News / Edmonton

Edmonton father-son team prepare for chariot race

Jack Born and his two teenage sons are Born to Sled.

Jack Borne, right, test runs the chariot he built with his sons, Mackenzie, centre, and Jordan, left.

Kevin Tuong/Metro

Jack Borne, right, test runs the chariot he built with his sons, Mackenzie, centre, and Jordan, left.

Over the past few weeks, Jack Born and his two teenage sons have been hard at work building a chariot — at least the 21st-century version of it. 

Made with a sled, skateboard decks, a wooden platform and a crossbar, the chariot will be pulled along by two fat bikes for Canada’s first fat-bike chariot race. 

Organized by Media, Art & Design Exposed (MADE) as a way to engage city residents with design, the race will be held at an outdoor course as part of the Flying Canoe Volant Festival. 

“My sons and I have done some projects like furniture-building before, but nothing like this. We thought it sounded interesting and would be a lot of fun to invent,” says Born. 

Dubbing themselves the “Born to Sled” team, the three of them brainstormed about the design together and got to work. 

“We wanted to use things that slide and build on top of it. The idea is you’re standing like you’re in a real chariot,” Born says. 

Incorporating objects they had at home, they used a sled as a base and added wooden planks on top of it for standing. A crossbar at the front allows for steering, while skateboard decks on each side help with turning. 

With the chariot mostly completed in two days, the challenge was to secure bikes. “We don’t have fat bikes in our family, but we have mountain bikes. We were lucky that the owner of a bike store in Sherwood Park is lending us some [fat]bikes.”   

After securing them, Born to Sled had its first test run down a hill. 

“It was going really fast, which is a little scary, but it was cool,” says 14-year-old Jordan, who is piloting the chariot.

Enjoying the experience, rather than winning, was the main point of taking part, Born says. 

“It was a fun thing to work on together. There’s a feeling of accomplishment when it’s all done."