Hells Hipsters: Boston’s Moped Gang, The Uglies

This month, the city’s top moped gang is gearing up for its big ride.—Jesse Geman and Ben Schreckinger

The Uglies

Photograph by Christopher churchill

Boston’s premier moped gang, the Uglies, prepare for this month’s moped rally.

On a Wednesday evening in April, smoke hangs in the air and PBR flows freely at Lucky 2 Strokes, a moped shop on Penniman Road in Allston. This is where the Uglies, Boston’s premier moped gang, are preparing for their first ride of the season.

Roughly 30 people show up. Most riders are twentysomethings sporting hipster uniforms: facial hair and vintage leather jackets. Several core members roll up their shirtsleeves to reveal a tattoo of the Uglies’ insignia: a paper bag with a smiley face and an upside-down cross on it.

“It started as a joke,” says Andy Lauzier, 24, of the gang, which formed in 2007. Hells Angels, they aren’t: Lucky 2 Strokes co-owner Quinn Welch, 22, explains that the group exists for the camaraderie and because “moped gangs are funny.” They ride, throw parties, and talk mopeds.

Last summer, Lucky 2 Strokes and the Uglies held their first moped rally, the Big Seize, drawing more than 100 riders from as far away as Los Angeles. From June 6 to 8, they’re holding the Big Seize II, a weekend of partying and riding with a scavenger hunt, two Van Halen cover bands, and a vegan taco truck.

Throughout the summer, the Uglies will ride every Wednesday evening, rumbling into the suburbs or downtown, often with a stop at Tasty Burger on Boylston. And they welcome new members. As one Ugly confides, “We’re looking for girls.”

the uglies

photographs by christopher churchill

Uglies member Justin Adler shows off his tattoo of the moped gang’s insignia.