Gary Dykman Grandpa Backyard Roller Coaster
Gary Dykman wanted to spoil his grandchildren, but rather than toys, he opted to build a mini amusement back, complete with a backyard roller coaster. This retired mechanic said it wasn’t too difficult to figure out and actually got the idea before his first grandchild was even born.

Though not difficult, he did still have to spend 3-months building the roller coaster, with several 10-hour days on the weekends thrown as well as a few sessions after an entire day at his workplace. What kinds of parts did he use? A race car-sourced seat, twenty-four wheels from skateboards, a hay baler chain drive, and chicken plucker pulleys. The fiinshed roller coaster can reach speeds of up to 20 mph, while a seatbelt and handlebar ensure rider safety. For those interested in backyard roller coasters, this teenager also built one that you can actually ride.

CDX Blocks Cyclone Roller Coaster Building Block System
  • Compatible with worlds leading building block system.
  • Easily expandable using optional expansion packs.
  • Kit comes with hand crank but can easily be motorized.
  • CDX-CYC1 operates via gravity just like full size roller coasters.
  • Designed by an actual roller coaster engineer.

Gary Dykman Grandpa Backyard Roller Coaster
Photo credit: Elvia Verdugo

When I heard that I was going to be a granddaddy, I got excited and built a roller coaster. So it was done before she was even born. It was fun. I had a great time figuring out the angles and, like, the speed of the chain coming back up the car. It’s the only time I’ve ever used Pi in my life, to figure out how fast to come up and I was amazed I remembered it,” said Dykman.