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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

St. Ratrick's Day

Pixie Death Derby

Rat Patrol New Orleans issued the challenge: Build a war pixie with 16" or smaller wheels. It can have any armor you want as long as the original frame is not modified. Get a broomstick and whatever other weapons you prefer. Enter the arena. The last person who can physically ride their bike wins. You can attack only from your bike. The broomstick is the only weapon you're allowed to use on the other contestants themselves. However, the experienced death derby contestant knows that a bike is much easier to kill than its rider.

The prize? A coveted Brass Rat Patrol Belt Buckle, one of only 7 in existence, forged out of mud and beeswax in the heart of Africa and worn on the belt of Cap'n Stay-n-School.

Three contestants braved the Death Derby. From New Orleans, the Mexican dragon El Poncho Dragono was driven by pure hatred to attempt to destroy everything he could. The cyborg Sauce 612 traveled from the future, when the Death Derby determines world leadership, to try and win the first one and thus change the fate of Future Earth. And Cap'n Stay-n-School learned that the other two contestants were college dropouts, so he came to teach them a lesson about staying in school.

El Poncho Dragono was confident. He'd invented the sport, and designed its rules around an already-constructed bike named Princess. It featured a fore battering ram, on which he stuck a hobby horse. Plus, his rear wheel was a 12-inch mag wheel- indestructable! (The dragon costume, by the way, came from a New Orleans dumpster after Mardi Gras, those lucky bastards)

Sauce 612 had only cardboard protecting his legs. However, his bike Beyond Thunderdome featured a breakaway bumper along with fore whacking pegs and rear wheel protection. Despite his extensive head and face protection, early on in the match a broomstick would penetrate this small slit and split open his eye...

Cap'n Stay-n-School had a heavily armored pixie, Fun Times, with chainrings guarding the spokes and fore and aft battering rams made out of crown gears from an old truck differential. However, he only had a plunger and he was only human... his powers centered mostly around keeping kids in school, not destruction! How could he compete with a dragon and a cyborg? Additionally, he had 10 years on the other guys and was the only smoker. Death Derby is as much about endurance as it is about solid bike construction.

Then came the trash-talking session...

"I hate you all!" screamed El Poncho Dragono.

"You people know nothing of pain and suffering!" said Sauce 612, "In the future all is trash!"

Cap'n Stay-n-School uttered, "I'm gonna show these two what happens when you don't Stay In School!

The arena was a dry fountain surrounded by a circular walk. Iron benches and a water fountain became deadly obstacles. The audience stood outside of it and hucked stuff at the contestants. In addition, the Spectre of Death rode around on a Le Run and basically tried to kill people (as Death is prone to do). You can see her ghostly figure behind the Cap'n in this picture

At the sound of the bugle, the contest was on! The contestants circled madly, each trying to catch up to the next. There were a few tenative collisions.

Suddenly, Sauce 612 switched directions! Broomsticks were discovered to be ineffective at breaking spokes, as the rider could just stop and prevent them from working. However, El Poncho Dragono whipped his stick around wildly to keep anyone from approaching him. Sauce 612 tried to penetrate this frenzy and caught a broomstick in the eye, splitting it wide open. Blood was drawn in the first 30 seconds of the match.

Pieces began to break off of the bikes, much to the delight of the audience. One contestant had his wheel knocked a little bit out of true, and the crowd held its breath as he tried to ride... and succeeded!

At one point the Spectre of Death cracked Cap'n Stay-n-School over the head with a u-lock, splitting his cheesy plastic helmet in half. Fortunately he'd brought a spare and his pageboy tossed it to him.

A tactic developed where a broomstick would be jammed in spokes allowing the contestant to escape while his opponent removed it.

With a mighty stomp, the Cap'n knocked Sauce 612's front dropouts askew. He was finished! "The future is lost!" cried the audience. "Now I'm trapped in the past!" lamented the plucky cyborg. In anger he flung his bike at the Cap'n, managing to find a chink in his armor and giving him a might welt on the thigh.

It was down to two. "RING OF DEATH! RING OF DEATH!" chanted the audience as the two remaining contestants climbed into the fountain.

It appears in this picture that El Poncho Dragono's face has become dislocated.

Once they were in the Ring of Death, it was clear it would be over soon. Without a third contestant there was no time to draw back and recover. The Cap'n did some damage to the Dragon's front wheel, but he could still ride it. At one point the Cap'n charged El Poncho Dragono with his battering ram... and the Dragon whipped his bike out of the way, sending the Cap'n crashing into the wall!

The mighty warriors clashed one final time. Amid a blur of stomps and shoves the Dragon's front wheel took damage from a heroic stomp... the audience cheered! It was clear his bike could not ride! The derby was won!

Cap'n Stay-n-School, berzerk from battle fury, took a giant bite out of the warped tire.

The fountain was littered with dead pixies. The audience, seeing that noone else would be killed this day, turned away grumbling. The contestants all shared a group hug. Cap'n Stay-n-School defended his belt buckle... for now.