Aging and Roller Coasters

Monday, June 3, 2013 11:59 PM
CoasterDiscern's avatar

Well guys, Im heading out to Canada's Wonderland in the morning with my friend from town. I never got the chance to ride Leviathan last year when it opened, and I'm feeling pretty nervous about it. Its been two years since I've been on a roller coaster, and three years since I visited Cedar Point. When I look back at my trip to Cedar Point I can remember feeling extremely apprehensive when I boarded Millennium Force and Top Thrill Dragster. Although the turnout was always pleasurable and a lot of fun, I feel as though ridding has a type of stress to it now, and not the 100% pure pleasure when I was younger. As I'm going through the inevitable process of life slowly decaying, it seems that my body is experiencing a bit of a punishment especially with the big rides. I'm curious to know what types of experiences some of you have dealt with over the years, and as your getting older, and if these changes are negative ones or positive one. Maybe some tips on things that I could be aware of. Possible things I could experience when ridding. Thanks!!


Ask not what you can do for a coaster, but what a coaster can do for you.
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Tuesday, June 4, 2013 12:15 AM
Jeff's avatar

As I'm about to hit 40, the only thing that has changed for me is less tolerance for marathoning a ride at ERT events. I haven't figured out if this is purely a physical or mental phenomenon. Maybe it's a little of both.


Jeff - Webmaster/Editor - CoasterBuzz.com - My Blog - Twitter - Video

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Tuesday, June 4, 2013 12:31 AM
Timber-Rider's avatar

I'm going to be 48 in September, and the main thing that drags me down these days is all the walking involved at parks, and going up and down all the flights of stairs to get on and off the rides. I have developed pain going down stair in my left Knee, so it takes me longer to walk around, and sitting to rest happens more often. When I was younger I could sprint from ride to ride all day, and all night, and never sit down or rest, until I left whatever park I was visiting.

I also find that wooden roller coasters take more of a toll on my back, then they used to. And, as many coasters as I have been on, I find some of the rides I used to like, getting pretty boring. I find that it is much easier to pass up a ride, rather than wait in line, as my legs start hurting if I stand too long. But, when I was younger I would hit every ride I could, no matter what the wait was. I will not wait for a ride I have been on before if the wait is over an hour, unless it is a coaster that I really enjoy.My suggestion is, to ride coasters in the middle of the train, to see how you can handle them. Then if it is to your liking. Ride in the front. I would expect that Leviathan will be smooth enough, where you should not have to worry about the ride. My sister used to freak out every time I took her to Michigan's Adventure. She would always chicken out on corkscrew and the wildcat, even though she had been on them before. I would talk her into riding, and she would love them, then freak out again on the next visit.Sorry if this shows up all as one paragraph, had to use mobile view again.
I figured out how to make paragraphs in moble view! I'm a sneaky bastard.

Last edited by Timber-Rider, Tuesday, June 4, 2013 12:33 AM

I didn't do it! I swear!!

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Tuesday, June 4, 2013 12:44 AM
sirloindude's avatar

The "enter" key is an elusive little devil.

I do find myself riding less than I used to, but I think that's mostly due to a difference in what I like to do during a day at the park. I'm getting more into photography, so I spend much more of the day doing that. I've noticed that my ability to marathon rides hasn't diminished yet, though, so given the chance, I'm always down for a good marathon.


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Tuesday, June 4, 2013 1:02 AM
sws's avatar

I'm afraid I have most of you beat in the age department, as I just turned 53. Age does take a toll on your body. I've learned to avoid floorless coasters. Mainly because my nuts will hit the ground....

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Tuesday, June 4, 2013 1:31 AM
LostKause's avatar

It's funny that this topic has come up, because I have very much noticed lately that I am becoming less tolerant of rides. It's been a few years now that I have been less tolerant of the spinny rides, but I am finding it to be somewhat depressing that now that I am old enough to actually have the extra money to visit the parks a little more often, I am not able to enjoy them as much as I used to.

The problems that I have with walking around a park all day without getting tired is either me getting older or me getting out of shape. I think it's me getting out of shape, because I weigh more now than I have ever weighed in my life. I'm working on that though, just because I want to feel better.

But the age thing; I am 39 (but still as sexy as a29 year old lol). I rode Flight of Fear exactly one time during my two-day visit to Kings Island a few weeks ago. I love that ride, but I didn't like the hard stop into the breaks at the end, and I didn't enjoy all the looping around. Same goes for Vortex, minus the stopping.

My buddy J.D and I were riding Fahrenheit over and over last summer at Hersheypark. After about five or so rides, I had to go sit on a bench whale he kept riding. I just couldn't take it anymore. It was kind of sad for me to not get to spend time on those last few rides with him, because I don't see him often enough.

