News

Return of the Chariot

D. ZHU/The Phillipian

Blue Key Heads Mark Witt ’20 and Jed Heald ’20 pose on the formerly missing Blue Key Head “chariot” bike.

Blue Key Head Peter Ling ’20 was attending the Out of the Darkness Walk on May 5 when he saw it—the missing Blue Key “chariot” bike—in the front yard of a local house. One small thing was different, however—now, the bike was bright pink. Ling proceeded to contact Blue Key Head Jed Heald ’20 and former Blue Key Head Will Ennis ’19 to inspect his discovery.

After receiving permission to visit the house, Ennis and Heald visited later that day in order to identify the chariot and double check that it was theirs.

“We’re standing at the edge of the driveway of this house, and…hidden behind this bush was the chariot. I’m sort of peeking around the bush, trying to get a good view, and from what I can tell, it does look like ours, obviously except for the fact that it’s pink,” said Ennis.

The bike had been dropped off at the house by local high schoolers, according to Heald.

“[We] knocked on the door and a kid answers the door, and it turns out that it had just been sitting there for a few months, and he’s like, ‘A few Andover High [School] kids dropped it off a few months ago,’ and he really didn’t know anything about it. And he said, ‘Yeah you guys can take it.’ And we were way more excited than he was. That was an exciting moment,” said Heald.

Ennis, who had been the keeper of the chariot during his time as Blue Key Head, explained that its whereabouts had been unknown for quite some time. He had originally received it from former Blue Key Head Will Raphael ’18 and stored it near Rockwell House over the summer. During the break, however, the chariot was moved due to construction, and despite Ennis’ best efforts, he was unable to locate it.

Ennis then found another bike that resembled the chariot in the yard of Ian Hurley ’19. Hurley, who had not used the chariot recently, “graciously donated” it to the Blue Key Heads, according to Ennis. Then, the bike disappeared again—until now.

Ennis was sure that the bike that Ling had discovered was, in fact, the missing Blue Key Head chariot.

“Under the pink tape on the handle bars you could still see some blue below it, and one of the tires had a streak of pink spray paint sort of pointing to the fact that the whole thing had been spray painted pink… Someone took it and spray painted it for whatever reason. So Jed and I rode it back up Salem [Street], took it back to Bartlet where we live, and locked it up outside. And now it’s ours again,” said Ennis.

Blue Key Head Mark Witt ’20 described how the chariot allows the Blue Key Head to bring school spirit on campus.

“When I was a Junior and a Lower, I remember seeing them ride around campus on that and I was like, ‘It looks really fun. I want to ride that’…When we’re riding, I see a lot of people just smiling and looking at us as we go by. I think that sort of has that effect. It sort of makes people happy when they see it,” said Witt.

Ennis also believes the Blue Key Heads should encourage spirit and fun on campus, and the chariot allows them to do that. However, he does think that adding a bike lock is an effective measure to help ensure that it does not get lost again.

“It’s fun to ride, and people want to ride it, and our whole job is to help people have more fun on campus. So if people enjoy riding it, then ride it, why not. But I think it’s definitely smart that we started locking it up because before we started using the bike lock on it, people would take it, ride it to where they need to go and just sort of leave it there,” said Ennis.

In regards to the future look of the chariot, Heald and Witt said that they may experiment with the color by trying different combinations and colors throughout the year. In general, they want “a whole bunch of blue and white,” according to Heald.

No matter what they choose for the bike’s color, Ennis is glad that Heald and the other Blue Key Heads can enjoy the chariot. According to Ennis, the discovery is almost like a parting gift to them before he graduates.

Ennis, “I think the current Blue Key Heads have a plan to re-spray paint it. If they don’t, I might do it with Jed before graduation, but I think I’ve done my job in helping them get it back. I’m glad they got it back, though. I would have been kind of sad to be the keeper and graduate without them having the chariot.”

Editor’s Note: Peter Ling is an Advertising Manager for The Phillipian.