Tuesday 15 February 2011

Rollercoasters - A fun I wish I'd done more of.

We surely all have regrets at not having done more of things we know we'd have liked. One of my major ones is not having visited more funfairs and riding on rollercoasters.
I've always been fascinated by fairground rides of all types, including roundabouts, waltzers, ghost trains etc., yet haven't had the opportunity, or the nerve, to try them out - usually because I've nearly always been alone and don't want to look conspicuous by being a solitary rider. But rollercoasters are the ultimate.
There's only been one occasion in my life when I had the chance to throw caution to the winds and go on all the rides I wanted. It was at the annual Munich Beer Festival of 1985 which I attended with a German friend, with whom I still have contact, though he's long since been married to his boyfriend. At that time the Oktoberfest funfair was the largest non-permanently-sited fair in the world, and may well still be so, and by now it's certain to be even bigger! But it was simply huge even then, with so many different rides that I wanted to try them all, with the exception of those that turned one upside-down. (I'd still be a bit nervous about that.) I suppose the rides would be considered tame by today's standards but I vividly recall how exhilarating I felt after each one. It was quite addictive, and we went on several more than once in one evening. As neither of us were great beer drinkers, rather than 'wasting' valuable time in a beer tent, we spent all our time being spun and whizzed around, shaken up, twisted, rattled and jerked this way and that - really great fun. That was my only time. Even as a boy with my brothers I never ventured onto anything but the very safest rides and recall seeing them on their first time on a big dipper (as we called them then) and I was too frightened to join them, remaining on solid ground but watching them enviously. But that time in Munich - at the age of nearly 40! - was my first ever time on one, and I loved it. And I've never been on any fairground ride since.
We've seen TV programmes here about people who travel the world just to ride on the most extreme rides, and I really do wish I could be one of them. I'm not sure that, even if I could, it would be advisable to try out the very most extreme as, although having no heart problems (or so I'm told), I do suffer from high blood pressure, so it might not be the wisest thing. But there are sure to be many other safer ones to enjoy.
I'm not giving up hope that some time in the not-too-distant future I might be able to catch up on something of what I've missed. In fact I have a fantasy; when I win our National Lottery (note the 'when'!) and I can afford to visit my transatlantic blog-pals, I'm hoping that there might be an amusement park within accessible distance of where they live so that they can take me there and ride with me - and in return I'd promise to try not to embarrass them during any rapid descents by emitting an ear-piercing, nelly-type scream. Well I'll try!


  1. I'm not a fan of them myself, but I'll take you to any or all of the drivable funparks from our place and hold your purse while you ride :-)

  2. I went on a kiddie rollercoaster once in my twenties and that was bad enough! I could never imagine going on the adult versions!

  3. Sean, your suggestion has got me very excited - but it would be no fun if you didn't ride with me. Maybe we could at least do just the ones you're comfortable with? Goody!

    Tiger, what a let-down! I'm still hoping that someone is going to tell me that he is a really GREAT fan of the rides and enthuses about accompanying me. Do you think that your one bad experience needs to be exorcised by trying again? Maybe I could hold YOUR hand!

  4. I love this post, and I love roller coasters and thrill rides. Or at least I did when I was younger. Like you and everyone else, the older I get the less I enjoy them. But don't get me wrong, I still like them.

    Last October I rode The Beast at King's Island. You've heard of that one, haven't you? The longest wooden coaster on earth. It just about shook the teeth out of my jaws.

    Rides at the big amusement parks are no fun anymore. They got you so strapped in and protected from everything that all the fun is taken away. That's why the rides at small fairs are so fun. Their rides are much more unsafe (read: fun). You know a ride is good when they have an ambulance sitting there on permanent stand-by.

    I wish I was a rich man so I could bring you over here for a few weeks. There are lots and lots of fun things to see and do.

  5. Cubby, excellent news hearing that you are a connoisseur of funfair rides. When I come over (notice the 'when' again!) I'll put myself at your mercy and you can put me through all your favourite experiences (and if we have time we'll have some rides too!) When I do arrive it can only be that I'll have come into money somehow so I'd certainly be more than happy to pay for you.
    Can't say that I'd enjoy them less than before because I haven't been on one for over 25 years, but it could be. But I'd certainly like to ride that 'Beast at King's Island'. It sounds a riot, though the ambulance men had better be ready to stretcher me away if need be.

  6. Ray, I am wondering if I'm reading too much into this post. Is the rollercoaster a symbolic representation of the things you've missed in life?

  7. That's a thought, Paul. It could well be so, seeing as though I've never taken any (recreational) drugs, never been a smoker or a great drinker. I don't (can't) drive, swim or even ride a bike - and probably many other things. The more I think about what you've said it could be that I crave something really condensededly(?) exciting to make up for my ultra-safe, relatively unadventurous lifestyle. Hmmmm - but I still crave for those fairground rides.