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Bicycles Gone Wrong,
or Kinetic Sculpture?

Hobart Brown's Ten Simple Racing Rules

1.00 Sculptures must be people-powered! No pulling, pushing, paddling or any other propulsive method is allowed except by Official Pit Crew and Pilots. Stored energy is allowed for non-propulsive purposes only. It is legal to get assistance from water, wind, sun, gravity and friendly extraterrestrials (if first introduced to the Judges prior to the race).
1b Each Sculpture must measure no more than 8 feet wide, and no more than 14 feet high while on the road or highway.
1.03C Your Sculpture must not be inherently dangerous to yourself or to anyone else in the world. Projectiles, such as arrows, anchors and grappling hooks fall into this category and are disallowed.
1d Your Two Official Sculpture License Number Plates must be displayed on both sides of your vehicle so as to be visible to Check-Point Officials and Exalted Timer-Persons. The name and number of your vehicle should also be visible for the benefit of Spectators, TV Crews and your own vanity.

2.00 All special terrain equipment must be on board at all times when traveling on course. Example: Flotation Equipment, Special Tires.
2.01a All Sculptures must have overnight equipment (as well as other payload) on board when traveling on course. This includes:
- One Pilot-sized sleeping bag (correctly sized to fit his or her own body) per Pilot.
- One toothbrush per Pilot.
- One copy of the previous year's Kinetic Sculpture Race Rules Book protected in a transparent plastic bag.
- Sun Screen is strongly suggested. (So is mosquito repellent, but that is another story!)
- Since mothers are discouraged from running alongside, racers must carry a comforting item of psychological luxury no smaller than a restaurant coffee cup at all times. An old security blanket (your "binkie" or whatever you called it!), a soft teddy bear or a sock doll will suffice. "Teddy bears" or an unreasonable facsimile thereof are highly recommended.
2B or not 2B Capt. Roberts Rules of High Order:
You may not start the race until you have passed Official Safety Inspection! Inspections will be handled by the CHP, Sheriff's Marine Posses, and/or the Kinetic Safety Check Committee, all of whom are rough, tough cookies! The following safety equipment must be on board at all times. One-hour penalty citations will be issued for lost equipment!
- Front light suitable for night driving, visible for 20 yards.
- Red tail light.
- Approved warning triangle, 12" X 12".
- USCG-approved life preservers, one per Pilot.
- Operable and functioning brakes.
- Water (1 quart per Pilot).
Container must be filled each day prior to start.
- Flare.
- Horn.
- Two-gallon pail.
- Compass (for navigation, not for drawing pretty circles!).
- Pre-identified hardened pint, i.e. a tow ring.
2C or not 2C MOM'S HIGH ANXIETY RULE: Make sure you can get out of your Sculpture in an emergency. Each Pilot must have a quick exit path. All Sculptures must pass a technical safety inspection, which will be conducted by the Humboldt County Sheriff's Marine Posse immediately prior to the first water crossing. Life Jackets will be worn while on the water!
2d All Law Enforcement orders must be followed.

3.00 Pit Crews must consist of Humans only. One Official Pit Crew person is allowed per each Official Pilot.
3.1 All Sculptures must follow the rules of the road, i.e. stop signs, speeding. A California Motor Vehicle Code Violation resulting in a citation issued by an official law enforcement agency also carries at least a one-hour penalty. Pilots and Co-Pilots under the age of 18 must wear an approved bicycle helmet on board at all times when racing on the course.
3.14159 DRIFT LAW: Drift limit of Humboldt Bay is to be set by the Sheriff's Marine Posse and will be announced and pointed out to the racers prior to the water entry. If you drift out of limits (as some of us often do), the Posse or the Coast Guard or someone will tow you back on course so as to not lose you to the high seas. A one-hour Drift-Tow Penalty will be imposed.
3.2 ROLL IN/ROLL OUT RULE: Sculptures must be propelled unassisted into, through and out of each water terrain obstacle by the Pilots (on board throughout) in order to avoid a one-hour penalty. Pilots are responsible for avoiding this penalty by being observed exiting the water by Referees. Pilots must exit at the gate areas, as marked by flags and/or marked gates. Upon exiting water all wheels must be clear of the water to be a good exit/roll out.
3.4 A three-hour penalty will be awarded to Sculptures for not having each Pilot remain within spitting distance of the Sculpture on the second night. Spitting distance is the combined distance that each Pilot and Pit Crew member can spit a mouthful of water.

