This entire month we've been talking about customers that are crazy for their hobby and some of their beautiful creations. For our final feature we're going to spotlight a guy that took his hobby even further than most and married it with his profession. Marc has been building Motorcycles and Hot Rods since he was a kid alongside his father. During that time he's learned the ins and outs of building his own projects from scratch. Not everyone can fall into doing their hobby as a profession and Marc was no different. He's spent the past seventeen years in the education industry and specifically the past ten teaching Canadian youth in public schools. During his time as a school teacher he's taught everything from Math to Metallurgy. You can see where were going with this right?!
In 2004 Marc decided to build himself a Chopper Bicycle after hours in the shop at school for fun. During this time a couple of students took great interest in the project and asked if they could help. Immediately the light bulb went off for Marc. What if he could create an extra-curricular course for kids where they could learn the fundamentals they'd need in a trade while enjoying the benefits of building a custom bicycle or motorcycle? Marc's hobby and profession instantly collided and the course has evolved and grown ever since. "The Bike Klub" is an after-hours school program that caters to "At Risk" youth in the Greater Moncton, New Brunswick, Canada area. It's for school-aged kids that want to learn the trades of welding, fabrication, painting, design and everything else in between that's involved in building a custom bike. The cool underlying lessons Marc teaches to the kids are respect, confidence, teamwork, promotion, structure, and identity. These traits are what really helps someone excel when they join the workforce.
Since the start the program has really been causing a stir in the motorcycle world. They've compiled a pretty impressive list of awards in bike building competitions, show and shines, and notoriety on TV and in print. They even had two female members of the Bike Klub invited to attend a All-Female Biker Build off in Sturgis in 2010! The bikes these guys and gals are building are really top notch and you would be hard-pressed to tell them from any experienced DIY-Built bike. Check out their impressive list below!
-3 Members of Bike Klub were voted Turn-around Students of the Year.
-World Champions of High School Custom Motorcycle Building in 2009 at the Donnie Smith Chopper Class Challenge in St Paul, Minnesota.
-3rd Best in Class (against adult motorcycle builders) Donnie Smith Invitational Bike Show, St Paul Minnesota
– 2009 Coolest Bike in Moncton Award 2009
-Premier’s Award of Excellence – 2010 (Premier is the same as a Governor in the US)
-Invited to Sturgis Motorcycle Rally to participate in first ever all female custom bike build (2 female members of Bike Klub) 2010.
-Various Show and Shine competition wins for the Betty Bobber custom motorcycle
-Appearences in: Motorcycle Mojo, Cycle Source, Iron Works, Ol’ Skool Rods, Anglophone East Achieve, Hot Rod Illustrated, Thunder Roads Magazine and Street Chopper Magazine.
-Appearances on: Biker TV (4 Episodes over the years), Riding East (2 episodes), Breakfast Television (CTV), Global News (2 episodes)
-Bike Klub has been mentioned on the radio, Internet blogs, newspapers and other media every single month for the past 9 ½ years, along with the school it is attached to.
Marc has been an Eastwood customer for some time and recently he's been working on filling his shop with Eastwood products at the school. These tools, chemicals, and coatings are affordable (for the tight school budget) and are also DIY friendly. This helps the kids learn quickly and gain experience with products that they can afford themselves when they get "out there" on their own. We're FIRM believers that the youth of today are going to shape the direction our hobby takes and we're all for people like Marc. He's teaching the youth the pride and satisfaction that comes from building something with their own hands that they can take out on the road and be proud of. Lets hope the kids that Marc is able to reach can pass the knowledge on and continue this great hobby we all love.
We're proud to begin a partnership with Marc and the Bike Klub and I can't wait to see what these guys and gals do next with Eastwood products! If you'd like to get involved, donate, or learn more about Marc and "The Bike Klub", visit their Facebook Page and drop them a line. If you have a cool story like this or want to share your project, be sure you download the Eastwood App and send us some pictures and information!