Sledding in Naperville

Once upon a time, lots of snow fell from the sky. We thought sledding would be a fine idea, but neither we nor the local shops had any sleds. Pete decided this should not get in the way of our sledding, and he designed and built a fancy steerable sled out of PVC pipes (and a tarp).

We first tried it in the back yard, but the hill wasn't steep enough, even after we packed down the snow.

I decided the tarp would work just as well on its own.

We all went sledding on a proper hill, and quickly found that the sled worked better without the tarp. We had up to three people at a time on it, often with one person standing on the back. I didn't bring my camera though, since I wanted to focus on the sledding and not on taking pictures. It was great fun. Adam won the Crazy Fool award for leaping onto a tarp and going down (most of) the hill standing up.

After the first day of sledding, Pete filed down some of the leading edges on the connectors so the runners would cause less drag.

Pete proudly poses with the sled, then we hit the hill once again.

mpeg (717kB) Pete & Toni zoom by.
mpeg (484kB) Pete & Toni zoom by again.
mpeg (826kB) Sled-cam, filmed by me.
mpeg (980kB) Sled-cam, filmed by Pete, who was standing on the back runners.

I'd just ridden over a mess of snow debris, and as I pulled out the sled, it fell into a crazy position. We thought it would look funny if I added my own catastrophic pose.

mpeg (651kB) Pete breaks the sled.

I encouraged Pete to try the same exciting bumpy route. He did, and the sled broke. The sled was fine over more reasonable terrain, but one of the extreme bumps in this field o' chunks caused the runners to bend too much and one snapped off. You can see it happen in the movie I recorded, in frames 45 through 55. I made those frames a little clearer in the mpeg so you can see it better.