Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
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Ball Bearing SideSlides

Roll 'em!
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Simply put, this is a sidewalk consisting of many thousands of lubricated ball bearings inserted into sockets in the sidewalk. You are given a small board, sort of like the type that they give you for waterslide rides, with a rubber underside. Take a running leap and go downhill on the ball bearing sidewalk.

The sidewalk is specially designed so that the sides are raised up to prevent someone from accidentlly going over the side, and is divided into two lanes, to prevent head-on collisions. Motive power between entry and exit stops is much like a roller coaster. The sidewalk is in the shape of a sine wave, and for the uphill, the ball bearings are rotating to provide you with uphill motion. If you are going uphill with your residual speed, and are traveling faster than the motorized ball bearings, they act like free spinning bearings. Therefore, when you start going back uphill, you will slow down a bit, but will not fall below a certain speed.

To make maintenance easier, this entire thing will be enclosed in an air conditioned, Plexiglass tube.

Not to worry about fallin off your board, either. You will simply slide along without harm from friction until you can manuever yourself back to your board.

DesertFox, Jul 31 2005


       What if my inner ear infection make me fall constantly? If I lie down, how will I see my exit? If I don't want a board, will I have to pay for the massage I get from the balls?   

       And can the bearings be multi-colored glass marbles that flash in patterns to Disco music?
moPuddin, Jul 31 2005

       Well, your ear infection wont matter as you are lying down, and there are big signs like on a highway to direct you. Massage? Interesting question. I really don't know.   

       As for your last question, I don't see why not.   

       I am begginning to envision this as a large highway car alternative.
DesertFox, Jul 31 2005

       Half has it right--this is just a conveyor system. Every factory worker who has ridden a sheet of cardboard down a roller track can tell you how to make this from presently-available technology. You can even get washdown bearings and food-grade lubricants. Mmmm--food-grade lubricant.
baconbrain, Aug 01 2005

       I hate to be pedantic but wouldn't they then be SideRolls?   

       The general flow of the people is in one directional, but this allows passing. Rollers force you to go in a straight line, and you cant move to the side. Ball bearings do this.   

       As for getting across to the other side, take an exit, like a highway.   

       And the bearings are lubricated to spin freely, but not so much that rubber can't grip it.   

       Ah and 2fry's, you are absolutely correct! I shall change it! Though I feel SideSlides sounds better. :)
DesertFox, Aug 01 2005

       Ball bearings allow passing? What does one push against to move left-right? A roller track does allows some side-to-side movement during travel, probably adequate for passing, but still requires something to push off from.   

       If the rubber underside of the board has small grooves in it, running lengthwise, it might hold a line on the ball-bearings. It might turn if it can be flexed side-to-side.
baconbrain, Aug 01 2005

       Lean. Press your hand down. A little drag goes a long way.
DesertFox, Aug 01 2005

       Think highway cloverleaf.   

       Isnt a highway a conveyer system, with the cars as the motive power? Isnt sidewalk a conveyer system with the pedestrians as motive power? In fact, aren't all systems of travel some how conveyor systems?   

       But yes, I see what you are saying :)
DesertFox, Aug 01 2005

       I would use my afro and the wind to change direction.
moPuddin, Aug 03 2005

       Ever wake board? Put your hand down while your riding a thin sheet of water and you spin.... it seems like your device would allow for alot of spinning and chaos. But that never stopped me from doing anything. What would keep you facing your desired direction?...I hope no one spits out any gum either.   

       I also wouldnt want to fall off my carpet onto lubricated ball bearings. Cool idea though.
KaGe2021, Aug 03 2005

       you could install LEDs on the ceiling of the tube that flash a message indicating where you are in the tube system. Also, have a button or foot pedal with which you can indicate where you want to turn. such a system could be elctronic or manual.
Bighongry, Sep 28 2007


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