Late last Saturday night Pascal and I were riding through Davis Square, heading to a party, when a fleet of intergalactic transport ships flanked us at a traffic light.
"Hey, nice bike!" said a Skunk, four feet above me.
"Thanks. You too!" I said as I looked up to admire his Cloudbuster.
"Now these are my people." I thought to myself as the light turned green and we all rode down Elm Street. We got to talking about bicycles, art, how to make PVC hinges, and the finer points of welding a disco ball to ones handlebars. They had plenty of questions for me and I for them.
I dropped back a little and met up with the fleet's tailgunner, Dozer, who explained to me a little bit about how the organization works. A lot of people know about or at least have seen SCUL around Somerville and Cambridge. They're a non-profit, artistic, bicycling, nerd gang based in Somerville, MA. They have missions once a week on Saturday nights which launch from a secret base and head off into the galaxy, blasting dance music from the fleets flag ship.
"The way it works is that you get invited to join by a member who's willing to sponsor you." Dozer explained while Pascal took notes. "You become their maggot for your first ride and your sponsor shows you the ropes dur... hang on." She banked quickly off to the right to pick up a set of brief, metacrapal connections at a high-five refueling station that materialized on the sidewalk near Porter Square's White Hen Pantry.
As we road on through Harvard Square collecting more high fives, cheers, and car horn blasts I learned about Operation Back in the Saddle Again and their objective for the night. The fleet was destined for Riverside subway station, the end of the Green Line's D branch, out in Newton, MA. The objective was to catch a glimpse of the stations planet Pluto model installed by the museum of science.
We road on through the night, out to Watertown, MA to a 7/11 to collect juice and candy bar rations for the mid-flight pit stop. We also had to make a few repairs. One of the maggots, Dishpan, altered the crew that her ship, War, had a wobbly wheel. Now, a little wobble never hurt anyone, but with a name like 'War' and three-foot ramrod mounted to your front, a wobbly back wheel can totally destroy your street cred. Threespeed, the fleet's resident mechanic aboard Starhustler, got out his tools and gave War a little once over. Dishpan then road three-quarter speed into a chain link fence head on with the ramrod repeatedly until she was satisfied that War had regained his original gusto. I went to talk to Skunk.
Skunk and I discussed hacking and the DIY community for a while and I was invited to next week's mission to a non-disclosed location which will be of particular interest to a hacker electronics geek like myself.
Now if you have good reading comprehension you've probably been think to yourself this whole time "Didn't he say he was headed to a party? How much time has passed since the beginning of this story?" Well yes, I was headed to a party, a party back in Davis Square no less. About an hour or two had gone by during our ride and pit stop and I was expected hours ago. So I bid my new friends good bye and wished them much luck on the remainder of their journey.
I've been instructed to send Skunk and email for more information and Dozer said she'd be happy to sponsor me on my first ride. I'm pretty excited and looking forward to exploring the galaxy in style next week; we'll see how it goes. The import thing to take away from this story is that I will soon be in a bike gang. One with secret meeting spots and all sorts of midnight shadiness. Needless to say I am certainly no longer someone to be trifled with.