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David Chesney, Canadian teen, builds DIY roller coaster in backyard

The Minotaur, a roller coaster built by David

The Minotaur, a roller coaster built by David Chesney, 19, in his backyard in Thornhill, Ontario, Canada. Credit: Facebook / David Chesney

David Chesney’s backyard project is taking him to new heights. Literally, about 12 feet.

The 19-year-old from Thornhill, Ontario, Canada, recently finished the 92-foot-long, do-it-yourself roller coaster that he calls The Minotaur in his own backyard north of Toronto.

“I’ve always been interested in riding roller coasters and knowing how they worked,” he said in a phone interview.

Chesney, who said  he had never worked with power tools before, built the structure over four years, only needing help with electrical work, which he got from a teacher.

YouTube video, which now has nearly 22,000 views, shows his progress, along with a Facebook page dedicated to the ride.

Comments on the video have been positive and even encouraging.

“I think u should make it higher, but good job looks good so far and btw, love the on track footage, really cool,” one viewer commented.

Another wrote, “Looks like a cool backyard project.”

Chesney said he’s thrilled with the response to the video.

“That was a video showing where it was at the time,” Chesney said of the filming done during construction in 2012. “It doesn’t look like that anymore.” 

The completed roller coaster, which is fully functional, is 12 feet tall with 92 feet of track and more than 1,100 feet of electrical cable. It can reach speeds as fast as 13 miles per hour.

The Minotaur, which runs on a track with steel railing set on wood, is fully powered by electricity, and seats one person.

Chesney is the only one who can ride it, but said it’s not for selfish reasons.

“I’m working on the legalities because I need insurance,” he said. “I’m trying everything I can to get others on so they can enjoy the ride, too.”

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