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Baltimore Kinetic Sculpture Race
2011 Race Report: Champion PLATYPUS

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Saturday 7 May 2011

With more sculptures than ever before, more spectators than ever before, and more volunteers than ever before, this was a great race! With 33 sculptures from 26 teams, there were bound to be curious coincidences: this year we had two teams of bees and two teams of cats.

Thanks to a dedicated corps of volunteers and hard work by the staff of the American Visionary Art Museum, 2011 also made major advances coordinating and managing this extraordinarily complex and chaotic event through 15 miles in 11 neighborhoods over 7 hours.

Click the “Next Page >” button to go to the next team, or select any of the list of teams at the bottom of the page.

To see others’ coverage of the race, or to tell others of your race experiences, be sure to check out the Kinetic Forum.

The Champion: PLATYPUS

David Hess’ magnificient PLATYPUS (Personal Long-range All-Terrain Yacht Proven Un-Safe) finally received the 2011 Grand Mediocre East Coast Championship trophy for his seventh year in the race. Fully loaded with his eight pedalling pilots, plus one barnacle steering and an optional barnacle aloft, Pokey weighs roughly two tons, yet is propelled along the 15-mile racecourse entirely by those eight pedallers.

This year, the PLATYPUS sported a Scottish theme, with tam o'shanters and kilts.

On the water, PLATYPUS switched to paddlewheel drive and cruised magnificiently on their pontoons.

Pokey has never entered the ACE level of competition, but instead demonstrates engineering prowess through sheer capability. When Pokey last year encountered the mud—the most difficult in east-cost Kinetic history—Pokey’s pit crew sullied themselves heaving him through. They were prepared for mud that rough this year when the pilot leapt forward out of the steering seat and operated a hand-crank winch which would have pulled Pokey through the thickest mud.

This year’s mud wasn’t the viscous shoetrap it was last year, and seemed rather shorter, so Pokey had no difficulty pulling through.

As Champion of the East Coast 15-mile race, the PLATYPUS is eligible for the 42-mile World Kinetic Sculpture Championship over Memorial Day weekend in Humboldt County, California.

While each of Pokey’s pilots pedals an individual bicycle chassis, the chains combine their energy in a transmission from a Suzuki SUV. From that point, the drivetrain, wheels, and tires are all automotive components.

Captain Hess raises his hand triumphantly as the team receives its championship trophy—topped by gold-plated bicycle handlebars—at the awards ceremony.

All Pages At Once (huge!)

Next Page >
  1. Champion PLATYPUS
  2. Ankh-ers Away
  3. The Lobe Trotters
  4. Pussy Galore
  5. When Hell Freezes Over
  6. Go Ask Alice
  7. The Boxer Bee
  8. Jemicy’s Vechysvboat, Einherjar, Odin, Ve and Vidar, Buri, and Brunehilde
  9. Am-ish sin Caballo
  10. Claw Machine
  1. The V-8 Power Plants
  2. Itty Bitty Charm City
  3. Margot the Escargot
  4. Bee-Have
  5. Bob
  6. Idol 001
  7. Speed Racer
  8. Batmobile
  9. T-Wrecks Reformed
  10. Star Fisher
  11. The PolyGnomials
  1. The Kipplala
  2. The Firebreather
  3. Cat-amaran
  4. AVAM’s Fifi is a Lucky Dog, Bumpo, and Frog
  5. Kinetic Couch
  6. Thanks! Batala, Baltimore Police, and HMS Yellowbottom
  7. Volunteers
  8. Spectators
  9. The Team
5/24/2024 1:12:42 AM   1:11   2:   3:   4:   5:   6:1   7:   8:2   9:1   10:   11:   12:   13:   14:3   15:1   16:   17:1   18:1   19:1   20:   21:   22:   23:   24:   25:   26:   27:   28:   29:   30:   AllInOne:
The Baltimore Kinetic Sculpture Race is sponsored and run by the American Visionary Art Museum. is the volunteer work of Tom Jones.
If you have suggestions about making this site better, or questions, e-mail Tom at