St. Ratrick's Day.

We visited the Chicago Rat Patrol in 2005 for St. Ratrick's Day, which is their holiday. They get together, crash parades, ride in alleys as usual, and undergo "Rattification", which may involve settling grudges, recognizing distinguished conduct, and boasting. I made this portable comfort chopper to send to Chicago. Can be disassembled to fit in a normal bike box. Silken and I arrived in town from different directions, and our bikes were still on a siding somewhere in the plains. Johnny Payphone and Sauce met us with bikes, and we were able to start riding around immediately. Johnny was riding Pick-Up-Sticks, the Pennyfakething, um the, Rattyfarthing, ah, whatever, it's fucked up. I was able to get it down the alley after a little practice, but then took a header trying to descend a two percent grade. When he first wheeled it out, I just pointed at those sawed off tubes and looked at him. He replied, "sack the ripper." Anyway, our bikes still hadn't arrived, so we went for a ride which took us down Lower Wacker - exciting road to ride on a tallbike - and ended up at a great hidden spot on the concrete banks of the downtown Chicago river. Had to try out all the bikes, of course. I've climbed up a few bikes, but it was not obvious where to put my feet on the triple-tall. So many places. It got kind of confusing. The next day we were able to pick up our bikes at Union Station. I used to go here during my high school lunch period and read Asimov's. And my friends and I used to hang out here after school, which must be why they locked it up. Had I known, I would have brought a commemorative plaque to put on the gate. When we were loading the bikes on the trailer, an innertube tie broke and smacked Johnny in the nuts. Haw haw haw! I love putting my bike back together in another city. I look down while I'm riding and see my old bike, then look up and see a whole different city moving around me.

We went on a Rat ride. They like to ride in alleys, root through dumpsters, and get into trouble.

Some citizen opened his back door and almost stepped right in front of me as I rode by. He did a double take and said, "How'ya dooin."

When we found two bottles of corn syrup, they showed off by passing one around and drinking the entire thing. But did they try to quimby the frozen chickens? No they did not! Finkl Steel. Working Bikes. They take in bikes, fix them, sell them, part them out, and send containers of them to Africa. Wow. That's quite a few bikes. Not shown is Mount Varsity. It draws the viewer in. I tried to do a running belly flop on it. Silken held me back. We spent another night seeing the city and hauling stuff around. Sauce. They have a nice hack. Lots of raised tracks in Chicago, this stretch is abandoned. We also drank on the bridges, of course. This was just a rail bridge that I saw one day. Chicago has lots of beautiful little steel bridges over the canals. The Death Derby was held at, and in, the Wicker Park fountain. It started with boasts, taunts, and descriptions of acts of violence and the reasons why they were deserved. The three challengers were Captain Stay-In-School, Dragono, and Sauce (I forget what Sauce's nom de guerre was). The rules were simple. Stay on your bike and fuck up your opponents' bikes. Last one rolling is the winner. Only hurt the bikes, not the people. Of course, this rule was immediately broken, it always is, and Sauce had blood running down his face from a cut below his eye at the very start. Sauce's bike was the first to be broken beyond repair. Who won? I forget. After the derby, we rode around and smashed T.V.s with the T.V. smasher. Some of the T.V.s were broken stock from the Human Television Network, a group who mounts them on trikes to bring television to the streets and the people. Other T.V.s were collected in the alleys. When we had a few, we stopped and smashed them, then rode and found more. We rode by the fire chief, standing in the driveway of his fire station. He said, "Hey, you. I like what you're doing. Ride those bikes back here", so we smashed some T.V.s behind the station for the firemen. We tried to get them to pull the rope that fired the smasher. Before a T.V. was smashed, a list of grievances against it would be read. "This television showed a football game when we wanted to watch The Simpsons! Does anyone have anything to say in its defense?" Of course nobody did. We wanted to hear that noise. After the smashing, the sweeping up of the glass and toxic dust and stuff. That guy in the the pink rollerblades just happened to run into us, I've seen him on the street in other towns also. And then, finally, the warm bar, the showing off of Death Derby wounds, the talking into the night.

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Copyright 2010 Megulon Five <>.
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Last modified 23 November 2010.