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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

Pride 2007

400,000 Chicagoans showed up for this parade, black and white and brown, young and old. Gay For A Day is the new Kiss Me I'm Irish. I swear I saw a cop arrest a guy for not having an open container. This parade is a moneymaker: $250 gets you an entry, so Miller Beer and Target pack floats with freaky people who are probably embarrassing to most gays.

The Rat Patrol traditionally crashes it by piggybacking on either activists or clowns: If you want to sneak into a parade on freaky bikes, either chant the activist chant when the marshalls are looking, or ride in circles and whoop it up when the clowns do their thing. Either way you'll look the part.





There was just one problem. The Rat Patrol loves and cherishes its bike club 'rivals', but it does have one blood-feud with another gang: A rough-and-tumble 50-and-up drag queen gang from Michigan City, Indiana. The thing about these ladies is that they are pissed off, all the time, even though it's a pride parade. They don't like us, and we don't like them. Nobody remembers how it started- but every year it seems to come to blows, with wig-snatching and claw wounds all around. I try and warn folks: There are only two possible outcomes for a fight with an old man in a dress, and neither of them makes you look like a winner, but one is much worse than the other. And if they were gay in 1963, they've been in a fight before.

This year, however, the parade started with no sign of our arch-enemies or their pickup truck. Suddenly, I felt a chill down my back. I looked around in panic. There was chaos and crowds all around me! I didn't know why I'd gotten such a shiver. Then my eyes focused on a rumbling black truck in the distance. It was them.

They played it cool, doing the royal wave thing. But one of them affixed me with a glare that caused all the pebbles in the street to crack and split while a flock of crows took off, as earthworms writhed to the surface and all holy images began to smoke and burn.

The message was clear: We know who you are. We don't forget. We got our eyes on you little punks, and you better keep your distance in this parade.