Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Backyard roller coasters

Oklahoma resident Jeremy Reid has a website showcasing the Oklahoma Land Run, his backyard roller coaster. An engineering student who began the project in 1998, he documented the construction and testing with lots of great photography and video, and more footage of the finished ride can be seen here. The coaster is a beauty to behold and it looks like loads of fun. I have seen a few such projects over the years but nothing on this scale and never a full circuit woodie. Special thanks to Jeremy for allowing me to share his photos here.

Other homebrew coasters I've seen don't look quite as well thought out. As much as I crave the adrenaline rush, I'm not that keen on adding the risk of genuine bodily harm to my roller coaster experience. But some folks are happy to throw caution to the wind, and God bless 'em. Some of my favorite examples:

PVC pipe, rollerblade wheels, and no restraints whatsoever? Hop on, kids! (location unknown)

Blue Flash by John Ivers (Indiana)

So sweet it's almost worth the stitches! (location unknown)

Built by boy scouts (Denmark)

Timber: under construction (upstate New York)

Finally, a humorous guide for the intrepid DIYer.