Orinda Dad Builds Roller Coaster In Backyard For His Children

ORINDA (CBS SF) — A father in Orinda built something in his backyard for his children that most kids can only dream about: a roller coaster.

Powered by gravity, and a little assistance from dad, 10-year old Lyle Pemble’s dream of riding a roller coaster in his backyard came true.

“I started building the coaster because, Lyle, my son asked me if we could, and I couldn’t think of a good reason to say no,” Will Pemble said.

Lyle’s dream began with a ride on a coaster in New Jersey over the summer.

“I decided to ride it because I thought it would be fun, and then I thought there are more and better roller coasters out there, so I started doing research on them,” Lyle said.

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The coaster has taken school work from worksheets into something tangible.

“The mathematics, the physics, the science, the really hard thinking – there needs to be something on the other side of that math that’s worth slogging through the math,” Will said. “So if there’s a coaster at the other side of how many feet of track do we need…then suddenly the word problem gets done really fast.”

The project became a bit of a neighborhood attraction during construction.

“All of the neighbors have said ‘what the hell are you doing back there?’ None of them have complained,” Will said.

The coaster took about six weeks, and $3,500 to build.

For Lyle, the mini Six Flags is nearly perfect, rating it a 9.5. When asked what would make the coaster more awesome, he said, “If it had a loop, if it went upside down or was taller.”

Will said Lyle would have to engineer that himself, when he completes his dream of being a roller coaster designer.

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