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



-top of the mall-
-rat ride 073102-
-rat ride 082102-
-rat ride 100202-
-rat ride 110302-
-rat ride 120602-
-pack rat ride 020803-
-build day 022303-
-build day 030903-
-rat ride 032603-
-a visit from the black label bike club-
-a rat retreat to the redneck riviera-
-the scallywags come to chicago critical mass-
-may day 2003-
-rat ride 043003-
-rat ride 052103: the bee and bebop ride-
-rat ride 0611603: the sex-in-the-dumpster ride-
-rat ride 073003: the singalong ride-
-rat ride 091703: the slinger ride-
-rat ride 093003: the baby baseball ride-
-build day 101103-


-the chopper-
-a work in progress-
-unicyclin bear-
-pipe bomb-
-UV chopper 1-
-a kouple of kustoms-
-trout lake freakin-
-lee's bent 1-
-gateway drug-
-UV chopper 2-
-trashbike 1-
-the bike formerly known as the white elephant-
-schwinn cycle truck-
-n'awlins freakin'-
-foley freakin'-
-the loserbago-
-wooden packrat-


-of mice and rats-
-on kustoms-



Email and Submissions: johnny@rat-patrol.org

The 2nd Annual St. Chino's Day Run

The St. Chino's Run is an annual ride from the West Bank of Minneapolis to Stillwater, hosted by the Black Label Bike Club. A weekend of tallbikes, intoxication, and nudity- in other words, a typical weekend for a bike club- the 60-mile round trip is a chance for bike clubs from around the country to come together and strengthen their alliance. This year's ride featured 75 mutant bikes from the BLBC, the Scallywags, the Rat Patrol, and the NYC chapter of the Black Label. Pictures from last year can be found here.

These are our pictures, the Rat Patrol's, taken by Peachtree.

Day 1

After driving all night, we (Peachtree, Lil' Gordie, and I) arrived in the West Bank at 8AM. The instructions had said, simply, "Meet at the Hard Times Cafe at noon". We began to assemble our bikes- I had brought Count Chopula, to which I had welded a Snapper seat for extra comfort. Lil Gordie and Peachtree were on tallbikes, named Sir Reginald Cunningham and 8-bit.

Coffee at the Hard Times Cafe.

The Weinery is a friendly place to the bicycle modification enthusiast. Good cheap food, and chopping around back!

As we strolled in, the owner Pat exclaimed, "Well, if it isn't the Rat Patrol!"

Can you tell which one of us is slumpin', and which is chumpin'?

By now it's about 9AM, and I've already got a Black Label Beer in my hand. I actually ended up fainting at one point because I'd been riding all day on nothing but beer. Fortunately, Celery (left) gave me some dried fruit and I was back in action.

L. Gordon Shumway, aka Lil' Gordie.

We hit the road. I can't describe the feeling of riding in a pack with 75 other freakbikers, mostly tallbikes with a few choppers. The group would stop every three miles or so to let the more... creative... contraptions catch up.

That would be the esteemed President of the Black Labels there on the left.

We made the traditional stop at the Doll Hospital for juice and cookies.

Here you can see two tandem sidecars, the ultimate in cargo transportation. In this case, one was carrying three dogs and the other a PA, a baby, and a ton of beer.

...and Skitch's famous tandem tallbike...

On to the World's Largest Snowman. At this point in the ride- 18 out of 30 miles- my shitty weld broke, snapping the seat stays from the seat post. Lil' Bob whipped out some string and tied it together, and I rode the remaining 12 miles that way.

The last mile down into Stillwater is straight downhill. The air was filled with the smell of burning shoes from all the footbrakes. Everyone jumped into the river, Posso choosing to do it from the bridge.

Officer Rookie Asshole from the Stillwater Police came along and started pointing to the nekkid people and saying, "You're going to jail, you're going to jail..." Fortunately, Lieutenant Wizened Veteran showed up and everybody got off with tickets.

We headed across the river to our campsite.

(Day Two Coming Soon!)

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