The Steampunk World

Being the continued explorations of a living steampunk.

The steampunk world is all around us, lying just out of sight, in a continuous thread of steampunk builders and culture that extends from the Victorian era to the present. You'll find no science fiction here: This is real life steampunk.

Friday, February 11, 2005

I'm in Boston, visiting with SCUL... what can I say? It's intimidating to meet a group that's had five more years to hone its chops, yet they are glad to meet me because I can appreciate what they do, yet it's somewhat anticlimatic as Bike Club folks can always sit right down and fit in amongst each other, because we know each other before we ever met.

SCUL has a highly complex and refined system of putting on rides, and their framework is rigid. Hundreds of claim tags line the wall of the fort, waiting to be put on the chopper each rider prefers, most of which are stored at the Fort during the week. They have field manuals and dues and repair requests and job assignments, ranks and missions and processes and intiations. They have stickers and pins and screens and clothes-racks of shirts and medibags and toolbags and beermules and navigators and tailgunners and databases and workstations and intercoms and walkie-talkies and really, really nice bikes. Keeping it costing $0 is NOT a goal here.

Oh, and robots, so many robots! Robots made from lathes, robots made from martini shakers, robots made from keyboard keys. Home-made glowing lightsabers and blasters and a parrot who quotes Zoidberg and R2-D2 and paintings of choppers and light-up sound-wired articulated-winged battle armor! It's no coincidence that there are SCULs who do costumes for Kaiju Big Battel and GWAR.

Some things I'd like to steal:

Onboard sound system is based off of a 12-volt rather than an inverter + PA, and broadcasts to clamp-on radioboxes made from car stereos (because they pick up local FM better) that can add a blasting speaker to any bike using a quick-release (rather than duct-taping a boombox on). This allows the batteries to be recharged at base rather than just eating up C-cells.

Absolutely no noise allowed outside of the fort. Groups sneak a block away to start rides, and sneak back in groups of 10 upon return. This keeps neighbors from being pissed and allows the club to keep 50 choppers in the basement for years.

Tools and first aid are kept in bags specifically for rides, rather than just relying on what people have.

Rides start at the fort, allowing folks to pick out a chopper if they don't already have one.

People actually dress up for the rides.

SCUL can roll into a party and double its numbers, but they roll out quick when it's time to go. Herding Rats is always a charming experience, but not when the cops are coming.

100 points if you get nekkid on a ride.


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