I am enjoying the family coasters a little bit more nowadays. I am enjoying the high thrill rides that don't change direction as much too.

Kind of sad, really. Could I fix this by getting myself used to the rides again, like maybe swinging back and forth on a swing at the playground for a few hours a day or something? Or is it that I am getting old and just don't have the moxie any more?

Last edited by LostKause, Tuesday, June 4, 2013 1:31 AM
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Tuesday, June 4, 2013 1:40 AM
sws's avatar

LostKause said:

I think it's me getting out of shape, because I weigh more now than I have ever weighed in my life.
....

I had to go sit on a bench whale he kept riding. I just couldn't take it anymore.

So is that anything like a beached whale?? ;)

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Tuesday, June 4, 2013 1:50 AM
Timber-Rider's avatar

I also used to love riding Carnival Zippers and Spinny rides like the Orbiter. But, I went on a few carnival rides a couple years ago, and one ride on the Zipper almost made me hurl. Though the car flipped over and over so much, you could have thrown some wet clothes in there, and it would have been dry before the end of the ride. Also went on this crazy ride that was like Cedar Points trioka, only this ride was insanely fast, and also went backwards, made me very dizzy doing repeated rides.But, I also went on a ride called the Xperience. That ride was crazy! But, oh so much fun!!


I didn't do it! I swear!!

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Tuesday, June 4, 2013 2:07 AM
LostKause's avatar

Freudian slip, sws. HAHAHA!


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Tuesday, June 4, 2013 2:25 AM

At the ripe old age of 41 my tolerance of re riding had gone right down. Part if it is because being so tall I get squeezed into the restraints which now takes longer to recover from than it did 20 years ago! But also I get nauseous much more quickly. Taking my class of kids for a theme park day out next week so going to try the theory of taking ginger supplements for the week before to see if that helps. It won't alter being clamped in but might make a bit more riding possible. My inner child still wants to do everything!

Last edited by tallguy, Tuesday, June 4, 2013 2:56 AM
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Tuesday, June 4, 2013 3:16 AM

Yeah, 45 here, and same thing. There are rides that have dropped out of my "ride sparingly" category into "ride once a summer on principle", and rides of the latter type that have shifted to "never ride".

Time is what it is. Ain't no escaping the fugit of the tempus for any of us. Personally, I envision a time in my sixties and seventies when I no longer ride most attractions, but instead sketch or paint scenes from the parks I love. At least I'll get my fill of charm.


My author website: mgrantroberts.com

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Tuesday, June 4, 2013 9:48 AM
rollergator's avatar

We had this discussion once about an eternity ago...meh, I'll Gonch it.

http://coasterbuzz.com/Forums/Topic/spinning-rides#507728

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Tuesday, June 4, 2013 9:52 AM
Vater's avatar

sws said:

LostKause said:

I had to go sit on a bench whale he kept riding.

So is that anything like a beached whale?? ;)

I think it's actually a synonym for couch potato.

I'm pretty sure the theme of this thread is "Youth is wasted on the young."

And:

Sucks.

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Tuesday, June 4, 2013 11:25 AM

LostKause said:

The problems that I have with walking around a park all day without getting tired is either me getting older or me getting out of shape. I think it's me getting out of shape, because I weigh more now than I have ever weighed in my life. I'm working on that though, just because I want to feel better.

But the age thing; I am 39 (but still as sexy as a29 year old lol). I rode Flight of Fear exactly one time during my two-day visit to Kings Island a few weeks ago. I love that ride, but I didn't like the hard stop into the breaks at the end, and I didn't enjoy all the looping around. Same goes for Vortex, minus the stopping.

I am enjoying the family coasters a little bit more nowadays. I am enjoying the high thrill rides that don't change direction as much too.

Kind of sad, really. Could I fix this by getting myself used to the rides again, like maybe swinging back and forth on a swing at the playground for a few hours a day or something? Or is it that I am getting old and just don't have the moxie any more?

Getting into shape does indeed help at the parks, Travis, and I think my body can handle more since I've become stronger and thinner. It at least makes your endurance for parks longer. I was still ready to go at Kings Dominion after everyone else wanted to go home.

Flight of Fear's brake run isn't the problem for me....it is just that ride in general. The first time I rode the KD version, I walked out staggering and had to hold on to the railings and creep along the wall. That has never EVER happened to me. I was concerned about riding it again, but I did fine on a reride. My point is that sometimes we just have a day, a time of day, or a specific ride that we just can't handle. You may not have anything to worry about.

