Worth the Drive
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Wacky Roadsters: Kinetic Grand Championship

A Humboldt Bay favorite is gearin' up for gettin' weird.

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Wacky Roadsters: Kinetic Grand Championship

Tina Kerrigan Photography

So this happens every year in Humboldt County. Love it? You bet your favorite penguin-bedecked bike thingamabob you do. Make for the area over Memorial Day Weekend. (photo: Tina Kerrigan Photography)

NORMAL CARS EXIST: If you know anything about the kinetic wonderland that exists in the Arcata-Ferndale nexus of Humboldt County, you know that wacky, outlandish, odd, and wonderful vehicles pretty much rule the school. So it can be a tad discombobulating to head into the area and see actual cars, like, with run-of-the-mill fenders and license plates and four wheels -- four wheels, not eleven or seventeen! -- and a windshield and doors. You can think to yourself, "wait, this isn't the freak-flag-y land I know and love -- where are all of the whirligig-topped roadsters and toy-glued pedal cars?" Trust, they exist in the magical land of Humboldt, coming out in full force over one happy and high-jinks-ian weekend of the year. That weekend is Memorial Day, and the Kinetic Grand Championship will once again pedal, push, heave, coast, and lurch from Arcata to Ferndale over three deliriously delightful days.

PREPARE YOURSELF... for the "Triathlon of the Art World," a colorful run devoted to ingenuity, pluck, and slapdash bravado. The 42-miler involves bike power, but, nope, they're not straight-up cycles. They've been tricked out to the nth degree which means a) they're quite photographable and b) sometimes things don't always go as planned. But such is the way with kinetic sculptures, which have a lot of love put into them, even if they're not always road-worthy. Oh, did we say "road-worthy" there? The sculptures also enter the water during the Championship, meaning they have to float, not sink. Right? Simple enough. Sand, mondo inclines, and other challenges away.

CAMERA TIME, CAMERA PEOPLE: It's fun and it's colorful, as is the way with all things in the Universe Kinetic. Plus, Humboldt at the verrrry start of the summer season is a good place to be. Need some wacky? Yeah, you do. You don't have to race, but you should pick a sculpture to root for. Go for the weirdest one, we say, though that might be hard to choose.

Related Topics Ferndale, Arcata, Humboldt, kinetic
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