday, September 23 in Toronto

The Roadside Riot~ Thursday, September 23 in Toronto

In conversation with Joanne Morra (Litas-Toronto and Engines for Change)

What the bleeding 'ell is The Roadside Riot?

It's a meeting of Mods and Rockers, Scooters and Motorcyclists, based on the two conflicting 1960s British youth subcultures. We (Jacquie Jeffery and I) came up with the idea because Jacquie from the Piper Doves (a scooter rider) and myself (Litas, Engines for Change and a motorcyclist) were discussing collaborating on an event. The styles of our two different female-led groups (PD, Litas) is very similar to the Mods and Rockers of the 60s era, so we thought we could do a meetup that would celebrate our styles, our differences and our common love of two wheels. (It's not really going to be a riot, but rather hopefully a riotous good time).

The fundraising aspect of the event was an inevitable addition, seeing as Jacquie and I are both passionate about and involved in social causes. As the Toronto Regional Representative for Engines for Change, I was already in preliminary discussions with Kirsten Midura (E4C) and the rest of the team about supporting women in Afghanistan, given the current crisis. Jacquie also mentioned the plight of these women in our discussions, so it was a no brainer that this would be our cause.

Given the incredibly sensitive and volatile nature of the situation in Afghanistan, all 3 sides (E4C, Doves and Litas) agreed that we needed to do research and find out the best way to serve the women of Afghanistan, whether it be through refugee services here or something abroad.

The night I met with the Piper Doves to start planning our event, we were in the Beaches on Queen East, standing next to our bikes. I remember saying to the other women "imagine we're all standing here with our bikes, doing our thing and a group of possibly armed men came up to us and ordered us to go home, told us we'd never ride again and that our lives and fate now rested in their hands".  It gave us chills. 

Our Roadside Riot event will be supporting Canadian Women for Women in Afghanistan - founded in 1998

The Litas (The Rockers)

The Litas (The Rockers)

So what's the dress code?

Mods: Tailored suits, mini skirts, button down shirts. Rockers: Leather jackets, motorcycle boots and bad attitudes.

The Piper Doves (The Mods)

The Piper Doves (The Mods)

What can we expect for the Thursday event?

The Keating Channel has a large outdoor space, we hope people will ride, hang out and mingle. There will also be a photo booth and raffle, we have loads of prizes on offer from our amazing sponsors! (Pfaff Harley, Town Moto, Shameful Tiki, Motorsoul, Sparkplug Coffee, Rawkk Leather, and so many more!)

DJ Nico has generously donated a 4 hour playlist of music from 60s mod to rock 'n roll. Food is really good pub fare and there's loads of onsite parking.

If you stay outdoors, no proof of vaccination is required. However, the city mandated proof of vaccination will be in effect for indoors and the bar will hopefully be implementing a vaccine check. We will be telling people to make sure to bring proof of vaccination. And of course masks if indoors and social distancing.

The Saturday Morning After-Party!

The Saturday morning after-party is a coffee meetup anytime after 10am at Flying Squirrel, for those who cannot attend the evening event. Flying Squirrel is also very supportive of the moto community, so it's always a great place to hang with other riders.

Who are the Litas?

The Litas are a Global Womxn's Motorcycle collective and the Toronto-Litas has 329 members. We are the "Rockers" of the Roadside Riot. Find out more here

This summer I became one of 3 Toronto-Litas founders, one of my goals since assuming this position is to encourage collaborations and involvement in grassroots community work and fundraising, hence this initiative.

Who are the Piper Doves?

The Piper Doves are a Toronto/GTA scooter girl club started by Jacquie Jeffery in 2019, they are the "Mods" of the Roadside Riot. Pipers (scooter) and Doves (pacifists) do rides and meetups, modern and vintage, and they are united by their desire to be on two wheels. They are always in search of Toronto's tastiest treats and opportunities to do good in the world. 

Who are Engines for Change? 

"Engines for Change (E4C) is an organization that mobilizes motorcyclists to make a positive difference in the world. We are building a network of organizers across the U.S. and Toronto, who host volunteer events, campaigns, rides and projects related to the causes that matter to us. We also aim to provide trainings and support to others, so that they may be empowered to have a positive impact in their own communities."

As the newly minted Toronto Regional Representative for E4C, I spearheaded with Beth Hammersma (Litas) our first Canadian event "The Ride Against Hunger" in April 2021. The GTA moto community raised 10k for the Daily Bread Food Bank and collected over 500lbs of food for families in need.

*For more about Joanne Morra check out @joanne.morra on Instagram or

*For more about Jacquie Jeffery and the Piper Doves check out @thepiperdoves on Instagram

*Photos by Mondo Lulu

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31 months ago

Mods & Rockers unite!