Exclusive Photos: Six Men Riding Octomom

Normally I avoid tabloid gossip, but when Octomom rides into town in the company of six burly men, I must deliver.

Photo of the sculpture mounted on the top of the Octomom kinetic sculpture. A woman's giant head is show with blue octopus tentacles spreading outward underneath. The end of each tentacle is grasping a naked baby doll.

A close-up of baby dolls in the clutches of the Octomom sculpture.

Photo of the Octomom sculpture being ridden down a city street with four male riders underneath the head and two riding on the backside.

Welcome to the 40th annual Kinetic Grand Championship where fantastic street-legal human-powered sculptures are pedaled and paddled over roads, dirt, mud, hills, beaches, sand dunes and water in a three day 42-mile challenge of endurance and the human spirit.

This Octomom sculpture is not related to the real Octomom. It’s the work of Brian Slayton, aka the Funguy, in the Kinetic Lab in Arcata, Calif. In grand tradition, Octomom broke down a few blocks from the start of the race (shown below) as a bike chain snapped. Also in grand tradition, other racers routinely stopped to ask if they could help. This is one race that isn’t about winning. It’s “for the glory.”

Photo of the Octomom sculpture broken down with a bunch of men in white lab coats trying to figure out why the sculpture came to a halt.

Another close-up of a baby doll held by a tentacle.

My 4-year-old daughter’s favorite sculpture (below), “Art of the People,” was made by students at Eureka High School. It’s a pure white racer with Sharpie pens attached. As you can see, before the race began spectators were encouraged to add their own art.
Photo of my daughter drawing a picture on the side of a white kinetic sculpture that is littered with drawings made by other spectators.

My favorite racer (below) was a guy mounted high atop some extra wide (racing?) car tires. He’s appropriately dressed in an odd costume featuring an animal mane that falls well past his feet. Mostly though it was amusing and/or inspiring to see him the next day treading water in our local bay at an incredibly slow pace. The blue bag seen in the photo wraps around and inflates to provide buoyancy while the paddle at the front provides locomotion.

Photo of a man riding a kinetic sculpture on a frame placing him high above the four extra fat racing car tires mounted on the sculpture's base.

Meanwhile, this guy (below) on a skateboard asks, What Would Jesus Do? Apparently Jesus would ride a skateboard because human-powered sculptures composed mostly of bicycle parts are pollution death machines.

Photo of a man on a skateboard holding a cardboard sign that reads: Please stop driving pollution death machines.


Oh, did I mention that there was a fire-breathing dragon? ‘Tis the work of Duane Flatmo.

“We’re adults having fun so kids will want to get older.” — Glorious Founder Hobart Brown.


2 Responses to “Exclusive Photos: Six Men Riding Octomom”

  1. F. says:

    I thought “Art of the people” was creative. All of the entries (even the skateboard one were fascinating). I didn’t like OctoMom so much. To me the octoplet birth is a miracle and the idea of seeing their plastic ‘representatives’ wrapped in tentacles was wrong. The kids are going to have hard enough lives without finding pics like the on the internet when they old enough to search.

    June 3rd, 2009 at 4:18 pm

  2. Kidlet says:

    Ok, now that’s hilarious.
    If you’re interested in unique and creative bicycles you should check out bikeforest.com

    The owner not only builds and rides these things (couch bike, treadmill bike, rhodes car among many others he’s collected) but he rents them out as well in case any of you live in Southern Ontario.

    June 10th, 2009 at 5:17 pm

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