Ron is a visionary without a doubt but Karl Bacon and Ed Morgan were also a part of Arrow's success. It just seems "The Toomer" years just seemed the rocky Lot's of HIGHS and LOWS just like a Rollercoaster.
According to last year's ranking and Discovery channel's he still designed the #1 Steel Coaster. Give the man some credit where credit is due. He owned the 1980's until B&M broke into the scene. If it wasn't for him who know's where we would be.
If only his coasters were a tad bit smoother, had better transitions, and the wheels were in constant contact, he rode them to see if he was satisfied with them, etc.... There were lots of ups and downs of the toomer years, but more downs than ups.
I think he did the best he could with the tools available at the time, but I think his era was filled with un-rideable rides (Steel Phantom, Drachen Fire). In many ways I think they got lucky with Magnum.
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Coaster Bob said: "One time I was reading a post about Ronney and someone referred to him as the "Wire Guy". I thought that was funny LOL.
I assume that is because he always started off designing tracks by bending a piece of wire to make it look like shapes he liked. I guess that's a good way to start...
And he is a genius. We should not bash his rides just because they are rough. They are old, and use the wheel-inside-rail design (rather than the outside like B&M and Schwarzkopf among others) that allowed the cooler inversions that he helped design. Even though they were rough, no one complained too much then because of the cool inversions. Plus lots of them look like more like works of art (Loch Ness Monster, Drachen Fire) unlike lots of other Arrow rides. Arrow usually just copied pieces of his designs for most of their other rides.
*** This post was edited by djansi on 7/16/2001. ***
The title of this thread would make a good book! But I'm afraid only 10 of us would buy it. :(
Still, I'll stand by them till the end (and after the grave! I'll become a prop on the Haunted Mansion at Disney). It's good to hear a lot of you thinking logically about their impact on the industry. They have done so much......well more than just coasters. Ron was one of many that made Arrow so successful. Yes I know those transitions are the key factor, and one ride on Phantom NOW illustrates the type of progress that should have been prominent with them several years ago.
All I can be thankful for is that Dana Morgan (Ed's son) has taken a great deal of inspiration from his father and has created a Phantom that operates better than we could have ever imagined. I couldn't believe how smooth those last few hops and turns were! Arrow CAN make smooth rides; they have the know-how. It's just a matter of stretching out transitions better. Look at how gradual and graceful Tennessee Tornado is. Better yet, RIDE IT. You B&M kids won't know what hit you. ------------- Thanks for riding Tidal Wave and enjoy your day here at Marriott's Great America! www.angelfire.com/oh4/tk173
I think the main problem with the "Toomer Coasters" is the way they age, not the original design. It seems that when they were designed to try to squeeze too many elements in too small an area, the coasters aged quite quickly and not very gracefully.
Look at the Arrow rides that people do most of the complaining about: Steel Phantom and Drachen Fire. Due to my relationship with Kennywood, I was one of the very first on the Phantom. I LOVED that coaster, and tracked up a couple of hundred runs on it that original year. (A friend and I were having a race.) It was fine. I was at BGW the first month or so that Drachen Fire was open. Once again, I thought that it was quite intense, but still a great thrill ride. The inversion right after the lift hill, still suspended in mid-air, is still one of my favorite elements ever.
Look at those rides a few years later, however, and it's an entirely different story. I rode the Phantom a total of ONE time in 1999. We all know what the fate of Drachen Fire has been.
I truly think that squeezing so much in to such a little place put WAY too much stress on the track, supports, rolling stock, all aspects of the ride. You can weld and weld, but you're gonna feel it. It is never the same after you have to modify a ride in any way. Strengthen something, and the force will go somewhere else.
Now consider the "other" Arrows: Magnum, PepsiMax, Loch-Ness. They have larger areas to work with, and don't try to do too much in too tight of an area. These are still great rides years later, and I feel that they will be for years to come.
Whether the blame here lies with Arrow, Ron Toomer, or the parks themselves (I know BGW was very strict with what they wanted for DF) I don't know.
You can't bash them for trying, though. Without Magnum, there's no Millennium Force. Without the Steel Phantom, no Phantom's Revenge. Without Ron Toomer, we'd all be riding Chance Toboggans.
------------- "Let's go out and have some fun!" (New Order)