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Freakbikes, choppers, funnybikes, clownbikes, kustoms, tallbikes, swingbikes, lead sleds, chunkbikes, trashbikes, mutant bikes, tallbike jousting, cargo bikes, tallchoppers, and frankenbikes. This is a record of human-powered creativity in Chicago.


-'52 freakin'-
-vintage p-cola freakin-
-zany bikes of redmoon ii-
-zig anime-
-australia freakin'-
-rat patrol russia-
-vintage freakbikes ii-
-skunk's cloudbuster-
-bikes of burning man 07-
-pedal-powered crane-
-rat patrol belgium-
-jet rides-
-fat boy's bikes-
-vintage freakbikes-
-Steinlauf family 1920's-1960s-
-afghanistan tallbikin'-
-india tallbikin'-
-spain freakin'-
-not hard enough-
-porno squad-
-green machine-
-rolling bonfire-
-the human television network-
-zany bikes of redmoon-
-fatback bomber-
-two-wheeled tank-
-precious cargo-
-ghana's national tallbike-
-twang bang-
-trampoline trailer-
-san fran freakin'-
-wooden packrat-
-the loserbago-
-foley freakin'-
-n'awlins freakin'-
-schwinn cycle truck-
-the bike formerly known as the white elephant-
-trashbike 1-
-UV chopper 2-
-gateway drug-
-lee's bent 1-
-trout lake freakin-
-UV chopper 1-
-pipe bomb-
-unicyclin bear-
-a work in progress-
-the chopper-

-pride 07-
-death of a tallbike-
-st ratrick's day 07-
-guerilla floatilla 07-
-st. ratrick's 07-
-bike kill IV-
-hootenanny 06-
-ratification 06-
-5th annual st chino's run-
-sweethearts build day-
-madison art bike parade 06-
-slaughterama 06-
-guerilla flotilla 06-
-st ratrick's day 06-
-the buurn, maaaaan 05-
-rat rides 2005-
-black label bike kill iii-
-pedal pushers-
-ratification 05-
-Guerilla Flotilla 2005-
-St. Ratrick's Day 2005-
-2nd Annual St. Chino's Run-
-rats on the mass-
-gimp haulin'-
-rat patrol vs. human television network-
-monkey tag ride-
-stockyards ride-
-build day 112004-
-magic bean ride-
-puke ride-
-ratification 04-
-rat rides 2004-
-rat race 04-
-clunker classic III-
-ghana freakin'-
-st. ratrick's day 03-
-the stingray kids-
-may day 2003-
-the scallywags come to chicago critical mass-
-a rat retreat to the redneck riviera-
-a visit from the BLBC-
-rat rides 2003-
-rat rides 2002-

-can't you read?-
-rat trikes-
-scratch-made arc welder-



Email and Submissions: johnny@rat-patrol.org


May Day 2003

Two Rats went up to Minihopeless for their May Day 03 festivities. It was the 29th May Day parade, and the 8th year the Black Label Bike Club has participated. It was also the first year they'd participated legally!

The parade started out in a park, where over a hundred Bike Club brothers and sisters came out of the woodwork for the biggest ride of the year.

We made a stuffed rat for them and the Minneapolis Scallywags, each wearing a wee set of colors.

I love the Twin Cities style of bike, where any ole part can be slapped in for extra support. This tallbike actually belongs to a rare unaffiliated lone wolf, a sort of ronin of the West Bank.

Just to the right of it is Jake, the new President, conferring with the Grand Marshall.

Throughout Per's 11 years of sculpting bikes, he's moved away from experimentation towards a perfection of a certain few designs. This bike is one of his later sidecar bikes, an impressive union of form and function. Look at those lines! And it rode like a dream.

A "full suspension" tallchopper, meaning it flexed like a rubber band when you went over bumps. Also, imagine the stretch required to put your foot on the rear wheel and stop the thing!

This pic shows the size of the crowd. Amazing! Also check out the front view of the World's Tallest Bike, and the stabilizing cables put in to make it not so floppy.

Some barefoot hippie who brought his sweet chopper to the ride. He said he does lots of distance riding on this thing.

With his "kickstands" down, Strange mounts the WTB.

We felt it neccessary to represent on choppers, seeing as that's what we roll on down south in Chicago. Strapped under my seat here is the new and improved Pollution Emission Emulation-Unit, which emitted bubbles to show that, just like me in my armor, sometimes tough things are fragile on the inside.... *snif*

I'm feelin' pretty shorty next to all those trip-his.

More rats.

Zoom in and check out the scary skull on that chopper.

The organizers of the parade had decided to skirt the ole who-can-be-in-it issue by designating a "free speech section" after the parade. So they had people marching with a banner that read END OF PARADE and then this one. About the most controversial float in the free speech section was the water-birth one, or maybe Support Your Community Radio. It seemed a little extreme to single them out like that. But nevertheless the Scallywags were shunned to the rear of the parade, because their colors say "Jesus Is Lord". Scandalous! They took it well, though, and ended up having the best bike of the day anyway...

To the left of the Super Star there is the summersault bike, which blew the rest of the parade out of the water. I'll never forget the sound of 200 people sucking in their breath as he sped up...

...and flipped with a CLICK-BAM! He'd ride around giving fives to the kiddies, then do two in a row as an encore.

Mr. Sun rowed across the lake to visit all the happy elves in spring-land.

A glimpse of the famous Scallywag Pennyfarthing.

The three clubs declared a truce and met for weenies at the Scallywag house.

This is the circus wagon for the Scallywags's bike circus. "Before you ask," they told me, "that's the bearded lady, not Jesus."