Kids should dream big, and Skyler is turning his vision into reality in the center of
"I'm trying," said Skyler, 16, who thinks he might want to be a roller-coaster engineer someday. He has been riding roller coasters when he can and taking note of every detail involved in the construction. Plus, he has been doing research. He knows of the most impressive rides like the Kinga Ka in
After researching, he went to work on his own idea with the help of his friend,
Already there is visible evidence of a thrill machine in the Cohen's quiet backyard. His parents are aware of what he is doing.
"They think it's crazy, but cool," he said.
The plan is to complete a track that dips down and then takes a sharp curve before heading back up. Once it goes up again, it will stop and slowly back down to a stop.
To support the structure, he has used reinforced beams braced in buckets of hardened cement. Getting the turn in the track was a challenge to create; he ended up bending PVC pipe with his bare hands.
"I love roller coasters and the adrenalin rush you get riding them. You can't get that in everyday life," said Skyler.
Riders will have to wait their turn for their adrenalin rush on this single-seat ride. But once operational, the thrill will be there on the first incline. He has already created the prototype seat and chosen wisely, using "up-stop" wheels that keep the roller coaster stable. According to Roller Coaster 101, "up-stop wheels are placed under the rail to prevent the vehicle from coming off the track over airtime hills." Obviously, a roller-coaster's wheels can make or break the ride.
"This will be safer than
He said the ride should hold a 260-pound person because his friend's father hung from the structure and it didn't crumble.
After purchasing the official wheels and some of the lumber, pipe and cement for part of the track, Skyler was met with the reality many construction companies experience in tough economic times -- cash flow. After all, it takes money for supplies, and Skyler and Dalton have already sunk more than
The project shouldn't be stalled for long. Skyler is mowing lawns to bring in some cash. When it's finally complete, he might just have to give up the lawn mowing business and charge admission for rides.
Years from now, when Skyler's an old man and a world renowned roller-coaster engineer, maybe he'll tell a reporter how it all began in his backyard in
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