Snarly and Torquebox completed several macho tasks to represent SCUL spirit in Galaxy NewYork. Coordinates:
N. 7th St & Kent Ave, Brooklyn sector, New York Metrosystem
CHUNKathlon is an event which is part of BikeSummer, put on by Chopper
O.G.s Chunk 666 of the Portland system in the Oregon galaxy. It is a
chopper and tallbike olympiad of sorts. This year's BikeSummer was in
NY, so Torque Box and Snarly represented for SCUL, the Boston
supersystem and the East Coast (in that order).
We made the trek to The City That Doesn't Give A Hoot If You're Setting
Off Fireworks In A Vacant Lot in TB's reliable Nipponese transport
starting at 11h15 EDT. We fueled our bodies at a Popeye's Chicken
Molecules in South Bronx, where a space pirate offered us for sale DVD
copies of Bad Boys II, Tomb Raider: The Cradle of Life, and another
currently screening movie. We declined and after bartering several
Earth dollars for a map made our way to the arena.
There were approximately 100 people there, and about 20-30 competitors.
Chunk 666 brought many choppers and several tallbikes which were all
made in NY; whether they were constructed in the preceding weeks by the
Portland Chunk 666 chapter or over time by Chunk's New York chapter, I
do not know. Many locals were there, including several very
enthusiastic children on inexpensive ships.
Also represented at the CHUNKathlon were New York's Black Label bicycle
club (who specialize in tallbikes), Long Beach, NY's Easyfellas and
several rogues who'd made the trip alone.
The arena was an overgrown concrete lot behind a building near
Brooklyn's shoreline to the East Belt. It was a lovely bit of neglected
space perfect for such a boorish event.
We registered and were given numbers to pin to our SCUL jerseys. The
first event was the 16 Lap, in which each rider was handed a 16oz can of
Budweiser and had to drink it while completing a lap of the arena. The
beer molecules went down easy in the 90 degree weather, and Snarly came
in third place, behind a male and a female Chunker. Torque Box, as he
was riding a hand-powered trike, did not fare well against leg-powered
ships in this event.
Next was the Baby Rescue. A baby doll was placed atop several milk
crates at one end of the arena, and pilots paired off to compete. One,
the "good" pilot, would try to rescue the baby and carry it across the
finish line. The other, the "evil" pilot, would try to destroy and
upset the baby and/or the good pilot. Torque Box's zippy trike proved
well-suited to this event, and he waltzed away with a win. Snarly
played "good" and was defeated by the evil Tatiana of Chunk 666.
Another Chunk pilot, Professor Nurple, borrowed Prix Fixe for the event,
and ate his opponent alive with a sick chopper wheelie. In the process
the rear thruster of Prix Fixe suffered warpage, and was in repairs for
the next event. The local kids also participated in this event,
producing a glorious triple-crash.
Derby followed, but it was not a sort of derby we had seen before. No
ribbons were used, but more peculiarly the audience was constantly
hurling large objects into the path of the riders. A television, a 4'
tall tire (often with human cargo), several milk crates, several common
tires, bricks, beer cans, plastic bottles, a bowling ball, a baby
stroller, and a 6' section of telephone pole were variously placed,
rolled, or hurled into the arena. Of course in addition the other
pilots were carrying on derby as usual. Predictably the field thinned
out quickly, and the endgame played out much like the end of a game of
dodgeball. Three rounds were played, the third being the "dangerous"
round during which Snarly caught a stroller to the head. Snarly placed
2nd in the first round of derby when founding Chunker Megulon 5 shrugged
off a ram to the hull to clinch the victory. Torque Box sat low and prone on his trike, and
was in constant danger throughout the event. After derby some help from
a friendly Chunker and some quality time with a pair of pliers brought
Prix Fixe back to life.
The World Tallbike Jousting Championships of 2003 followed, playing
horizontally across the arena to avoid any g-well disadvantage. Jousts
were separated into males and females. For the males, clear dominance
was demonstrated by Black Label's Doyle, who went undefeated in the
event. Amy Foot of Chunk 666 stood out for the females, as did several
of Black Label's ladies. Snarly went three rounds with Megulon 5,
producing no falls the first two rounds and a vicious mutual lance on
the third. Several unicyclists jousted afterwards, whereupon one female
displayed exceptional balance and control, easily defeating her
The Harness Pull event was last. Two pilots are joined by a rope of
about ten meters tied around the hips, with a large section of braided
inner tubes in the middle of the rope. They ride towards and past each
other until the harness tenses, at which point one or both pilots are
pulled from their ships. Snarly and Prix Fixe first battled a Chunk 666
pilot, achieving victory. Then the next challenger to Snarly was
announced to be Doyle. It did not look good for Snarly, whom Doyle
outmasses approximately 3:2, especially considering Doyle's proven
balance and skill. They fought hard, and the inner tube braid broke as
both pilots retained their ships, earning cheers from the crowd.
Overall scores were tabulated, and some Chunk ships were suited with
chicken-wire baskets full of newspaper and fireworks. The winners were
announced. In first place was Amy Foot from Portland's Chunk 666, who
displayed prowess throughout all the events, especially joust and derby.
Second place went to Doyle from New York's Black Label for his total
superiority in the jousting event. And SCUL's own Snarly snatched third
place for a strong overall showing.
The pedestal ceremony during which Amy Foot was showered with beer was
directly followed by sunset, at which point Chunk 666 set fire to the
baskets and rode around the arena in the Flaming Bikes Of Death ritual,
sending bottle rockets into every direction and smoldering newspaper ash
about the arena. People hooted and hollered until the last roman candle
had spat its last wad, and then cheered some more after that. We
lingered and mingled, and after donating some SCUL jerseys and pins to
friendly pilots, the two representing SCUL pilots reboarded the
transport and cruised home.
Chunk 666 were gracious hosts and all participants and spectators were
friendly. Many cool ships were ridden and just as many sustained
damage. SCUL was represented on the podium. All leads me to declare this mission a success.