The trip plan for today had us spending no more than two and a half hours at Six Flags St Louis, and with that in mind we elected to start our morning on Tony Hawk's Big Spin (#1500), a ride that can generate serious queues due to limited capacity. We were on the first train of the morning, and while there wasn't a lot of spinning to be had this wasn't a particular problem so close to breakfast.
From there we wandered across to Evel Knievel (#1501), my second new GCI wood coaster in as many days. It does seem to me that the name of the late Evel would be far better utilised on a motorbike coaster, but be that as it may, his memory has at least been honoured with a superb ride. The layout is for all intents and purposes a clone of Thunderbird, with only minor tweaks to the design. We tried several laps in various parts of the train, and as usual there were no bad seats anywhere; it seems that GCI can do no wrong. On an unrelated note, completing this ride means that I've now ridden all the wood coasters in North America, at least until the next one is built!
We decided to finish the morning with a lap on Batman the Ride. As we walked down the exit ramp a mobile phone fell from the heights and smashed to pieces, a pertinent reminder for all of the dangers of having unsecured loose objects on a coaster.
26th May 2010
From time to time the coaster enthusiast media reports on someone who has built a roller coaster in their back garden. John Ivers has gone further down this road than anyone else, with two separate home made coasters in his yard. The smaller of the two is Blue Too (#1502), an oval shaped family coaster with track and indeed cars that resemble a Herschell ride. The train is made up of two interconnected cars, allowing multiple passengers to ride together subject to the power of the lift hill motor. This ride was the second to be constructed, mostly because its big brother was too intense for the newest additions to John's extended family.
The bigger ride is the Blue Flash (#1503), an aggressive experience featuring a twisted drop, a loop, a hill, and a descending turn leading back to the boarding area at ground level. The single seat car was constructed from a Pontiac car seat, a bulldozer seatbelt, and various other pieces of metal of John's own design. Apparently the sum total of parts came to around fifteen hundred dollars, helped by the fact that John works for a local company producing grain elevator equipment and thus can purchase the various parts required at below market rates.
I'd like to thank Mr and Mrs Ivers for their hospitality, and for allowing me to enjoy their home made coasters today.