Edina Dads Create Scooter Club, Heaven's Devils

By: Feroza Mehta

A financial advisor, an advertising executive and a retired football player wear matching shirts and walk into a bar.

No, this isn’t the setup to a joke. These are a few of the members of the Heaven’s Devils Scooter Club Edina Original and their bar is the Hilltop. Walking into it is the end of their weekly ritual of riding around Edina before stopping for a pint. The name Heaven’s Devils is a play on Hell’s Angels, the famous motorcycle gang.

“Motorcycles would be taking ourselves too seriously,” Patrick Hunt, a founding member of the club, says. He is also the one who came up with the club’s name. “We like to have fun. Nothing too dangerous,” he explains.

The group prides themselves on wearing helmets and avoiding highways. They insist the thrill of the ride isn’t being a daredevil. It’s joy and having fun.

“The one thing I do love when you’re riding around the [Chain of] Lakes and you see eight guys,” Phillip Goter says, “the people that are walking, they start to see the group and they start to laugh.”

Former Minnesota Gopher linebacker Sean Hoffman laughs with Goter and says, “Twelve 200-pound guys riding around on scooters wearing the same scooter shirt. It’s pretty funny.”

It’s this easy-going feeling and camaraderie that brings all 19 members together. Most live within blocks of each other in Edina’s Birchcrest neighborhood. They are fathers whose children attend the same schools. They frequently meet at scooter club member Brian Cepek’s home, and it was there on his back porch four years ago that the Heaven’s Devils came to life.

“We were sitting on my deck in the spring,” says Cepek. “We were talking about getting scooters. We said, ‘Wouldn’t it be fun to have a scooter club?’”

Another member of their group knew someone from high school who sells scooters and got them a discounted rate for buying in bulk. A few weeks later a giant semi-truck rolled down their quiet suburban street, opened up the large door at the back of the truck and unveiled 10 shiny scooters.

“I’ve got a picture of that somewhere,” Alex Hoseth says with a smile, a nostalgic twinkle in his eye.

Hoseth remembers how some scooter club members accidentally bought scooters that were much slower than the others. While some had their motorcycle license and could drive a scooter with more than 50 cubic centimeters piston displacement, some bought scooters with a lower amount of engine power.

“People would be two blocks behind,” Hunt says.

After many scooter upgrades and weeks of riding, the group is now a cohesive unit. They meet every Sunday. One member will put in a call for a meeting on the app GroupMe and anyone available will meet at the starting point of all their road adventures: the parking lot to Our Lady of Grace Catholic Church in Edina.

“I feel like it’s kind of turned into something where not everyone goes on the rides,” Hoseth says. “Frequently it’s kind of a Sunday evening or afternoon before dinner kind of thing where we cruise around the lakes, the parkways, do something fun and then come back to the Hilltop for a beer.”

And that is where you’ll find them every Sunday, at the bar wearing matching long-sleeved white shirts with a Heaven’s Devils logo. Even the Hilltop’s owner Brett Johnson is a member of the scooter club.

In the end, the scooter club is a way for these men to decompress and have a little fun.

“It makes us better men and husbands and fathers,” Hoffman says.

The group always welcomes new members. All they have to do is wear a Heaven’s Devils shirt. The only catch is it says “Prospect” on the back. But don’t worry, that’s only an homage to the motorcycle show Sons of Anarchy. Unlike the show, the Heaven’s Devils have no crazy initiation rituals.

What they do have is plans for the future. The club jokes about expanding Heaven’s Devils by making chapters throughout the country and would welcome ideas on how (another nod to the show Sons of Anarchy). But an earlier task might be to add something to their uniform of white T-shirts: maybe matching leather jackets with their logo emblazoned on the back.