Also, if you don't go to parks as often, your ride tolerance goes down. I've definitely noticed this for me from season to season. You don't need to swing on a swing. You need to hop on some coasters. As many as possible. Just my theory.

My friends all used to love rides and coasters. Now none of them have tolerance to rides and never will go with me anymore. It scares me that one day I'll no longer be able to ride. I also have some bulging discs in my back and arthritis in my back that makes me appreciative and almost desperate to ride as many coasters as possible NOW and not later. Who knows what my body will allow later? This is why I encourage everyone to hit up as much stuff as possible. The day may come when you CAN'T.


"Look at us spinning out in the madness of a roller coaster" - Dave Matthews Band

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Tuesday, June 4, 2013 6:15 PM

That's a good point about friends lacking ride tolerance, Jackie. When my friends and I were in our teens, you didn't need to build a tolerance to have a blast from the start of the season.

Now I'm getting pretty nauseous on that first park trip each year. The more I visit parks and ride coasters in a season, the better I get in that regard. But for friends that haven't ridden rides in years, some appear to be having a much more difficult time.

I like the hobby enough that it's worth continuing and building a tolerance. But, I'm sure that's not the case for some casual-visiting friends. I imagine this is a big reason why you see enthusiasts joining together or going to parks solo as they get older.

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Tuesday, June 4, 2013 6:40 PM

I've luckily managed to stay in good shape after (almost) 41 long years, and combined with a small frame (5'8" 145lbs) and good body strength, I'm pretty immune to coaster abuse. Seriously, the only ride I've met that can inflict pain is Voyage, but only in the form of a headache if I marathon it too much. I spent Saturday's ERT testing ways to minimize the headshaking, and after a 10-round run (8 in the same train, then 2 run-arounds), I was able to keep the headache away by relaxing and going with the ride, except for the parts you *have* to brace to avoid being slammed into restraints or sides of car. Also, testing was mostly performed in non-axle seats, so jury is still out :)

One interesting thing I've found is that holding on while riding Voyage (or just about any other woodie) actually makes things much worse for me... holding on to the bar transfers a lot of train's shaking through my arms, which exacerbates the headbobbing and headaches. Hands up, all the time, and it's much better. Seems a bit of the shaking goes to the arms instead of head that way, since the arms are higher and now make up the 'end' of my body.

Want a workout? Visit an empty SS and reride Zinga, Zoombabwe and Bakuli. Sooo many steps + no lines to rest in = sore quads the next day, in shape or not!

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Thursday, June 6, 2013 5:17 PM
CoasterDiscern's avatar

The park was so dead on Tuesday Jeff it felt like I was Marathoning rides all day. I don't know which part of ridding was harder to tolerate, the physical or mental strain. After ridding all day, I got home, laid in bed, and I had some serious Vertigo going on. So maybe more mental strain, but I also woke up with some soreness.

Thanks for all your replies guys, enjoyed them all.

Last edited by CoasterDiscern, Thursday, June 6, 2013 5:40 PM
Ask not what you can do for a coaster, but what a coaster can do for you.
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Friday, June 7, 2013 2:24 PM

The more you ride coasters the more tolerate you become. Look at single rider Bob, he is 75 and can still marathon MF. (Over 100 times in a day) I couldn't do that at any age.

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Friday, June 7, 2013 3:06 PM
kpjb's avatar

novak72 said:

Look at single rider Bob...

No thanks.


Hi

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Friday, June 7, 2013 5:07 PM

I just turned 25 and already have less tolerance than I used to... Generally only a few rides will be enough for me on any particular ride. It more-so happens with coasters with a lot of up and down motions throughout the course, such as Gatekeeper. At media day, I may have had 12-14 rides or so throughout the day, but I could not do more than 2-3 at a time before I was sick to my stomach.

But put me on Raptor though and I can ride probably 4x as longer than GK in a marathon session. Even the Big Dipper at GL made me quite sick to my stomach at times after a ride or two due to the up and down motions. Rides like Raptor, Wildcat at Hershey, Thunderhead, etc... Really don't affect me at all because the forces are a bit more consistent for longer periods of times (positive g-forces). Hell, even X2 at SFMM was less of a problem for me than Big Dipper! Just depends on the ride.

I also do not desire to marathon rides anymore as well. I would rather ride it once or twice and move on. I don't need to ride it over and over and over again. It just gets less enjoyable anymore.

As far as pre-season jitters though, they really don't happen anymore. It is hard for a ride to really make me anxious or anything, they are just a purely fun thing for me with some better than others.

I look forward to a ride that makes me worried/anxious to go on it... I miss those days!

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