UPDATE: Oh man; I have pain. Ursa Vehicularis did great, moving like a tank through water, sand, and land. The kids are allright, and their infectious spirit -- plus maybe the big bear balls hanging from the rear of the sculpture -- earned them the coveted rider's choice awards. I'm totally beat, but totally happy to have been able to take part.
I've been participating in the Kinetic Grand Championship, helping out my man Mark's Pacific Coast high school team. It's basically a three-day, 42-mile, human-powered machine/sculpture race covering roads, sand, and a section in Humboldt Bay. The motto: For The Glory.
I'm having a lot of fun with it.
There's a lot of media on a blog KHUM set up. It's a pretty well-attended event, and the number of people (me included) with little digicams assures there will be plenty of citizen coverage.
The story for us is rivalry with the Six Rivers Charter School team, featured here. Our Bear got out to an early lead -- they had some mechanical issues -- but they caught up with some well-timed bending of the rules. Cheating and sabotage are part of the tradition, so you can't really begrudge them, though they were a little brazen about it. "Am I the only one who gives a shit about the rules!"
We overtook them on the final downhill home-stretch, though, so all is well. For today.
Tomorrow starts off with the water section, where the wheels will get paddles attached and pontoons will be inflated. Every team has their own strategy for floatability, but it's well-known that this is the leg that most unsparingly separates the wheat from the chaff. I'll probably have to miss that part and catch up later in the afternoon, but I'll bring word of the final outcome for sure.