McKinleyville High School’s “Mackanics” rides into the Kinetic Grand Championship


McKinleyville High School is one of four young teams competing in the Kinetic Grand Championship and for the glory.

The Memorial Day weekend tradition tests the mettle of local artists and creatives in a three-day race across greater Humboldt.

Teams create sculptures that must travel through the streets of Arcata, the dunes of Samoa, and the waters of Humboldt Bay before ending in Ferndale.

The team leader of the “Mackanics” was inspired by previous races.

“Last two years, I volunteered as a ground pounder in the kinetic sculpture race like the main volunteers for the race,” team leader Aiden Tims said. “I thought the racing was a lot of fun and I found out that Arcata [High School] had a team, so I wanted to start a team at our school.”

Assembling the team took some time. Team member Blaze Moore joined the team as a break from the mundane with some parental guidance.

“My parents always wanted to do it, so when I heard we had a club at school, they were like ‘you should join it’ and I didn’t have anything to do at lunch so I joined it,” Moore said.

The sculpture, said to be a clown car, is under lock and key with their bribe being the only hint so far.

The final version will be revealed on the weekend of the race. The “Mackanics” held a fundraiser and RWE Offshore Wind offered to sponsor them.

A 3D model is being used to plan out the build as the team combines their talents to make it come to life.

“There’s like the building the actual bike and putting it together and then the art we used like chicken wire and spray foam to build our art,” Tims said. “There’s other stuff that goes into like planning who’s going to be where during the race and meals for camping.”

The experience is teaching team members about aspects they may have never thought about before.

“I’ve learned a lot about bikes and stuff. My dad knew a little bit but never really go into it,” Moore said. “I’ve learned a decent bit by bikes about the race in general. I didn’t know too much about it, but now I kind of have to know a whole bunch.”

As for what it will look like? Well, all they would show us is this trailer. You’ll have to see the final results on Memorial Day weekend.

The Kinetic Grand Championships are on May 25th through Memorial Day, May 27th.