Redrum holds first international run on Manitoulin

Manitoulin members of the Redrum Motorcycle Club enjoy an afternoon at the Wiikwemkoong Cultural Festival earlier this year. photo by Michael Erskine

MANITOULIN – Members of the Manitoulin Island chapter of the Redrum Motorcycle Club (RMC) are excitedly looking forward to hosting the organization’s very first international motorcycle run on August 31.

“For five years now we have held our annual run on the Labour Day Weekend so that members who are coming from a long way off can plan a year ahead to arrange to book their hotel rooms and cottages,” said Manitoulin chapter president Robbie Shawana. “This year is a little different as the mother chapter in New York chose us to hold the world run.”

There are now 51 chapters of the Redrum Motorcycle Club worldwide. “We have chapters across the US, in Canada, France, Germany, two chapters in Morocco and two new chapters just started in Italy and Switzerland,” said Mr. Shawana. “We have eight members locally and around two or three of what we call ‘hang arounds,’ folks who want to be prospective members, so we are around 10 or 11 in all locally.”

The beneficiaries of this year’s run will once again be the fine folks at the Good Food Box program of the Manitoulin Community Fresh Food Initiative. “So far we have raised about $10,000 for the program,” said Mr. Shawana. “It’s a good program that helps a lot of people eat healthier and have better diets.”

While the members of the RMC wear the traditional biker leathers and patches, there is one patch that is missing from their club regalia—the one-percenter patch associated with outlaw biker gangs.

“We are not a one percent club,” confirmed Mr. Shawana. “We are a group of motorcyclists who support each other. We treat each other with mutual respect when we bump into the other guys, they know what we are all about.”

There will likely be something in the neighbourhood of 300 members of the RMC gathering on Manitoulin and they will make for a very impressive sight as they lift kickstands around 11 am on Saturday, August 31 outside the Assiginack Curling Club to set out on their circle tour of the Island. Registration will take place at the curling club from 9 am until then and the run is not restricted to members only.

“Anyone is welcome, even if you are riding an electric scooter,” laughed Mr. Shawana. “This is about everyone getting together and having fun. We will be trying to hit all of the most scenic routes on the Island, with stops at 10 Mile Point, Little Current, Wiikwemkoong, Gore Bay and especially M’Chigeeng. A lot of folks coming have never been to a powwow and they want to have that experience.”

The run will end up back at the Assiginack Curling Club for a pig roast and some traditional “biker” games, often centred on skills and resilience, but always involving a lot of laughter. “One of the games we have had is mousetrap roulette,” said Mr. Shawana, explaining that the game involved a turntable and several mousetraps hidden beneath a box that the participants put their hands in. Each spin of the table sees another one of the traps armed—it’s an acquired taste apparently. “I’ve tried it,” admitted Mr. Shawana. “It’s not too bad.”

Those interested in learning more about the RMC or to purchase tickets for the run are invited to go online to ticketscene.ca or stop by the club’s website at RedrumMC.ca.