$bvcutoff | $n<"5000") { if (!$commentPath) { $commentPath="comments/"; } $commentFile=$commentPath.$n.".comment"; if (file_exists($commentFile)) { $ip=$visitor_ip; $thisFile = file($commentFile); $comments = sizeof($thisFile); $kFile=$commentPath.$n.".kill"; if (file_exists($kFile)) { $thisFile = file($kFile); $kill = sizeof($thisFile); $comments = $comments - $kill; } $qFile=$commentPath.$n.".q.".$ip; if (file_exists($qFile)){ $thisFile = file($qFile); $q = sizeof($thisFile); $comments = $comments + $q; } if($comments == 1) {$comments .= " comment";} else {$comments .= " comments";} } else {$comments = "0 comments";} return $comments; } } function showbv($n) { global $bvcutoff; if ($n<=$bvcutoff) { $bvlink='Discuss via Blogvoices'; } else { $bvlink=""; } return $bvlink; } ?> chicagofreakbike
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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 022203-
-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-


-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'-


-of mice and rats-
-on kustoms-



Email and Submissions: johnny@rat-patrol.org

Friday, June 20, 2003


May Day 2003

Two Rats went up to Minihopeless for their May Day 03 festivities. It was the 29th May Day parade, and the 8th year the Black Label Bike Club has participated. It was also the first year they'd participated legally!

The parade started out in a park, where over a hundred Bike Club brothers and sisters came out of the woodwork for the biggest ride of the year.

We made a stuffed rat for them and the Minneapolis Scallywags, each wearing a wee set of colors.

I love the Twin Cities style of bike, where any ole part can be slapped in for extra support. This tallbike actually belongs to a rare unaffiliated lone wolf, a sort of ronin of the West Bank.

Just to the right of it is Jake, the new President, conferring with the Grand Marshall.

Throughout Per's 11 years of sculpting bikes, he's moved away from experimentation towards a perfection of a certain few designs. This bike is one of his later sidecar bikes, an impressive union of form and function. Look at those lines! And it rode like a dream.

A "full suspension" tallchopper, meaning it flexed like a rubber band when you went over bumps. Also, imagine the stretch required to put your foot on the rear wheel and stop the thing!

This pic shows the size of the crowd. Amazing! Also check out the front view of the World's Tallest Bike, and the stabilizing cables put in to make it not so floppy.

Some barefoot hippie who brought his sweet chopper to the ride. He said he does lots of distance riding on this thing.

With his "kickstands" down, Strange mounts the WTB.

We felt it neccessary to represent on choppers, seeing as that's what we roll on down south in Chicago. Strapped under my seat here is the new and improved Pollution Emission Emulation-Unit, which emitted bubbles to show that, just like me in my armor, sometimes tough things are fragile on the inside.... *snif*

I'm feelin' pretty shorty next to all those trip-his.

More rats.

Zoom in and check out the scary skull on that chopper.

The organizers of the parade had decided to skirt the ole who-can-be-in-it issue by designating a "free speech section" after the parade. So they had people marching with a banner that read END OF PARADE and then this one. About the most controversial float in the free speech section was the water-birth one, or maybe Support Your Community Radio. It seemed a little extreme to single them out like that. But nevertheless the Scallywags were shunned to the rear of the parade, because their colors say "Jesus Is Lord". Scandalous! They took it well, though, and ended up having the best bike of the day anyway...

To the left of the Super Star there is the summersault bike, which blew the rest of the parade out of the water. I'll never forget the sound of 200 people sucking in their breath as he sped up...

...and flipped with a CLICK-BAM! He'd ride around giving fives to the kiddies, then do two in a row as an encore.

Mr. Sun rowed across the lake to visit all the happy elves in spring-land.

A glimpse of the famous Scallywag Pennyfarthing.

The three clubs declared a truce and met for weenies at the Scallywag house.

This is the circus wagon for the Scallywags's bike circus. "Before you ask," they told me, "that's the bearded lady, not Jesus."

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