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I wish I could fly...
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Have you ever watched Motocross (otherwise known as Insanity on Wheels)? I watch it occasionally on C5 in the wee small hours in the absence of any real TV, and I'm constantly amazed at the height those guys reach jumping from little mounds of dirt. Pure madness.

However... being a little stupid myself, I wouldn't mind giving it a go. Saying that, I'm not so stupid that I don't realise that this would result in instant death. I am, at best, an average rider.

With this in mind, I would like the opportunity to ride on a motocross circuit attached to rails. The rail, attached to the motorcycle, would guide the bike over the jumps. It would follow the route of the average racer (i.e. it would describe an arc over the dirt mounds). All the rider has to do is increase/decrease speed to suit, and the bike will follow the rail. The rail is as flexible as is safe, to ensure that the rider is not simply a passenger on a ride.

The point of the rail is to ensure that the bike lands in the correct place after a jump (and not straight into the upslope of the next mound, with face-breaking force).

In addition, the rider would be connected to a rail in the ceiling by wire, so in the event of any trouble during a jump they could release the bike and hang safely in the air until they were let down.

 — sambwiches, Apr 14 2003

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Sounds like a good theme park attraction.
 — bristolz, Apr 14 2003

 I wonder what could happen if the rider-determined speed does not match what the rail 'expects'. A rail guiding a bike through a parabola would describe a line traced at a particular average speed. If the rider was moving slower or faster than this speed, then the bike would not trace the rail properly.

 Too slow and the bike might not make it over the arc, and possibly hang in the air? If the rails are flexible enough, the bike would just fall early I guess.

 But too much speed is worse and potentially dangerous - the rail will yank the bike down to the ground harshly, possibly dislodging the rider.

I think you'd need to control the speed of the bikes too, at least to within a safe range for the rails.
 — waugsqueke, Apr 14 2003

Agreed. The rail should be hooked up to the engine to alter the speed on the approach to a jump, but allow maximum rider control on the rest of the track.
 — sambwiches, Apr 14 2003

You'll never get me on one of those things, but you can have my X-treme croissant.
 — snarfyguy, Apr 14 2003

Aw, come on [snarfy]. We could attach a sidecar. Do you not trust my riding skills? :)
 — sambwiches, Apr 14 2003

Motocross Instant Talent doesn't take a bowl of Wheaties... it takes onboard 3-D accelerometers and attitude adjusting thrusters. Hey in a world where we design inertia-kill antimissile defense systems, how hard can it be to lob Mr. Sambwiches safely over a few dirt hills? If you have money to spend... I'll take the contract. :)
 — Prof Manitou, Apr 14 2003

 @ dag - do I get a helmet?

@ mr. burns - I'd die on the first attempt without the rail :( Thrilling.
 — sambwiches, Apr 15 2003

 // Otherwise, it's just a roller coaster. //

*just* a roller coaster indeed. I'd do this before I'd get on a roller coaster (I hate 'em).
 — waugsqueke, Apr 15 2003

[Mr Burns] Wow!I want one
 — silverstormer, Apr 16 2003

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