Kinetic Madness Hits California Coast

By Josh Keppel
|  Tuesday, Oct 6, 2009  |  Updated 10:48 AM PDT
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Josh Keppel

Giant human powered cat floats down Humboldt Bay for annual Kinetic Sculpture Race.

Photos and Videos

Kinetic Sculpture Race

Humboldt County's 40 year tradition, the Kinetic Sculpture Race, pits teams of custom-made human powered glorified bicycles artistically done for a 3-day, 42 mile race across streets, sand and water.

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Biking Viking, a human powered dragon made from recycled kitchen tins, has a mishap at the water entry in Eureka, CA during the 2008 Grand Championship Kinetic Sculpture Race.
More Photos and Videos

Still looking for something to do this holiday weekend?  Humboldt County has something special to offer:  the Kinetic Sculpture Race.

The unique event is in its 40th year and promises to wow anyone who ventures up the coast to check it out. The three-day, 42-mile course pits teams of human-powered machines through streets, sand and water, all for the glory.

After taking a 5-hour, 280-mile drive up the coast and behind the redwood curtain, you will come upon one of the strangest races in history, known as the "Triathlon of the Art World."

About 40 teams compete each year by building a human-powered machine that can traverse land, sand and two water crossings. 

Most machines also have an artistic element, with some of last year's favorites, the Hippypotomus, a stoned, tie-dyed hippo; the Biking Vikings, a dragon made of recycled kitchen tins and the Counterfeit Bluesmobile, a human powered machine that looked just like the Blues Brothers' car.

The teams then race a 42-mile course over three days.  If you don't know what I'm talking about, I totally understand. But you really should see it for yourself to appreciate the creativity and persistence these guys put into the works or art.

Just check out the videos in the upper left on last year's race and come on up to enjoy this year's festivities if you are looking to have your mind blown.

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