BOULDER, Colo. –

The fate of this year’s planned Kinetics event — which organizers hope will happen on Boulder’s bike paths — is still up in the air, following a meeting between supporters and city officials Wednesday.

The annual Kinetic Sculpture Challenge event at Boulder Reservoir ended last year after 28 seasons, following a decision by KBCO to pull its sponsorship. Since then, small local groups have tried to keep the event alive. Last year, organizers held a scaled-down, land-based celebration in the parking lot of the Twenty Ninth Street mall.

This year, Kinetics-backers plan to stay on dry land. But in the tradition of the water-based craft that participants once powered across the reservoir, organizers hope the moving, people-powered craft can be piloted along the Boulder Creek Path.

They’d like to host a June 13 festival and parade, starting near Arapahoe Avenue and Cherryvale Road and finishing at 32nd and Walnut streets.

But city officials are worried about how event planners intend to avoid rendering the bike paths inaccessible to bicyclists and pedestrians. Wednesday’s meeting “raised more questions than it answered,” said Paul Bousquet, a spokesman for the city’s Parks and Recreation Department.

Officials who serve on a city “event committee” want to know, for example, “how will you limit the width of the craft to accommodate two-way traffic, and to allow passing on the bike path if this were to use the bike paths,” Bousquet said.

Jonathan Sterner, who represented event planners during Wednesday’s meeting, said some of the city’s questions were a bit overwhelming.

For example, he said, a police representative at the meeting was concerned that the bike path tour is scheduled to end at Twisted Pine Brewery.

“An alcohol-free event should not end at a brewery,” Sterner explained in an e-mail to supporters after the meeting. “There is a concern about consumption of alcohol at the brewery and returning to the bike path or driving from the event.”

But, he said, his group is committed to doing whatever’s necessary to make sure it happens. Organizers and city officials plan to meet again in the next few weeks to try to iron out the questions that have come up so far.

“I told them, ‘You guys have all the experience; We have very little experience,'” he said. “We’re essentially Kineticists with no place to go. We’re trying to create an event with no experience on how to create events. If you were to do this, how would you do it?”

Contact Camera Staff Writer Ryan Morgan at 303-473-1333 or

Archived comments

“If you were to do this, how would you do it?”

Give it up …. it’s gone the way of the Mall Crawl.


4/2/2009 1:06:53 AM

Either hold it at the Reservoir or accept that it’s dead. As lafayetteeast said, give it up!


4/2/2009 5:47:54 AM

Time to leave Boulder. It’s a waste of time negotiating with the City. Take it to Nederland, Lyons, or Golden–they’d all probably welcome an event that brings tourists.

4/2/2009 6:59:33 AM

Yes, stop trying to negotiate with the City of Boulder. They are jerks.

Here is an event that use to happen and then the City got its hands on it and now it is gone too.

There use to be these criterium races every spring time over at the Stazio Softball fields. Well, a few seasons back, the City of Boulder thought maybe it might be cool to get involved and wanted to start the roll as major sponsor. Well, with their deceitful plan, the City got its hands on the race, the original race director got fed up with their actions. The City of Boulder then decided that they wanted to charge more money for the original director to use the area. The amount was way higher than it really needed to be. Being that the cost was too high, the Stazio Criterium races are now just history because the City of Boulder doesn’t want events in its area or if they do, they certainly like to make it practically impossible to break even. The only race I am seeing now that is surviving and this must be because the BolderBoulder is giving free blow jobs or something to City Council members. All other events in this town are either leaving or eventually will because they cannot pay the high fees that the City of Boulder charges. Don’t let them continue this.


4/2/2009 8:08:50 AM

Advice to Kineticists–just do it and ask for forgiveness later. Negotiating with the city is not going to get you anywhere. Keep Boulder Weird!


4/2/2009 9:47:44 AM

If the bike path has too much traffic why not have in some unpopulated area where there are no pedestrians…like The 29th Street Mall?

4/2/2009 11:52:08 AM

“It’s not pinin,’ it’s passed on! This event is no more! It has ceased to be! It’s expired and gone to meet its maker! This is a late event! It’s a stiff! Bereft of life, it rests in peace! If you hadn’t attempt to attach it to the Boulder psyche it would be pushing up the daisies! Its mechanical processes are of interest only to historians! It’s hopped the mud! It’s shuffled off this mortal coil! It’s run down the curtain and joined the choir invisible! This…. is an EX-EVENT!

4/2/2009 12:23:18 PM

Interesting comments from the crowd.Why do it?Why NOT???It is the 30th year for the event, and yep, maybe it will have to change a bit to survive and maybe it should be a series of events and yes maybe it should move on to somewhere else, but this being Boulder’s 150th year it seems like having the 30th annual event somewhere in Boulder is appropriate.Is it dead?Not until they pry my cold dead hands from the steering apparatus!!!

4/4/2009 11:06:49 PM