Back in May the friendly neighborhood chopper gang infamously known as SCUL received a transmission from Soniya Tejwani, the Museum Educator at the Peabody Essex Museum in Salem, MA, inviting us to participate in event called B.Y.O.B. or Bring Your Own Bike night, on May 15th from 6-9 p.m. While typically we ride on Saturnights, we were excited to travel to a system we had never chopped, and to be involved with something as grand as this event was an offer we couldn’t pass up.
Cloudbuster had returned to active status and was ready for it’s seasonal maiden voyage, following a Disco-Deth-Stah meltdown, as well as a complete electrical systems and warpcore failure: in civilian non-SCUL speak, the fuse-switches we were using as a master switch had fused open, draining the battery to zero. Threespeed engineered a radiation-proof low-voltage cutoff switch to make sure it never happens again. So while we were at it, we pulled all the wires and redid everything, replacing the two amplifiers (AKA Sonic Disruptors) with a more efficient three-channel D Class. We even gave Cloudbuster a b.a.t.h., since it had gotten dusty sitting idle since October. All this work took a while, but it worked out fine since I had been recovering from a crime-fighting injury which I have yet to write about.
Set Course for the Salem System, Best Possible Speed
It is 18.7 light years (read: miles) from our home base in the Somerville System to our destination. Riding choppers means going slow and leaving room for mechanicals. We launched at 1500 to arrive by 1800. With the exception of a little navigation troubles, and Cloudbuster’s warp core not being as recovered as we had hoped, and everyone’s butt being a little sore, we enjoyed the trip up immensely. It seemed like the closer we got to Salem, the more we were the recipient of friendly cheers, waves, and pictures taken.
Upon arrival we were greeted by Soniya Tejwani, Adult Programs Facilitator, and Michelle Moon, Assistant Director for Adult Programs. After badging in I was given a quick tour of the museum, by Soniya. I was most impressed by the new atrium, a curved geodesic ribbon of triangular windows framed in aluminum tube. The space was huge, but narrow enough to not feel like you didn’t know where to go.
There were wooden bikes, cruisers, tallbikes, adult big-wheels with PVC tire covers for maximum spin – I counted 3 full revolutions! Everyone was talking to one another, laughing, trying out each other’s bikes, and really having fun. Seemed like everyone I saw at the event had an infectious smile on their face.
After the event we were given a quick tour of the finer riding through Salem by the local and loosely affiliated bicycle chopper builders. It was a beautiful night to ride, and they knew how to cruise in style. A light-year loop brought us back to the PEM by 9:30 or so. We said our farewells and exchanged our schwag, setting course for the nearest late night donut shop.
Return to Base
By the time we set course, things were getting quiet in Salem. We managed to get a little lost, a little radiation (SCUL lingo for rained on), and more than a little sleep deprived. All in all, one of my favorite missions of the SCUL 2014 season.
all images pulled from the official SCUL mission report