4.00 HONK AND PASS LAW: Those honked upon must yield right-of-way to faster moving vehicles (Sculptures) wishing to pass. It is not nice to hog the road.
4a During timed competition, no Relief Pilots will be allowed unless specifically authorized by the Race Judges. Pilots (and Barnacle Passengers, if any) must stay with their Sculpture and are not allowed to ride on Pit Crew vehicles while Sculpture is progressing on course.
4b Bubba's Boo-Boo Rule: No drafting of motor vehicles on land or sea to help! Three-hour penalty.
4c The race begins at the Arcata Plaza with a Le Mans Start. Pit Crews or Spectators are not to assist Pilots at the start. No pushing of Sculptures at all until 12:22 P.M.
4d Pit Crews will not follow directly behind Sculptures in motor vehicles.
4e There will be a seven-hour penalty for a bay tow (except under Rule 3.14159).
4f Harassment of Officials can result in a one-hour penalty or Banishment. Disgrace is liberally awarded in all such cases.
4X Pilots, Pit Crews and Officials will not involve themselves in incidents of kicking, biting, scratching or fisticuffs. Anyone engaging in such outrageous activities is not honored, but disgraced.

5.00 (Kept ready just in case we need another one!)

6.00 ARMAND'S ARM AND LEG LAW: To become an ACE and receive the title of Professor and other accolades, your Sculpture must be ridden by all of its Pilots at all times over the entire course. Therefore, at no time can your Sculpture be pushed, pulled, winched or otherwise propelled along the course by Pilots or Pit Crew or both, except in designated "Legal Push" areas. Your Sculpture may be moved sideways or backwards whether by Pilots or Pit Crew or both, in order to gain supposedly better conditions, but the Sculpture cannot be moved from the course. (Barnacle Passengers, if any, must stay seated during these ridiculous maneuvers!) Multiple Sculptures (articulated?) entered as one Sculpture must remain connected THROUGHOUT the race.
6.02b THE GARLIC POPE RULING: No gadgets, such as skis, snow shoes, boards, etc. attached to your feet will be considered part of your Sculpture.

7.00 THE CASE OF '79/'84 (The Razooly Corollary): All Sculptures must stay on course at all times. A first violation will result in a six-hour penalty and a series of Dirty Looks and Disgrace. A second violation may result in Banishment.
7-1/2 THE AGONY OF DEFEAT LAW: The No Towing Rule. A Sculpture must negotiate the course without assistance by any motorized vehicle. Receiving a tow suggests engineering improvements are required. Back to the old drawing board; you are out of the race and better luck next year! (Exceptions: See Rule 3.14159 and Rule 4e.)

8 or Drank: The consumption of alcoholic beverages or use of controlled substances by any Pilots or Pit Crew member while still on the course (from Start to Finish Lines each day) shall result in instant BANISHMENT. Pilots should realize that consumption of alcohol during the race is not nice, is unsightly in the eyes of Spectators who look up to the Kinetic Sculpture Race People with Awe and Wonderment, and is also against the law pertaining to all road-negotiating vehicles. Violation of this rule shall cause extreme measures to be taken by Strict Race Officials on all alleged violators. The same is true for finding any alcoholic beverages on or in a Sculpture ... or Pilot. Pilots must bear in mind that Banishment for violation of this rule is a betrayal of Kinetic Honor.

9.00 In case of sunshine, the race will be run in the sunshine.
9.01 MOM RULE: If a Pilot is pregnant or in labor, that Pilot may be excused for a reasonable length of time (an hour or so) without penalty. However, the Pilot must return with a glossy 8X10 color photo for publicity purposes. The baby may then be carried as a Passenger in the Barnacle Category for one leg of the course.

10.00 It is MANDATORY that all Sculpture Pilots, Pit Crew, Officials, Spectators, Law Enforcers, Communicators, Volunteers, Merchants and even innocent Bystanders put great effort into HAVING GREAT FUN for it is such Craziness as this that keeps us all Sane! If you insist on being a grumpy racer and not having fun, you may declare "diplomatic immunity" (since you are surely from another planet) and not be cited by overly excited Officials for that infraction, but we reserve the right to adjudicate any such declaration.

APPLETON'S LAW Exercise the utmost self-restraint. Rum and other powerful spirits should not be consumed by Pilots or Pit Crews during the race, as this would be unseemly and falls beneath the standards of behavior expected of those whose station in life is that of Intrepid Competitor in the World Championship People-Powered, All Terrain Kinetic Sculpture Race (see Rule Number 8). Remember that drinking while piloting is also cause for arrest!

No Canned, Loud Music is allowed at Camp Cavanaugh! No Fireworks at Camp Cavanaugh! Camp fires are to be contained in pits no larger than 3 feet in diameter and must be completely extinguished before leaving your area. Guess why the rules specify a 2 gallon pail as required equipment (see Rule 2b or not 2b).

