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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

Ratification 05

Ratification is an annual event where the Rat Patrol recognizes the accomplishments of its members and has a few contests. Though it's generally an internal celebration, this year we were joined by representatives from Zoobomb, that Portland-based pixie crew.

Up for grabs at Ratification are four Brass Belt Buckles. Worn only for a year by the winners, they must be surrendered to each winner. One is for the Rattiest Rat Bike, one is for the Best Colors, one is for the Freestyle Dumpster Dive, and one is for the winner of the Bloomingdale Steeplechace.

Zoobomb showed up and we were grillin on the grillbike. Beers were handed out and we got down to business.

Just a little "urban wildlife"... don't knock it till you tried it.

Then we went on the Second Annual Bloomingdale Steeplechase, an offroad race down an abandoned railway viaduct. The Zoobombers impressed us with their cargo capacity and teeny-crank endurance.

The race was an easy one, only sent two Rats to the hospital. K-Bunny broke her foot and I got two stitches in my leg. It's always nice when you have an emergency-room buddy. Ben came in first on his chopper, beating even the shortbikers, and securing the coveted Buckle.

Then we held the Rattiest Rat Bike contest. Rattiness is not just about having a shitty bike- if it don't ride, it's just sculpture. The Rattiest is a bike that is actually ridden despite being extremely crappy.

"Ha ha! Your bike sucks!"

We booed for each contestant, but one bike got an overwhelming diss by the crowd. Tallboy is a bike built from the two shittiest department-store crusiers, poorly assembled and welded, and then given a turd-polishing paint job. This bike had personally screwed over half the crowd by breaking a factory weld halfway home from Chino's. J. Stanley deserves to proudly wear the belt buckle for his persistent commuting on this steaming pile of worthlessness.

We goofed around a bit and tried to find a 40-yard for the Freestyle Dumpster Dive. But every one we found was full of construction waste. The crowd was getting really antsy, itching to get their drunk on. So we went back to the Smoking Lounge at Pot'n'Rocks and had a party and a fashion show.

Despite all the stylin' entries, there was a clear winner. Bikefreeek's colors are absolutely coated in patches, each one from a bike-related organization that he has a hand in. No other colors come close in telling such a story of effort and influence in the Chicago bike scene. I have a feeling he'll wear this belt buckle for a long time.