Human powered art


Day 13: Timberhill to Airport Road to Crystal Lake Boat Launch

I timed my ride today to loop around the farmland south of Corvallis and to end at the site of the Kinetic Sculpture float launch.  The Kinetic Sculpture Race is part of the annual DaVinci Days, a celebration of art and science.  Kinetic Sculptures are elaborate mechanical artistic feats.  Powered by extended bicycle gearing with anywhere from one to ten pedalers, these human powered artistic creations participate in a road race, sand pit, mud pit and then a float race down the Willamette River.

I rolled down the drive to the boat launch to find a crowd of hundreds cheering each sculpture as it rolled down the boat ramp and into the fast moving river.  Pontoons are added to help, but some the vehicles clearly are more road worthy than sea worthy.  The crowd gasps as the most recently launched sculpture lilts heavily to the right, then capsizes completely upside down.  Cheers as the pilots emerge, soaked but safe.

I hop back on my ride and head to the north boat launch.  All along the riverfront families are out to watch the race, to enjoy the beautiful day, to pass another lazy summer Sunday.  I catch some pictures of emerging sculptures, impressive testaments to human creativity and the passion for pedaling.

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