To Ratify is to officially recognize. I wanted to let dedicated Rats know that someone was paying attention, so we made up a bunch of patches on the back of some upholstery cloth we found in the alley and gave them out. You could get awards for riding all winter, swearing on choppers for life, getting sent to the hospital by your bike, etc etc. There were also four coveted brass Rat Patrol belt-buckles to be won.
First came the Bloomingdale Steeplechase- a race on and around an abandoned elevated rail line. It used to have a public right-of-way at the base, which has since been taken over by development. But we set out to reclaim it, even if we had to huck our bikes over a few fences. A long, legal route was provided- but victory went to the bravest and sneakiest.
The Bloomingdale line offers a skinny strip of wilderness in the midst of tall buildings. Just don't go up there at night, you'll get shanked!
Sir Thomas Long took the yellow leader jersey, coming in first on his shortbike cruiser Grandpa.
Jim the Tallbiking Lawyer was the first to come in on a freakbike, taking the Brass Buckle.
Scaredy Rat finished despite losing a crank.
Teach those kiddies to tresspass early! We had to skedaddle after this because some bums set a mattress on fire.
Then we had a fashion show, for Best Colors.
Scaredy Rat explains the benefits of her colors, modeled by Sho' Nasty.
Scaredy Rat won, taking the second Brass Buckle.
We awarded the Red Rat of Courage to any cyclist who'd been sent to the hospital by a bike accident. There were way too many of these. McD got one for breaking his ankle while tallbike dogfighting.
Scam lost a fingertip between a cog and a chain. Here he shows off his prosthetic pirate hook.
The Choppapillar was voted Rattiest Rat Bike. You'd have to see this bike up close to appreciate what a truly shitty piece of crap it is. He took home the third brass belt buckle... until someone builds a shoddier bike.