T-Town Flotilla V, 2015 :: A Recap

Author: ufor360  //  Category: Club Rides, General, Puget Sound Events and Rides


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Time is fluid. When it’s in abundance with no sense of urgency, it moves placidly like the calm depths of a glacial lake. When urgency expresses itself, it begins to increase speed with the temporal velocity of a fast flowing spring stream, crashing over other responsibilities and goals with reckless abandon. At 12:30 AM, Thursday morning, just over a day away from the T-Town Flotilla, the clubs Raffle Lambretta that had been undergoing a rebuild for the last year, sputters into life upon Jason’s 4th Kick….

It’s that day of the week that offers respite from the captive confines of work. The promise of objective content and thought over a cool adult beverage in the company of friends is forefront of the mind. Dappled sunlight bleeds through the trees in the courtyard of the Parkway Tavern as intrepid scooterists arrive for the 5th Annual T-Town Flotilla.

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A special cask of Firkin Ale, courtesy of Jeff C., nestles somewhat innocently on the corner of the bar greeting smiling riders with that sparkle of excitement in their eyes, hinting at a weekend filled with effervescence, flavor and intrigue.

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As the afternoon segues into evening, Kuzzie gets into gear and corrals the riders for the first excursion of the weekend, Cruising Urban North Tacoma which explores the lesser known brick lanes, cobbled streets and bridges that although not designed for combustion engines are easily navigated by two wheeled propulsion before culminating at the 733 Club in Downtown Tacoma.

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The stage has been set. The Raffle Lambretta has been wheeled into the bar and sits proudly surrounded by harbor like rigging, lobsters and seagulls, courtesy of Karen, in a setting already replete with anchors, waves and ships wheels with a soundtrack supplied by the tunes of Selector Soul Shot. The bands load in as the fleet of scooters from the dusk ride moor up on the sidewalk projecting a tapestry of variety from many various cuts of cloth. The cavernous ballroom is soon infused with the enigmatic shoe gazing brit pop tunes of season of strangers who with little effort prod the attending revelers into festivity mode.

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As the set closes, an air of anticipation whispers through the crowd like an electric mist creeping through unknown corridors as Gigantor takes the stage. BOOM! Without warning, the eight piece band, led by Lynvall Golding, jump off the precipice of sound and everyone is immediately immersed in the delicious cacophony of bright, vibrant horns and saxophones.

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There is no delay. The crowd are already on their feet, dripping with a fervent joy while absorbing the pulsating music of exquisite reverence to all that is Ska! The place is bumping, everybody’s jumping just as Anabelle from Lushy makes a surprise appearance on stage and almost unbelievably raises the atmosphere to imperceptibly higher levels. Ahhh… but as with all good things the evening must come to an end. The orgasmic climax reached, dregs of beer lovingly drained, the crowd dribbles onto the street to chat and smoke amongst the myriad mosaic of colorful chariots before disappearing down dimly lit backstreets in pursuit of the elusive after parties that will dissolve on the borders of dawn.

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Saturday morning blooms with the reality of a cold blunt razor offering no reprise to those harboring the gritty nonchalance of excess. The Harmon Tap Room is already bustling with local riders and new adventurists from as far south as Oregon and north from Vancouver.

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A little amber nectar to bite the dog and a breakfast burrito bomb to soak up the previous night’s reverie before embarking on the shinning days affairs. A quick group riding 101 for the masses before plumes of blue smoke and rumbling moderns indicate it’s time to tackle the exit of Tacoma. Slinking through town, our only obstacles are irreverent stop lights before we are barreling across Galloping Gurty’s big brother. Re-assembled on the other side of the water, the flotilla putters through the idyllic town of Gig Harbor with an internal nod to the locals, the boats in the harbor eyeing us enviously. Sweeping back lanes beckon under the speckled shade of approaching pines, the sparkling water of the sound is music for our eyes.

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Before long the Manchester Pub is in receipt of some thirsty souls in need of a fuel stop. And we only lost four on the way (who were found later.) The group refreshed, we weave a short path through Puget Sound hugging lanes as the approach to Southworth is framed with the Ferry lurking at the dock. Unusually, we are not beckoned to the front of the lines but mingle with the cagers resulting in a disconnection of the fleet. Thankfully we all make the boat which we realize later was an earlier vessel than we anticipated.

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Disembarking from Fauntleroy, a rider stuck on the ferry is inadvertently left behind but manages to catch up later. Attempting to keep the speed down, the parade of scooters snake through the backside of Burien and Des Moines before the sparkling jewel of the
Sound is once again our mandatory guide as the last remaining sweeps and curves channels captains of the asphalt into our lodgings for the evening, Dash Point State park.

Uncharacteristically, the BBQ is already sizzling in expectation of offerings of shrimp, meat tubers and scrumptious burgers to be presided over by chefs Jeff and Tessa.

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As riders and curious visitors cleanse palates with adult pop, the crowd is entertained by Robert B. adorned in a grass skirt and coconut bra. The megaphone proves to be slightly ineffectual as he extols the history and minutiae of the Raffle Lambretta rebuild so with infinite wisdom and to the delight of the audience, the “sprinkler system” method is employed to distribute the tower of babel in a recurring 180 degree arc which can only be described as Charlie Brown meets King Neptune while talking to the fishes under the sea! Reluctantly, the megaphone is finally relinquished in lieu of another Gin and Tonic. The general raffle begins with such delights donated by Castle Megastore, Cycle Gear, Hodgespeed and Fireball to name but a few.

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With the hint of shrimp still lingering in the air a charged hush descends on the horde as eager investors eye the giant plastic ice cream cone tombola full of tickets that will grant some lucky person ownership of the majestic Lambretta TV 175.

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The tombola is agitated furiously. Jason materializes from behind the curtains and submerges his arm deep into the cavernous interior of the ice cream cone and hands the ticket to Jeff.
“It’s a woman” Jeff announces to a chorus of moans from the male contingent. The numbers are slowly revealed as Debbie M. erupts into ecstatic joy. She is truly enamored with her new prize and it seems that we may not be able to separate the women from the machine as dusk gives way to the thick veil of night and we settle in for some outdoor theater.

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Gwendoline faces her perils in all of her glorious feminine beauty in the land of the Yik Yak accompanied by the constant rhetoric from the giggle pit. During the intermission courtesy of Felix the Cat, glow stick necklaces are introduced and a sea of disembodied ethereal heads bob about while the evening flows unobserved into the early hours as people disperse, some assisted, to those mysterious realms of slumber.

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The morning greets courageous merrymakers gently. As the generator groans and strugglers under the strain of the toaster, you know it’s time for breakfast. As beans on toast (with ham!) are served to the suspicious and uninitiated it is announced that there will be an additional delicacy served on this auspicious occasion.

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Oysters on the half shell which are subsequently devoured with enthusiasm. Farts and boners will get us home. The keg remains victorious as it’s finally time to depart to points north and south. Goodbyes are exchanged as we once again realize we have achieved the Flotilla’s primary goal: Simply, to have FUN..!!

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Please click here to view the entire album.

Author: Shaun Hunt
Primary Photographer: Frank Kuzzman

Please take a moment to visitor our very generous sponsors whose support made this Rally possible:

Parkway Tavern
AutoBahn Specialists
Northwest Mini
PJ Hummel
Fireball
Cycle Gear Tacoma
Castle Megastore
Harmon Brewery
Hodgespeed
Alfreds Cafe

And…Bruce the Wonder Dog..!!

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