Sculptures on wheels coming to Tri-Lakes area

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Ron Heard can neither confirm nor deny the existence of a kinetic sculpture designed and constructed by the Monument Hill Kiwanis Club. But he is saying that if one such super secret model existed - which it more than likely does at an unnamed location in the Tri-Lakes area - it would be an exceptional vehicle.

“This test model is in full stealth mode in the photos,” Heard said. “The super secret skin is not visible; kind of like Harry Potter's invisibility cloak to the naked eye.”

Heard, a Palmer Lake resident and Kiwanis club member, has been working with several other area folks on the design and build of a human powered vehicle that is custom built for the upcoming Kinetic Sculpture and Street Fair, sponsored by the Tri-Lakes Chamber of Commerce. The event takes place Saturday, Oct. 5 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

“Our kinetic sculpture is a replica of a 1941 U.S. Army scout car,” Heard said. “And it's built for off-road.”

The four person vehicle is one of several that will take part in the 7-mile race that will start and end in Monument. The majority of the derby will be run on the Santa Fe Trail. Racers will go around Palmer Lake (or what was once Palmer Lake) and return to the starting point.

“We're getting a lot of phone calls every day from people who want more information,” said Julie Matalus, office manager for the Tri-Lakes Chamber of Commerce and one of the organizers of the event. “We anticipate there will be a lot of people at the start and a few people lining the course.”

The Chamber is compensating for the area's lack of water by introducing super soakers street wear for a small fee. Children of all ages are invited to bring their super soakers and water and soak the contestants as they ride.

“This should be a really fun event,” Matalus said.

It has long been a dream of the Chamber to see the streets of Monument and Palmer Lake filled with the amphibious-type vehicles. The street fair was originally scheduled for Labor Day, Sept. 2. It was moved to the first Saturday in October in order to allow folks more time to build their kinetic sculptures.

Heard and his crew (most are ages 70 and over) have been working on their vehicle for six months. Jerry Pokorny is the chief engineer.

“Jerry's set land speed records on his motorcycle at Bonneville,” Heard said. “He's really overqualified for this race.

Heard said that he and his team are ready to take on all comers.

“With age and wisdom is the belief that we can take on anybody on the planet,” Heard said with a smile. “We're putting the smack down on anybody else who would dare to show up that day.”

The derby encourages talent and creativity. The kinetic sculptures can be elaborate (like the Kiwanis vehicle) or as simple as two bikes with a bar between them.

“The event seems like more fun than decent people should be allowed to have,” Heard said.

According to the Chamber, the concept of kinetic sculpture racing originated in Ferndale, Calif., in 1969 when local sculptor Hobart Brown “improved” the appearance of his son's tricycle by welding on two additional wheels and other embellishments. Seeing this “Pentacycle,” fellow artist Jack Mays challenged him to a race.

Others later joined in creating a field of 12 machines that inaugurated the first race down Ferndale's Main Street during the town's annual art festival.

If you would like more information, please call the Tri-Lakes Chamber of Commerce at 719-481-3282 or email at executivedirector@trilakeschamber.com.