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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


This bike is based off of Per's Meatwagon, as it had demonstrated to me the transformative effect a grillbike can have on a ride. It can change a situation from "going to the beach" to "grilling on the beach". To be honest, Banjo Al and I whipped this up in a day (using an old alley Weber) and the back end could stand to be replaced. If you look at Per's design, he flips two stepthru frames and then bends the blades of their solid forks into a four-pronged suspension system. Then he uses car shocks for the bed suspension. This is also his design for a pedicab, though it incorporates a snowmobile suspension and a city bus bench.

The grill is made from a 30-gallon drum with a sheet of expanded steel inside... small enough to grill shrimp! Amazingly, we still run out of room when we're grilling a bunch of corn, veggies, dogs, burgers, and the occasional bit of "urban wildlife":

Don't knock it till you tried it.

The front of the flatbed is a big hinge, and the back end sits on springs tough enough to hold a few hundred pounds without compressing. I made a set of chocks for it, just because you don't want a bunch of hot coals rolling out of control (although riding with a fire is quite pleasant and provides a cone of warmth for those chilly rides).

Having built three of these icecream-style bikes for various purposes, I was wary of dedicating a bike of this size to carting a grill around and nothing else. So I made the grill removable- it's held on by four smaller legs that protrude up from the flatbed. This allows me to flip the grill if I want to tend it while I ride (not recommended- it's much better to have someone hanging off the back of another bike with a long, chopped fork). This also allows the bike to be converted instantly to a flatbed cargo bike. But with those legs sticking up, anything imaginable can be built to fit on the front- making this a "____-bike"! I wanted Rats to be able to construct functional bikes without having to start from scratch. Now anybody can make a throne, hobo fire, beer cooler, etc. and just fit it to the four legs!

So far, the only other attachment I've built is a drumkit. I used a frame of seatposts with quick-release binder bolts to hold the cymbols, snares, and drums. The large bass drum is worked by a heavy-metal-style remote kickdrum pedal. One person drives and another plays- allowing you to add a full drumkit to any mobile band! (The thing on the right below is a wheeled organ/PA system, but it doesn't have a pedal-power attachment yet)