ALY'S VERY, VERY, VERY LATE LAW The Finish Line will close at 6:32 p.m. on the first day. This means the course is now closed. The Eureka Police Department wants us off the streets after dark. If you arrive at the Finish Line after closing time, you will receive a midnight time as if you had arrived at 11:59 p.m. ACE status will be lost for arrival after the closure of any Finish Line. The estimated closing time for the other days are as follows:

Day 2 (Camp Cavanaugh): about 7:07 p.m.
Day 3 (Ferndale): about 4:59 p.m.

THE INEVITABLE EVENTUALITY RULE In the event the Race Course must be altered while the race is in progress, Diverted Sculptures will have added to their diverted course elapsed time -- the fastest elapsed time recorded on the original course. (This may be a POSITIVE or NEGATIVE time!) If the detour is essentially the same as the closed route, then let's forget the whole thing! In event of course changes, course closures or difficult timing problems, you must obey all alternative rules, timing and course changes set into motion by such an undesirable cause for such case. BARNACLE BONUS For "optional" collection of added valuable advantages (usually a time bonus), non-powering humans [ages 18-100 (under 18 requires a waiver) with a minimum weight per "Passenger" of 93 pounds] can be carried aboard the sculpture on a specially designed "Seat" throughout the entire course. Passengers may not be exchanged and must register. Barnacle Passengers may not in any way assist in the movement or propulsion of the Sculpture and must stay seated while "clocked in" on the course. The Barnacle Passenger may direct and encourage the Pilots by yelling and whipping, but must refrain from using really bad, ugly words.

Official Spectator Rules of Conduct
It is indeed a privilege to be a Spectator during the Great Arcata to Ferndale Kinetic Sculpture Race! As a Spectator, you have the responsibility to contribute to the Grandeur and Glory of the Great Race. To aid you in fulfilling your duties during this momentous event, the following suggestions as to equipment and clothing have been prepared, along with 10 simple Spectator Rules to be carefully observed during the Great Race.

1. Hands, equipped with white gloves, should be waved vigorously over head whenever viewing Kinetic Racers, or when on camera.
2. Tall spectators must take care to stand in the back row when witnessing great events. On no account should Spectators throw their bodies in the path of oncoming Sculptures.
3. Cardboard Grin must be worn at all times when personal misery or state of mind interferes with maintaining a normal, happy smile.
4. Be sure to remove lens cap from camera before serious picture taking.
5. Eat a good breakfast each morning of Race so as to have adequate stamina for the day's rigorous events.
6. Littering, if it fits your character, is okay. However, see Rule #10.
7. Refrain from pushing or otherwise assisting Sculptures while Race Officials are watching.
8. Refrain from inserting fingers in nose while on camera.
9. Do not tie up Porta-Potties in order to apply makeup or to eat lunch to escape inclement weather.
10. At the end of each day's activities, Spectators must pick up all litter, depositing same in suitable receptacle. Kinetic Sculpture Race Officials, Racers and Spectators are very tidy people.

Spectator's Equipment List:
1. Megaphone to be used for cheering intrepid racers on to Glory.
2. Camera for recording these historic events.
3. Periscope for observing competition over the heads of intervening bystanders.
4. Folding chair for resting during this three-day event and for standing on to see better over crowds.
5. Small American or other Friendly Nation Flag to be waved vigorously during dramatic events and when being photographed by media.
6. Nutritious and Yummy Bag Lunch, preferably packed by a local merchant.
7. Portable radio or TV, always tuned to race broadcasts.
8. Cardboard Grin, to be worn whenever personal misery prevents smiling.
9. Copy of Official Spectator Kit, which includes your telescope and eyeshade!
10. Flashlight for observing Sculptures arriving at the Finish Line after dark.
11. Umbrella. (No comments needed!)

-- Courtesy of Hobart Brown, Our Glorious Founder

The Lampi Limo was built in 1986 by Michael Lampi in Bellevue, Washington.  It has 60 speeds and weighs about 88 pounds with flotation equipment and 50 pounds without.  The Limo is made of TIG welded 6061 1/8 inch aluminum tubing with a customized steel fork.  Hyperlink to an online exhibit of antique, modern and experimental bicycles hosted by the Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, California.
The Lampi Limo

Built in 1986 by Michael Lampi in Bellevue, Washington, the Lampi Limo has 60 speeds. It weighs about 88 pounds with flotation equipment and 50 pounds ready for road and mud bog travel. The Limo is made of TIG welded 6061 1/8 inch aluminum tubing with a customized steel fork. Each dual-tired wheel has 72 spokes, custom triple-flange hubs and aluminum rims. Propulsion in the water and on loose surfaces is by means of a removable self-centering track with 36 aluminum paddle vanes. Wheel covers reduce wind and water resistance, and the front wheel serves as a rudder. The pontoons consist of vinyl coated awning nylon, thermally bonded together. The canoe paddle has been a part of the Limo from the beginning. Originally it was used to provide steering in addition to reverse and emergency propulsion. Now, with the covered front wheel working as a rudder, the canoe paddle is rarely used. The Limo has participated in several Kinetic Sculpture Races in Port Townsend, Washington, where it took first place in 1995, and in the 1998 Arcata to Ferndale World Championship Kinetic Sculpture race, where it won the ACE award.

