Monday, May 31, 2004


ern Ohio Roller




Why no new posts lately? As a reward for all the quality work lately, I decided to treat the entire Information Nation staff to an all-expenses paid vacation this past week. Of course, since the staff consists of... me, and I usually pay all my own expenses anyway this really isn't as sweet of an offer as it looks on paper.

During a couple of days in there, Mrs. Info Nation and I ditched the kids and headed down to ride the coasters at Cedar Point. If you're a coaster junkie like me, Cedar Point is perhaps one of the best places on the planet to get your thrill fix.

Their newest coaster is Top Thrill Dragster, which is more of a rocket launcher than a true coaster, propelling you from 0 to 120 mph in just 4 seconds. It was indeed a rush, but the ride is over in something like 20 seconds. Another downside is that the ride itself is pretty finicky. The day we were there, it closed a couple of times due to wind conditions, threat of rain and once or twice due to mechanical problems. The ride was up and down more often than a "Mardi Gras Girls Gone Wild" tube top.

Cedar Point boasts that Top Thrill Dragster (or TTD as you hipsters refer to it) is the fastest and highest (420 feet straight up -- and straight down) roller coaster in the world, though some might disagree.

Probably my favorite coaster there was not one of the fancy-schmancy steel machines, but the humongous wooden Mean Streak. Since the frame itself is made from wood, there is a lot more support needed than on the steel rides, and is in fact pretty impressive all on its own. Also, wooden coasters are inherently a rougher ride than the steel coasters, so you're getting jostled around in there quite a bit, and at 2 minutes 45 seconds and over a mile of track, the ride is surprisingly long.

You know, the next time I yearn for some negative G-forces, perhaps I'll just visit John Ivers in Bruceville, Indiana. You see, he got tired of waiting in all the lines you typically experience at an amusement park, so he just went and built his own roller coaster in his back yard.

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