Do roller coasters scare you or thrill you?
My in-laws live in Sandusky, Ohio, so part of our Annual Family Reunion is a trip to the Cedar Point Amusement Park. I haven’t always been a roller coaster aficionado, but I’m making my peace with coasters.
Here we are on the Magnum. Look at my family all happy and with their hands in the air! I try. But I clench and I scream.
How can a person relax when being hurtled through space at high speeds?
(MAGNUM TRIVIA: For coaster enthusiasts around the world, the Magnum XL-200 is the ultimate ride. Situated right on the Lake Erie shore, Magnum was the first coaster ever to top 200 feet. You can see Canada on a clear day. Accelerating down its incredible first hill, Magnum reaches a top speed of 72 MPH, while rocketing you over multiple hills, 3 tunnels, and a signature pretzel turnaround.)
A few weeks ago a woman died while riding a roller coaster at a Six Flags Amusement Park in Arlington, Texas. It appears that her safety bar was not properly secured. She may have been aware that it hadn’t clicked enough times. I am so sad for her family, and I can hardly imagine the trauma her son, seated beside her, has endured, and will endure. This death is tragic and needless.
I understand when people say they will never ride a roller coaster. Why should they?
Plenty about life is scary.
We got to Cedar Point by driving from Virginia to Ohio. Close to our destination (southeast of Cleveland), Route 80 was closed. We didn’t know why, we simply followed the line of cars exiting the turnpike, then bushwhacked until we got to Sandusky. It turns out a 15 year old died in an accident.
Yes, life is scary.
Here’s something I noticed. To me, the scariest part of the day at Cedar Point wasn’t riding the Magnum or the Corkscrew or Wicked Twister or the Maverick or PowerTower or Windseeker . . . or even the Gatekeeper (my new favorite! it allows riders to fly and do rollovers and is absolutely smooth) . . .
Dangling that high up? In a car that sways? Strapped in by nothing other than a seatbelt (which I could easily unclasp)?
Why, what’s to stop a person from getting out of the seat and start climbing around on the wheel itself!
I wonder if the fear of heights isn’t really the fear of our own self-destructive impulses.
But I couldn’t look out the other side — I just stuck my phone out the side of the car to snap this picture.
What scares you?