header image headerimage    

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

Rat Race 04

(aka Grand Prix du Cidre)

The Rat Race isn't really about speed. It's about survival. The winners aren't the first across the finish line, but the ones who finish. In addition to downhills that make brakeless chopper riders tremble, there are swamps to be tossed into, spliffs to confuse and distract the participants, and lots and lots of cider.

You'll have to forgive me, I don't really remember a lot of details from this race... I remember we went to the orchard and set up our tents, then drank a lot while people showed up, then rode that trike around a bit, then headed off towards the firing range...

In the above picture, the race participants are (from left to right):

B Martin, Rat13, Mike (on his £4000 Molton), Tallmartin, Elspeth, Lonebiker, Johnny Payphone, M23, Charlie Hobbs, and Chunkolini POD (in VICTORIAN BLOKE! pose).

The first of many such hurdles. Beautiful countryside, too. Charlie's wearing the yellow leader jersey from the Clunker Classic, in an attempt to dirty it up before the following weekend.

Okay, so maybe it would have been possible to ride our silly bikes up this dang mountain, but we were pretty drunk by that time.

The course was designed by Chunkolini, an insane downhiller. He found the hills that were the most nervewracking on a mountain bike and then convinced us to go down them on choppers! In this picture, if you look closely, you can see Rat13 on his chopper... no, that's not a boggie... there in the upper right... on the chopper.

The course was riddled with wild boar wallers.

M23's status as henchman obliged him to try and dump Lonebiker (the Enemy) into the swamp...

...but Lonebiker's secret government ninja training led to M23's dunking, which (as a born-n-bred swamp rat), was a bit like a rabbit-in-the-briar-patch.

A bit of help from a boggie...

...and everybody's happy. Well, except Lonebiker, of course.

Steep hills prevent Flintstoning on brakeless choppers, and so the front-wheel foot brake must be applied.

Click on the pic for a Quicktime video of Lonebiker's spectacular bail.

Much of the race took place on beautiful trails, crossed with lashing giant brambles. Scratchtastic!

Everybody got too drunk to remember who won.