A question for RideMan

Saturday, July 13, 2002 12:29 PM

You obviously know a great amount of information about roller coasters, thrill rides, and amusement parks. I was just wondering how you have come to find all this information. I have also heard you mention tours of parks that include warehouses and rides, and I wondered how you got these tours, which I assume are not availabe to the general public.

I just want to let you know that if, for some reason, you can't tell me how you get your infromation, don't worry about it.

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Intelligence is a God given gift: Know how to use it.

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Monday, July 15, 2002 6:36 AM
Oh, wow! It's the "Who the hell is Dave Althoff" question!

First of all, I've been interested in amusement rides in general and roller coasters in particular as machinery for as long as I can remember. Accordingly, I've been studying them as machinery for a long time now. A lot of what I can tell you about a ride comes from knowing the principles of how the underlying machinery works, and extrapolating from there based on observation of the ride. Talking with People Who Know (meaning the people who operate and maintain these machines) doesn't hurt either.

I have also had some interesting opportunities over the years; for instance I spent a couple of weeks one summer helping out a consultant on the grounds of a ride manufacturer's facility. The ride we were working on never got built, but I learned an awful lot in that time about mechanical systems used on old rides and the electronics that go into the new ones. I've also made a pretty serious study of ride safety, and I've attended the (expensive!) schools put together by the National Association of Amusement Ride Safety Officials (NAARSO) and the Northwest Showmen's Club. NAARSO schools have taken me through the Kings Island workshops in February (where they had all the coaster trains completely stripped down for overhaul) and through the Disney shops which were amazing, but quite frankly slightly less interesting. More important, the schools get into some of the specifics of how rides go together, and where they tend to break, so that class attendees know where to look for problems.

The bottom line is, I tend to know things because I've made an effort to go find out.

--Dave Althoff, Jr.
Who has been hanging out at "791.068" in his local library for about fifteen years now...

*** This post was edited by RideMan on 7/15/2002. ***

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Monday, July 15, 2002 9:51 AM
Dave - that's the first time I've ever heard anyone refer to 791.068... It's the only Dewey Decimal number I know by heart.
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Monday, July 15, 2002 10:01 AM

Nice info, Dave, but really...who the hell are you?

*wink*

Moosh

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"There's nothing sweeter than a bowling ball with a liquid center" - Homer Simpson

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Monday, July 15, 2002 10:44 AM

Ah, I have to stop right next door to the public library tongiht, I will have to take a look and see what 791.068 is, but I have a pretty good idea. (user dusts off little red plastic card)

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David Bowers
Mayor, Coasterville

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Monday, July 15, 2002 10:54 AM
791.068, It's all about coasters and amusements. The name is RideMan :)

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Beer, my soon to be wife, coasters, and the FREEDOM OF SPEECH. Is this a great country or what!!
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stoogemanmoe and places to get discount Six Flags Great America tickets!

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