Billycart derby a brain teaser


THE Northern Star is going to make a billycart, in time to race in the Bangalow Billycart Derby. And we're going to share with you the steps we take towards its creation.

The Bangalow derby, now in its 14th year, is an icon on the Northern Rivers' events calendar. While public liability issues have taken the extreme left-hand turn out of the top of the course, it still rates as an exciting event.

This is especially so for children and families, and public participation is second to none.

When it comes to top design, there are many contenders in the race.

As any child knows, there is a multitude of different ways to build the perfect billy cart, but when it comes to racing well at Bangalow, on Sunday May 20, there are a few simple truths to success.

In future issues of The Northern Star we will discuss the merits of wheels, bearings, weight, aerodynamics, steering and braking.

Each of these factors will determine how successful we will be at crossing the finish line.

But first we will give you our 'concept plan'. What materials are we going to use?

At the Bangalow derby you will see all manner of billy cart, with those cannibalised from old bike parts the most common.

Here at The Northern Star we are going to use a material that grows prolifically here on the North Coast: Timber.

We will use recycled hardwood 4x2 studs gleaned from an old district house to shape our chassis and provide us with a steering arm.

Our heavy hardwood frame will be capped with a sheet of plantation pine plywood to brace our chassis and keep it from twisting.

On top of our chassis will be sheets of flexible 3mm plantation hoop pine plywood rolled into a cylinder, painted white and splashed with The Northern Star logo.

It should look like your daily newspaper being delivered on four wheels!

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