Tom and Alice’s Wild Kinetic Weekend

Over Memorial Day weekend, my wife Alice and I went to the 45th Kinetic Grand Championship in Arcata-Eureka-Ferndale.

There were about 25 entrants in human-powered vehicles of every description. The race covers 42 miles over sand dunes, city streets and Humboldt Bay, and riders have to carry all that they will need for the various challenges each terrain offers.

We were fortunate to run into Redding’s Dave Palin, who was pedaling for six-time race winner Dead Ant. He gave us some tips about where we might best view the race. I decided to group the pictures showing vehicles and riders over the course of the three days, from the sunny shiny start in Arcata city plaza to the rain-soaked third day as the racers neared the finish line in Ferndale.

Everyone seemed to have a great time, and all of the racers are to be complimented for their creativity, sportsmanship and determination. The race is held on Memorial Day weekend each year, so mark you calendars for next year if you’d like to check it out.

Banana Split earns style points. . .

. . .as does The Shoe

First-day leader Visualize Whirled Peas successfully navigates 100-foot Deadman’s Drop

Visualize Whirled Peas riding high

Driving rain no problem. . .

Six-time winner Dead Ant leaves Arcata Plaza legs up.

Dead Ant theme song, from Pink Panther: “Dead ant, dead ant, dead ant, dead ant-dead ant, dead ant, dead aaaant, dead ant. . .”

Redding’s Dave Palin riding shotgun for Dead Ant

Fire-breathing Dragon

(One spectator seen using dragon breath to toast marshmallow)

Water taxi cruises while sea horse is in trouble. . .

Athlete’s Foot rounds corner in Oldtown Eureka

These kids sure had a lot fun trying to tunnel underneath my chair!

Box seat at Deadman’s Drop

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Tom O'Mara
Tom O’Mara is a volunteer Civil Rights Advocate for the Redding Police Department.
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11 Responses

  1. Avatar Barbara Grosch says:

    This is a great event and lots of fun. Thanks for sharing, Tom & Alice, and bringing back some fond memories! The pictures are super! bg

  2. Avatar Debbie Davis says:

    My family has enjoyed this incredibly-talented artistic display of kinetic sculpture, fanfare and competitive racing all in good fun. It's like no other parade we've seen or heard if. I highly recommend planning for next year's Memorial Day weekend excursion to Arcata – Ferndale to enjoy this most unique and fun-filled event.

  3. Avatar Sally says:

    Tom – Thanks for sharing this obviously fun and creative event. Don't know where I've been but have known nothing about it!

  4. Avatar Kathy O'Mara says:

    Thanks, Tom – great photos and story!

  5. Avatar Pat Katsky says:

    I think we need an Olinda entry for next year! Pat

  6. Avatar Tammy D says:

    Tom, thanks for sharing the pic's. Dick and I need to put it on our list of events to be at. the vehicles get cleverer every year!

  7. Avatar Budd Hodges says:

    Tom, Several years ago, we traveled to Ferndale to the founder of the race's store. We met and took a picture of the great Hobart Brown. There's a great museum 0f past entries in Eureka.

  8. Avatar Sheila Barnes says:

    I remember being a spectator at the finish of this amazing race/spectacle during my college years at Humboldt State – some 38 or so years ago. I need to put this on my list of things to do next year. Thanks for bringing back fond memories!

  9. Avatar `AJacoby says:

    Everytime I read, hear, talk about this race, I declare, "NEXT YEAR I'M GOING TO GO . . . " then promptly forget about it. Maybe NEXT year . . . . who knows, if I start planning NOW I'm might just get it done! Tom, please remind us about April of next year.


    p.s. anyone who is a friend of Guy Noir can't be all bad . . .

  10. Avatar c says:

    Do they still have the chalk art on the sidewalk around the square in Arcata? There is often some very amazing artwork there….

  11. Avatar Bob McCall says:

    Yes they do. It is called Pastels on the Plaza and it happens in October. It is just one of several events Arcata has every year. Others are the Oyster Festival, North County Fair and the Farmer's Market every Saturday is hard to beat. Here is the info on the Pastels on the Plaza: