The DIY Mechanical Bull
The initial test resulted in a pretty resounding fail. I gathered my thoughts and bounced my way towards the trampoline with hopes sky high. As I connected with the mat of the trampoline the whole structure collapsed, leaving me teetering on the edge of the frame before finally slamming me into the ground in a manoeuvre that fractured ankles are made of.
Thankfully my bones survived and the addition of a length of fluorescent orange rope between the pipe work and the base of the trampoline greatly improved the structural integrity of the project. I guess if you leave one side off a triangle, it is really just a corner and not that strong after all.
Now, granted my DIY Mechanical Bull is not strictly mechanical in the true sense of the word, as all the movement relies on human power. That being said, the inherent unpredictability of a human ridden over sized bouncy ball striking a trampoline propped up on an ever changing gradient does still create a real sense of mystery and excitement.
The handle on the above mentioned ball gives the rider a grab point similar to the reins on a more expensive mechanical bull. Therefore, I feel that this prototype is a good starting point for the backyard DIY enthusiast.
Unfortunately, such was the stress put on the frame work of prototype number one, that this was a once in a lifetime ride. On each successive trampoline bounce, the retrofitted orange rope, whilst keeping the bull together, also methodically bent the frame work of the trampoline with the strength rivalling that of a blacksmith.
After dismantling the twisted mess and bending it somewhat back into the shape of a kids trampoline, this Mechanical Bull has been put out to pasture, and the search is on for prototype number two.
The DIY Mechanical Bull in action.