I don’t want you to think I’m obsessed with roller coasters, because I’m not. But I took this video, so what the hell. This is the Top Thrill Dragster at Cedar Point, a ride that lasts less than 30 seconds. They stretch it out with some recorded engine rumbling at the beginning and run the little Christmas tree lights, but it’s very simple — you’re blasted out of the gate, reach 120 mph in four seconds and climb 420 feet in the air, over the top and then 420 feet back down — straight down — with a little corkscrew twist thrown in, just in case you haven’t peed your pants yet.

Occasionally, when the track isn’t warm enough, it won’t make it over the top and returns to the station in reverse. This is called a “rollback” and is highly prized by insane coaster fanatics, who try to time their rides to get one — after a rain is a good time to be first in line. And in one terrifying case, it had the precise amount of momentum to make it to the top, and no further. In that case, they send a worker up in a basket to give it a push.

Some of you guys who share my coaster problems mentioned motion sickness. Not my problem — I’m a chicken about heights. And an experience like that? Being stuck? I would lay lie flat on the ground after disembarking, and I would probably still be there.

Posted at 9:56 pm in Same ol' same ol', Video |

9 responses to “Thrilling.”

  1. Dexter said on August 18, 2008 at 10:43 pm

    WOW!! Now THAT’s fun !! (But I’d just watch it, while eating one of those huge Cedar Point dill pickles and some fries, too.)

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  2. Joe Kobiela said on August 18, 2008 at 10:56 pm

    How many rides did Kate go on??
    Seems like the younger set loves things like that.
    Me I get motion sickness if I am not in control. Aerobatics make me sick, but I can do ok as long as I am doing the flying.
    Pilot Joe

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  3. Jen said on August 19, 2008 at 7:43 am

    Apparently my sister and I inherited our iron stomachs from my mom, because Pilot Joe is the only one in our immediate family who gets remotely motion sick on rides. My mom is one of the biggest roller coaster fans I know! Her favorite at Cedar Point is the Raptor.

    Like I said, I don’t get motion sickness, but I do get scared and paranoid about roller coasters sometimes. My overactive imagination, as wonderful as it is when I’m trying to write or keep myself amused, can really hamper my fun.

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  4. Cathy D. said on August 19, 2008 at 8:13 am

    I. Love. Top. Thrill. Dragster. And watching this video makes me want to ride it NOW.

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  5. derwood said on August 19, 2008 at 10:51 am

    That’s what I’m talking about!


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  6. Just Juli said on August 19, 2008 at 2:47 pm

    Oh – I haven’t made it to Cedar Point in so many years. Each summer I vow to play hooky for a day and get out there.

    I guess there’s still a little time left – but I’ll probably chicken out again.

    I don’t know if I could handle that ride – I’m kinda scared of the whole “heights” thing – I’d be lying right next to you on the ground, except I’d still probably pee my pants.

    It was great meeting you back in April at the BOSSY get together! I was thinking of your trifle just the other day. Yum!

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  7. Old-time Editor said on August 19, 2008 at 5:39 pm

    Please! You would LIE flat on the ground, I hope. Fight the good fight for the right use of lie/lay.

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  8. Cynthia said on August 19, 2008 at 11:19 pm

    Cool! Dibs on the front seat.

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  9. joodyb said on August 19, 2008 at 11:29 pm

    as old della would say, the things folks’ll pay money for!

    seriously, that is sick. in every cultural application of the word.

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