The Snowmobile

Dear friends,

On Sunday afternoon I was all alone. My wife and kids were stuck in Denmark by the snow, and I was by myself. Bored. Bored, with a welder. But no-one to play in the snow with. And then it struck me – what I needed to do was to build a snowmobile. Not that we get much snow in London, but as we had some for a change, it needed to be exploited properly.

And so six hours of frantic cutting, welding, and soldering later, here it is – the mark 1 electric snowmobile. It will do about 5 mph, and is a bit of a handful to drive on ice, drifting while steering with your feet. But it certainly brings a bit grin to your face. Boy was my son surprised when he finally made it home today. I don’t expect there are many other ten-year olds in London with a snowmobile.

The snowmobile does about 5 mph with him driving (a bit slower carting my weight around). It’s pretty effective, especially on grass covered in about 6 inches of snow. But get it on a slight sideways slope on an icy pavement and it’s really quite a handful – the slatted steel wheel-frame at the back produces great forwards motion, but not much sideways resistance to sliding. Lots of opposite lock and keep the power on! For a ten-year old, he’s pretty good at drifting…