Kinetic Sculpture Racers, for some reason known only to them, have adopted a chicken as the symbol of their so-called sport.  This Oregon chicken honors the fertile Willamette Valley as an American granary for its historic production of wheat and hops, the racers' favorite fuels -- pasta and beer!

Kinetic Sculpture Racing is the brainchild -- some say nightmare -- of Hobart Brown, a Ferndale, California artist. In 1969, he rebuilt his son's tricycle into a "pentacycle." When his creation was mocked by local artists, he challenged them to a race down Ferndale's Main Street. Then-U.S. Representative Don Clausen was invited to test-drive the vehicle; his image wound up on the UPI wire and the rest, as they say, is cycling history.

Five handmade, human-powered works of art traveled a one-block course on Memorial Day in Ferndale, California, in 1969. Now, Kinetic Sculpture Racing is an international event celebrated in 11 cities from Perth, Australia to Poland. More races are rumored to be in the planning stages in England, Germany, South Africa and Japan.

May 25 - 27, 2002 marks the 34th running of the World Championship Kinetic Sculpture Race. The 38-mile route winds its way through sand, mud, water and roadways from Arcata to Eureka to Ferndale on Memorial Day Weekend in northern California.

Hyperlink to Corvallis Kinetic Sculpture Race.

Corvallis Kinetic Sculpture Racers like the Killer Tomato and Rex navigate 10 miles of city streets and bike trails, a 100-foot sand trap, 3,000 feet of pastureland, 100 feet of Benton County mud and two miles of the wild, Willamette River during July's annual da Vinci Days festival in the Oregon college town.

Hyperlink to The Rex Files at Port Townsend Kinetic Sculpture race 1999 by C. Allen Brown, Oct. 5, 1999 http://www.peak.org/~abrown.

Port Townsend photographer Andree Hurley followed the Luney Rover and other kinetic racers to produce her online slideshow.
Port Townsend photographer Andree Hurley followed the Luney Rover and other kinetic racers to produce her online
slideshow. The Golden Times Photography studio provides online scrapbooks from the 1999, 2000 and 2001 Port Townsend races.

Washington's Victorian Seaport will host its 20th Greater Port Townsend Bay Kinetic Sculpture Race October 5 - 6 at the north end of Puget Sound with race favorites like The Spirit of Muckle Flugga.

2002 Kinetic Sculpture Races

April 12-13, The Great Moonbuggy Race:
Huntsville, AL 9th
April 13, East Coast Championship:
Balitimore, MD 3rd
May 6 - 7, Boulder, CO 23rd
May 25 - 27, World Championship:
Ferndale, CA 34th
July 19 - 21, Corvallis, OR
da Vinci Days 10th
Sept. 25, Sacramento, CA 3rd
Oct. 5 - 6, Port Townsend, WA 20th
Oct 26, Ventura, CA 5th

Hyperlink to International Human Powered Vehicle Association.
© International Human Powered
Vehicle Assossiciation

The quest for speed is a natural part of the human condition. The International Human Powered Vehicle Association is the governing body for pedal power on land, at sea and in the air. The Ultra-Marathon Cycling Association tracks coast-to-coast records, 12- and 24-hour records and promotes distance events such as the Race Across America from Portland, Oregon to Gulf Breeze, Florida. Team Vail, winners of the 1998 Eco-Challenge, covered 2,983.2 miles, climbing 99,610 feet in 6 days 1 hour 17 minutes to win the 2001 race. The IHPVA sanctions events for human-powered vehicles that go beyond bicycling, including flight, submarines and the Decavitator, an 18.5-knot, pedal-powered hydrofoil. John Howard was first person to go over 150 miles an hour on a bicycle when he established a new bicycle speed record of 152.284 mph on Utah's Bonneville Salt Flats in 1985. The seemingly impossible speed record only held 11 years until Fred Rompelberg established the current speed record of 166.944 mph on October 3, 1995.

Next: X-Bikes

See 19th Century Bicycle News for a selected bibliography and historical resources online, or use the links to find other sites of interest.

Copyright © 2001  Dennis Cowals
All rights reserved.