Last year, I set out to make a Tree-shaped sled for the Cardboard Classic Sled Race. Some people said it ended up looking more like a giant donger. This year, I'm pretty sure my sled won't end up looking like a meat sled... pretty sure. What do you think?

This year I decided to make a Batmobile, mainly because my kids love Batman I'm a giant Bat-Nerd. The initial plan was to make a sled for myself and my two 5-year old sons to go down the hill in together. We can't win anyway (because I work for the station) so I can break the whole 2-man team rule if I want. After much thought, the logistics of them being in the sled first and then me getting in aren't really going to pan out, so it's now just their sled that I'm building.

I realized yesterday that I only have about a week! The race happens Saturday, February 22nd at Mt. Holly. Click below to enter your team... there's still plenty of time, my sled is just complicated.

The first step in any sled building process is the plans. I tried to visualize what to do first by staring at my cardboard canvas and despite knowing what the end product would look like, I still had to sketch it out first... for reference.

Tree Riddle, Banana 101.5

Next up was cutting the cardboard for the bottom. I wanted to make sure I could fit the sled up my stairs (something I forgot to do last year and had to break my sled to get it out of the house). So after cutting the piece that would ultimately be the bottom, I checked to make sure it could easily fit up my stairs... it did! The next move was to make the column things on both sides of the sled. I measured my kids sitting in it side by side to see how much clearance I needed and marked it. Then I cut 6 long narrow pieces (making sure the corresponding parts for both sides were relatively even) and began assembling the sides of my batmobile. It turned out way better than I thought. It's pretty amazing what you can do with some cardboard, a box cutter, duct tape, a couple beers and about an hour and a half of free time.

Tree Riddle, Banana 101.5

After much patting myself on the back for how well the sides turned out, I moved on to the next part -- the rear quarter-panel things. I wasn't sure about exactly what I was doing with this part, other than the fact that it would fan out a bit and have the big Batwings sticking out eventually. I kind of just freestyled the sides, but will need to go back and cut them down lower... probably so they're even with the faux windshield I put in. For the big engine turbine in the middle, which is often round, I decided to attempt to make a round one and if that didn't work, I'd go for something more angular. It's always difficult making round surfaces out of cardboard. After a few passes and various pieces I didn't cut big enough, I was finally satisfied with the middle part, so I loosely taped it in a couple of spots. I gotta admit, this thing is taking shape nicely... but again is way too big.

After I assemble a seat for the boys, I plan to build the back into that and add a ton of details like fake wheels with bat-symbol rims and louvered vent covers for the sides and fronts that have blue backdrops with black overlays. Really, the hard work is just beginning, but the shell is there and it doesn't look that much like a dick... does it? Anyway, I'm hoping it will look something like this when all is said and done.

Tree Riddle, Banana 101.5 / Master Artist (Obviously)