Saturday, January 1, 2005

Historical (Re)Re-enactment

December 31, 1999:
A plan is hatched to sanctify the advent of Y2K with purifiying sulfuric fire.

However, back in then we were a little less, uh, savvy, for lack of a better word, about the fine Art of the Fucking Up of Shit and Getting Away with It. So, in retrospect, when several CHUNK 666 squadrons were riding aimlessly around in S.E. Industrial, several of them literally bristling with fireworks, it should really come as no surprise that the cops dropped a dragnet on us and 11 of us ended up in a paddy wagon for the rest of the night while waiting to be processed.

The real disappointment of the Y2K Sancification Ride was the vast majority of fireworks (as in hundreds of dollars worth) were confiscated before we could set them off. A few folks slipped through the dragnet and were able to get some burning action in after midnight, but if I were to give our effort a grade, I’d give it a big fat “incomplete.”

December 31, 2004:
Here we are again. Its five years later, and New Years Eve falls on a Friday once again. Action deemed not only necessary, but veryily preordained. Inquiries start as early as late October as to a location for a spectacular pyrotechnics display, including spectators. Location found and selected, then that party was cancelled. Second location deduced. This one smack dab middle in the big cobbled heart of S.E. Industrial. Megulon-5 and I casually discussed location and tactical considerations evening of December 30th, then departed on scouting ride to get better feel for visibility from side streets (in case of passing cruisers and whatnot). Thrilled that said party located in an old warehouse, and party-thrower, to Whom we are Grateful, permits use the loading garage for pre-Burn prep and attachment of ordnance to choppers’ hard points. This is deemed highly desirable as ordnance attachment need not take place on street in plain view.

Several CHUNKs expressed concern about regarding close proximity of 12/31/04 target zone to the dragnet area of the 12/31/99 botched ride. Scouting party acknowledged this intelligent observation, and countered “but that’s the point!” Doubters change minds, and the location was approved.

The Ride:
As the ride began to rendevous at a party in the home quadrant, I was pleasantly surprised to discover that Dirty McD from the CHUNK 666 New York City branch (seen here at the BlackLabelNYC Bike Kill in his Captain America outfit) was in Portland! The total ride strength was only about 10 or 12, but a lot of other folks met us at our planned Ground Zero coming from other parties.

We go there without a hitch, but ran a little late and only had a half hour to load up the bikes. I was the first finished, mainly because I was experimenting with a new Ordnance Delivery Device: a tomato planter wrapped in chicken wire.

On the ride over the weight of the newspapers and fireworks and half-case of beer I was carrying on the rear rack caused Chopumulator’s front fork to visibly wobble slightly when I turned the handlebars. Since Choppy has a history of stripping stem bolts, I was hence a little paranoid about packing too much newspaper into this “fox tail.” I also packed the front baskets considerably lightly to lessen any possibility of a stem bolt failure during the burn (which would have sucked on universal proportions).

Krack, however, with the mighty Event Horizon, complete with “heat shields,” has never, ever hesitated to load the Event with as much newspapers or fireworks as possible.

Megulon-5 loaded up the Portlandia, which is also heat shield enabled, with some very tightly packed ordnance, and I wanted to take a picture, but there were too many people loitering in the loading dock for me to get a clear picture. And I was beginning to get that really high-strung feeling I get before lighting myself on fire.

We wheeled the bikes out around 5-10 minutes before midnight, quickly discussed some tactical considerations so we wouldn’t run into each other or anything, and lined up to be lit up by handy road flares. I think we came about as close as possible to actually setting off the Flaming Bikes at 12:00 a.m., perhaps with a 2 minute before or after margin of error.

This next one is funny in way because it looks great but is actually from the very end of the re-enactment. Right behind Krack you can see me and Megulon (we're both wearing big ear protector thingys, y'know, these things) in the process of awkardly flipping our choppers upside down to dump the smoldering remains on the street.

Hazel's pics of the evening...

Best burn in a while. It was a nice wide street with easy amounts of room to wheel around for another pass. Krack, Megulon-5, and myself all had long-lasting burns. We made a crapload of noise, and the smell of gunpowder and smoldering remains of fireworks and newspapers lingered long after my adrenalin levels had dropped back down to normal again…