Tuesday, June 26, 2007

New Zealand

(Above: Bradley and his rival who got a face full of fire)
(Verse courtesy of Johnny Payphone)

This trip was again a very memorable time of building and riding tallbikes. The kiwis actually took to the whole thing and we easily convinced them to fire joust each other. This took place at a festival and as i look back now I realize just how dumb and idiotic that really was. We spent the whole day in preparation for this legendary joust and we had nothing else to pad the jousting poles but couch custioning that proved to be highly flammable and toxic. It came time and we had a large crowd watching the event that was about to take place and to my knowledge no one else had fire jousted yet. Leave it up the Scallywags Christian Bike Club to create new ways of causing destruction. I was at one end with one of the jousters and i had a bottle of kerosene and began dousing the cushioning, letting it soak to the core, while a friend of mine was at the other end of the field doing the same.

Once we had emptied the kerosene we came up with a signal prior to the joust to send them towards each other. This was our chance to back out before the impending doom but we ignored reason and gave into the crowd's chants. We lit them up and immediately started pushing them towards one another, while the jousting poles' flames grew hotter and bigger with each rotation of the wheels. I ran ahead to the halfway point so I could have a good view of the collision that was about to take place and that's when i realized once again how stupid of an idea this really was. Fear came over me as i saw two young kiwis pedalling as hard as they could towards one another with these huge balls of fire and black smoke. All in an instant they collided and a huge ball of flames lifted up into the quiet New Zealand sky. They both hit the ground pretty hard and there was a lot of confusion, smoke, and some of the grass was catching on fire. Luckily we'd thought ahead and brought a fire extinguisher to put both of the riders out. After the smoke and dust cleared we checked on the riders to see what the injuries were. Not if there were injuries, but how bad were they. One of the guys had a pretty good burn that started on his forearm and trailed all the way up to his bicep but he took it like a real soldier would. He was actually proud of his wound and we encouraged him to go get that looked at.

Moral of the story: Never, ever, ever do this.

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