Author: Shaun Hunt
Photographer: Frank Kuzzmanich
The Friday midafternoon sky is an indecisive pallet of dirty blue, yellow and gray. A roll and crack of thunder reaches a crescendo across the mighty expanse signaling the arrival of the 4th Annual Firkin SC T-Town Flotilla. It’s sufficient enough for the grand yellow orb to establish its authority and banish the lingering vagaries to hidden corners of the state allowing the wild blue yonder to emerge as a vast sweeping blanket of expectation. The Parkway Tavern, a safe refuge and weekly gathering spot for like minded individuals, eargerly awaits to entertain intrepid souls from all points of the compass.
As the late afternoon beckons, the rattle and pop of vintage bikes and the soft rumble of the moderns (with the exception of Butter Thunder who announces her presence with conviction) peppers the air as the first begin to arrive. People saunter into the friendly confines of the bar to find Tom and Renee in the Red Room only to discover that after retrieving their Rally Packs that the sizes of the orange Vietnamese Polo shirts have a lot to be desired. As stretchy as they are, muscles, nipples and beer bellies are suitably accentuated.
By now the street and sidewalk is littered with a compendium of machines and the roiling masses are equipped with one of the many craft libations on offer. One lucky attendee is presented with her surprise birthday present; a new 4 Stroke, automatic Stella. To add to the infectious occasion, Jeff C. produces a Firkin of “Firkin-A” ale specially crafted for this event sitting proudly on the bar as a delectable elixir for the attendees. A delicious English style concoction wth more lubrication properties than a quart of 2 Stroke. It’s such a delightful treat that Kuzzie has a challenge corralling the riders for the twilight Cruising Urban North Tacoma ride. However, prevails he does and proves to be an expert architect of a spin around the hidden lanes, cobblestone streets and secret alcoves of the historical North End before culminating at the Swiss Pub for the evenings entertainment.
Locals and scooterists alike spill from the patio and doorways the warm orange hue of the interior bathing the streets with an invitation of joy and excitement infused with the promise of an entertaining evening as MirrorGloss take the stage. During the evening, a rescue mission is launched as Robert B. is stranded in some obscure remote part of the city after studs have inexplicably sheared from his rear wheel. He and cargo are soon retrieved and deposited back at the Swiss.
Bandolier, our adopted local scooter band provide a backdrop of bubblegum tinged 60’s garage rock before winding down and making way for the DJ to guide us into the night. The Joint is bumping. There is no better ingredient for a sultry summer evening than the sound of laughter, the buzz of chatter and kisses exchanged freely. As the witching hour approaches and people seek safe harbor for the evening, a few intrepid characters head to chez Shaun’s to continue the party. The early hours prove to be colorful with questionable movie content, a plethora of liquid nourishment and Ping Pong balls…
Quicker than a creative brainstorm, morning emerges quite rudely. Surprisingly, the revelers at Chez Shaun’s are already moving albeit somewhat sluggishly of their own accord and are eager to head to the Harmon Tap room for the Breakfast Burrito buffet. The congregation of eager scooterists is already swelling. Very uncharacteristically of “scooter time”, the last vestige of barley and hops is reverently consumed as we slink off to the Ferry with a Flotilla of approximately 35—40 scooters.
As we alight on Vashon, Karen C. assumes the lead to weave a colorful expedition in and out of obscurity around the tapestry of Vashon Island, weaving a pattern of infinite chaos across an expanse of dips, curves and bends that would make a European happy. Of course we have to engage in a “Fuel Stop” in the town center. The locals appear unfazed and after everyone is suitably replenished, Karen once again leads us out on a ride that stirs the adrenalin as we encounter tight, singular lanes of various inclines inducing the bucking qualities of one rider who managed to successfully recover without losing to the laws of gravity.
One more Ferry Trip to Fauntleroy!
Back on dry land, we slink through the backside of Fauntleroy, Burien and SeaTac and strike a route through Des Moines. Occasionally the fleet becomes fractured but we manage to reconvene before navigating the exquisite sweeping curves that hug the Puget Sound through Redondo and Fife. Additional provisions are procured before our final Port of call at the Dash Point State park group camp site. A vast expanse of sites hidden in an amphitheater like bowl encircled by tree’s that look like they had been planted in rings by fairies in a time unencumbered by power, greed and corruption.
Sarah R. and Karen C. busily prepare for the evenings BBQ of Crab, Salmon and burgers and the usual fare of camping dietary goodness while others engage in the mundane task of erecting domiciles for the wee slumber hours. With plates of scrumptious delights in hand, the raffle is under way with a plethora of items available from a multitude of generous sponsors. As dusk begins its adieu, Robert B. and Dan C. prepare the Super 8 for some erotic treats from the 70’s. After technical difficulties accompanied by renditions of Monkees songs around the roaring camp fire, the audience enjoys the blanket of night as some rather dubious content erupts on the screen which provides an unexpected canvas for interaction and frivolity and a carnival atmosphere accentuated by leather daddies and thong freedom!
The Super 8 movies are retired and we segue smoothly into the signature feature “Flesh Gordon”, an exemplary example of vintage Sci-Fi porn with a healthy infusion of humor. Somehow this instigates a chair malfunction and Shaun finds himself incarcerated and racked with laughter. As “Flesh” reaches its conclusion, “Pipi Longstocking” is shrewdly introduced into the lineup and proves to be well received by the audience. As the red cups diminish and the Bushmills remains elusive, shadowy figures retreat to tents as the fire serves as a beacon and Billie Jean serenades us off into lands of infinite possibility.
Beans on Toast! Beans on Toast! Yes, the signature Flotilla breakfast is underway. The fire is still roaring while ragged but happy people mingle and consume the early morning English staple. Clear up is underway and rides today will consist of routes home to seek comfort in modern dens of urban decadence. Although there was room for many more, those that made the effort were an amazingly fun group and are definitely all welcome back again next year when you might go home with the Raffle Lambretta. A Brilliant time was had by all and remember, YOU helped us enforce our simple mission statement: HAVE FUN..!!
Author: Shaun Hunt
Photographer: Frank Kuzzmanich
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