The Great Handcar Regatta of 2009

OK, it’s official. For the first time since relocating my base of operations to the southern hemisphere, I’m homesick:

Right now just about all of my talented fabricator/maker/builder chums back in California are gearing up (hurr hurr) for the second annual Santa Rosa Handcar Regatta, which takes place Sept 27th. That’s exactly a week from now. From the Handcar Regatta’s “Philosophy” page:

The railcar races at the center of the Regatta highlights Innovation and Human-Powered Ingenuity to devise cheaper, viable, and hitherto undreamed of methods for bizarre transport beyond the standard notions of today. Additionally, commuter rail transport is highlighted in our era of rising fuel costs. Together with an emphasis on biking, the Regatta provides a platform for playfulness and sustainable concerns within the realm of human-powered alternative transportation.

Tinkerers, artists, and eccentrics both young and old are invited to participate in Artistic and Mechanical Innovation upon a playful and inspired mixture of fond remembrance for a stylized industrial railroad past remixed with progressive styles and technologies of today.

The elegantly feisty Hennepin Crawler, winner of the Erasmus P. Kitty Honorary Award at the 2008 Handcar Regatta.

If you live in the area and appreciate thoughtful, gonzo DIY fun on a massive scale, you will not want to miss this. Indie vendors, circus and dance performances, yummy foodstuffs, live music and multiple geekgasms await you. More info here. Have fun at the races, comrades.

8 Responses to “The Great Handcar Regatta of 2009”

  1. Tequila Says:

    All I can say is WOW…all of that is just plain amazing. Very cool stuff and that handcar at the bottom makes me wish vehicles didn’t get so painfully boring. I want to ride around in THAT!

  2. Nadya Says:


  3. Mer Says:

    Nadya, you gotta go. Make sure you get a ride squared away!

    T, I had the great honor of riding around atop the Hennepin Crawler at Maker Faire this year. (Giddy air kisses to Choklit & Stache in case they’re reading!) It was SO much fun.

  4. Stache Says:

    Mer! There you are! Choklit and I hope all is well in your new home, even if we are saddened by your departure.

    Your post made me wistful about fun times at Maker Faire and the joy of pedaling happily atop the Crawler as you played a lit’l ditty on your Stroh horn violin.

    We’ll miss you and your Penny Farthing at this year’s Great Handcar Regatta (look for pictures of me on my newly fabricated “Mini-Penny”).

    I’m glad to hear my favorite photaag, Nightshade, will be on hand to cover our event for my favorite magazine! We are want for nothing now except the certainty of “multiple geekasms”!

  5. choklit Says:

    Huzzah! We are beside ourselves with excitement… and so sad you won’t be there, Mer. But Nadya, we’d be ever so pleased if you would join us to represent the Coilhouse trifecta.

    If any attendees need costume inspiration, I wrote an article for the Regatta Web site with pictures and links aplenty.

    See you there!

  6. Nick Says:

    Ha! I hadn’t seen this video yet. That’s me running inside the Lumbering Contraption at about 0:52. What a great day! Sadly, the contraption will not be making it out to the regatta this year having been recently reborn as part of the Raygun Gothic Rocketship.

  7. Rory Says:

    On a somewhat (although admittedly not very) related note, it warms my heart to know that a Coilhouse blogger is currently residing on the very same island as me.

    The New Zealand pride that I now feel…

  8. Stache Says:

    Hi again Mer,

    Thought you might like to see the first working prototype of six planned “Mini Pennies (or possibly “Dandy Pennies” or maybe “Dandy Farthings”…):