Have you ever been stranded on an amusement park ride?
I saw this in The Stir - Has it ever happened to anyone you know?
The brand-new Superman Ultimate Flight roller coaster at Six Flags in Northern California stopped at the tippy top of the ride (about 150 feet in the air), stranding passengers and leaving authorities scrambling to get the dozen riders down safety. This, my friends, is the REAL reason to not ride roller coasters.
When I was younger, I lived for roller coasters. An avowed adrenaline junkie, it was a safe way to get a cheap fix with no broken speed limits, crappy bungee cords, or white water drowning to be concerned with. But the real danger with roller coasters isn't usually dying. It's getting stuck and being really, really uncomfortable, out of control, and bored for as long as it takes to fix the darn thing.
Spending two hours at the top of a hill in the air, half on a twist, stuck in one position is reason enough for me to leave those rides to the young'uns. See below:
Officials were able to use a crane with a bucket attached to reach the riders and give them water during the two hours they were stuck. The operators were eventually able to restore power and bring the ride back down (backwards).
The good news is that roller coasters are apparently designed to stop when there is something potentially dangerous on the tracks. The bad news is: then people get stuck.
In the end, this isn't a dangerous thing, it's just massively inconvenient and probably really uncomfortable, to boot. Being locked into one of those seats with the shoulder device above you isn't exactly sleeping in an easy chair. It sounds pretty much akin to torture.
I prefer real risks. Sure, they may be more dangerous, but they also have more reward.
I would so much rather mountain climb or raft through rapids with friends than ride a roller coaster at this point. Sure, the roller coaster is a much safer way to get thrills, but this is just a reminder that when you ride a ride, you're beholden not only to the other riders and lines and the park management, you're also just waiting for the mechanics to fail.
There is nothing fun about getting stuck on a roller coaster, but even on the worst day, mountain biking in the outdoors is a REAL roller coaster adventure with real risk. I'll take it over an annoying roller coaster any day.
Do you like amusement parks?