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Bobsledding will never achieve widespread popularity until it can be done in your own climate controlled garage, with your stupid drunk buddies at your side egging you on. To this end, the Friends of Bobsledding Organization (FOBO) is proud to introduce the Bobsledmill.
Rather than a rubber track
like pedestrian treadmills, the Bobsledmill is more like a giant frozen hamster wheel. The bobsled rests on the inner part of the wheel, a U-shaped track of ice . Bobsledders begin on the side and rear of the sled, running and pushing to get it up to speed. The runners' traction starts the giant wheel turning. As the wheel achieves what would be a normal "take off" speed and the bobsledders jump into the sled, the wheel's own motor takes over and revs it up to faster and faster RPMs. At this point, the sled glides freely along the bottom inner surface of the wheel, and friction of the runners on the ice pulls the sled slightly to the back of the wheel. Pulled to the back of the wheel, the bobsled is now angled downwards and the sledders feel as though they are speeding down a hill. Once the wheel has revved up to a simulated 110+km/h, the wheel begins to pitch slightly to the left or right. Now the bobsled pilot must steer to keep the sled in the center of the track.
While FOBO has developed this machine to promote the future of the sport of bobsledding, our marketing people ask us to remind potential customers (people with garages) that it may also be used for luge, speed-skating, and sliding around on your bum while pushing a cooler of beer in front of you.
Not the same as this. See page 14.
[swimswim, Mar 22 2010]
I got my mascots all picked out.
[2 fries shy of a happy meal, Mar 24 2010]
||This is a stuningly good idea. I am stuned.[+]
||It would have to be a fairly big wheel to comfortably fit a bobsled in. Unless it was a special curved bobsled. [+]
||I think it can be a special curved bobsled. If it were not
special and not curved, but perfectly flat, the wheel would
have to be of unfinite radius (and even bigger diameter),
which would be expensive.
||//curved bobsled ... unfinite radius// I know! make one
short segment of the inside of the wheel flat, rather than
curved (i.e. a chord), just long enough to accommodate the
bobsled -- and then disable the spinning. The same effect is
achieved (bobsled sits motionless in the garage) but with a
finite-sized wheel and standard linear bobsled.
||I believe bobsleds have some play in their runners to accomadate variations in track pitch. I also believe the runners are replacable as they wear and get damaged easily.
If the play alone is not enough, a runner set with some curve and or elevation built in should be simple enough to install.
||Still not sure this would fit in a garage, a two man sled is something like 2.5 meters long, to give this a decent run, you're going to need a large, although not absurd diameter. Using that and a maximum front runner angle of attack of 10 degrees some quick sketching in CAD produces a minimum radius in the range of 15 meters. While this is big, it's not out of the range of possibility for either gyms or amusement parks. A 30 degree angle of attack allows you to drop down to 5 meters, but that's probably pushing the extreme limit of what could be ridden, as the difference between the sitting slope and the apparent sliding slope becomes to great.
||Edit: garages and/or hangars