SFGAm - 9/17/2022 - The death of coaster enthusiasm?

My son and I visited SFGAm today. Short story: We participated in the Coaster Challenge through Special Olympics of Illinois. Raise money for a good cause, get some perks, including ERT on Batman, Flash (V2), Joker, and Little Dipper.

We started off the ERT session with two laps on Batman. Now I am fully aware that my ride tolerance has been slowly getting worse as I get older. With that being said I've never felt nauseous on a ride, until the end of the second lap on Batman. As soon as I got off the ride I had that flushed feeling you get right before you are about to get sick. Luckily that feeling passed before a protein spill. We sat for about 10 minutes while I hydrated and took a second Dramamine.

We tempted fate and hopped on Flash in the very last row. I was worried about the twist on the front spike, and with very good reason. Even though the back row barely goes up the twisting portion of the front spike, that little bit was enough to knock me out again. Back to the bench. After another 15 minutes we tried Little Dipper. I could feel my stomach protesting again but not nearly as intensely. Could this be the end of my coaster riding days?

Fortunately the rest of the day went much better. I stuck to rides without inversions (Eagle, Viper, Whizzer, and Dark Knight) while my son rode those that had them (Demon, X-Flight, Superman). I hadn't been on the Eagle in years, well before my back surgery. It was less rough than I remember but also much more boring. Viper and Whizzer have always given me good rides. Today was no exception. Dark Knight continues to be very meh. A decent mouse with scenery and effects that sometimes work.

Our perks came with a meal pass. This has been beaten to death but the food was edible but certainly nothing to gush over. I was disappointed that neither Dole Whip or Dippin' Dots were eligible for our snack, but we were able to find some frozen lemonade by Goliath.

We'll probably participate in the event next year, if only to raise money for charity and check out the Fright Fest scenery. In the meantime, I think I'm done with inversions.*

*RMC and the newer Intamins not included.

Last edited by Mulfinator,
ApolloAndy's avatar

I have certainly found that my tolerance for inversions is much less than it used to be, but with proper hydration, eating, and "practice" (playing on the swings, doing some cartwheels and rolls a few days before) I can keep it managable.


Hobbes: "What's the point of attaching a number to everything you do?"
Calvin: "If your numbers go up, it means you're having more fun."

I’m sorry this is happening to you, I’m worried it will happen to me at some point, but it hasn’t yet. The only thing that’s happened is my enthusiasm for walking fast or running inbetween rides has waned considerably. I might still do the former in some instances at rope drop or near close but haven’t done the latter in a long time. I also can still do 15+ mile 14+ hour days but I feel it a lot more at the end of the day. I’ve never experienced vertigo, and hope I never will. I just enjoyed CP’s tilt a whirl 2x in a row yesterday where I spun like a top for most of the ride cycle each time.

The thing that I’m always fighting with is fitting on the rides. I’m always right around the cutoff. It’s not helped by height, nor my long torso (especially OTSRs) when I talk to most enthusiasts if I don’t tell them they don’t realize. Unfortunately my weight comes off last right where I need it off to get restraints to fit last too. It is what it is, as I said I can still park commando it, still get on plenty of coasters and I also do some light hiking when I go to National Parks too.

That said, there’s more to parks then roller coasters, I’ve always been a do everything a park offers kind of guy, SFGAm is not one of favorite parks because of it. It’s got a good set of coasters, middling flats, one dark ride with terrible food and shows nearly as bad and extremely few in number. I just spent the weekend at CP and one of my favorite things I did this weekend was watch the new Palace show Wake the Dead multiple times. The plot to this musical show is a wake and will reading where out of 4 suspects 1 person murdered the victim. The song list is extremely varied from Halloween standards like Dead Man Party, to musical songs like Cell Block Tango (Chicago,) Tainted Love to Meatloaf (seriously they have a great Meatloaf impersonator) to even a song from the musical episode of Buffy. The audience decides the murderer and the ending changes based on it. Just great stuff. Looking for that other stuff is what draws me to places like Disney, Dollywood, Universal and BGW over and over again.

Last edited by Touchdown,

2022 Trips: WDW, Sea World San Diego & Orlando, CP, KI, BGW, Bay Beach, Canobie Lake, Universal Orlando

Mulfinator:

*RMC and the newer Intamins not included

This. This. This. Last time I went to Busch Tampa I could only handle one lap each on both Montu and Kumba without getting that flush queasy feeling. But I could have sat on Iron Gwazi all day.

Same with Cedar Point. One and done on the B&Ms (and I looove me some Raptor) but give me ERT on Maverick and I won't decline any of it.

In the words of all of us. Sucks.

I'm in the camp that rides like Blue Streak or Big Dipper for example, ruin me more than most crazy intense, loopy rides. My sickness comes from cyclical positive-to-negative G's over and over again, inversions or not. Rides that break up the pattern a bit (say, with helices, more sustained positive G sections, etc...) are no issue, i305 is a good example. No problem what so ever.

So if you look at Gatekeeper as another example, the ride constantly is positive to negative, over and over and over again, and typically will tear me up after two rides or so. But X-Flight at SFGam having more positive sustained areas, or the one at Holiday World, no issue because there is more longer portions of positive G's to help break up that on-a-boat sensation.

I could ride B&M inverts like Raptor, Alpengiest, Black Mamba or whatever over and over and never have an issue because the force profiles are mostly positive G sustained.

RMC's kill me pretty good because they like to throw like 50 tiny air time hills at the end of all their rides and destroy me (both sickness and my poor shins).

I always been like this though, I have not noticed any difference in my increasing old age, yet.

Last edited by SteveWoA,

Mulfinator - what was the weather like? For me the heat & humidity will do me in quicker than anything. I have never gotten sick. Came close once while power-riding magnum one day many years ago. Was really hot and I started feeling queasy so went to car and sat for about an hour and I was all good.

Unfortunately, it's now been 7 years since I've been on a coaster due to living far from any good parks and not being able to afford to travel.

Next time, try chewing gum. I know it helps my wife when riding anything with inversions. Sounds weird, but something to do with chewing and equilibrium. Might also be the reason you see many professional wrestlers chewing gum. Just a theory.

I would love to participate in another coaster fundraiser some day. I did Coasting For Kids a couple of times and loved it! Nothing like riding a coaster 90+ times without getting off! It's a great way to raise money for charities since there are so many of us willing to pay to marathon a coaster.

Now, after 3 back surgeries, i would have to be careful about WHAT I would marathon! LOL. I think Voyage would be out of the question now. Last time there, I managed 97 laps in one day. For me, it's never been about bragging...more about wondering what can my body handle. I am a gluten for punishment. Hell, one time I did 92 laps on Chang in one day. Not the brightest decision to do a B&M standup!

I would love to get back to parks sometime. At 51, I would love to know if I still have it! :)


Jerry - Magnum Fanatic
Famous Dave's- 206 restaurants - 35 states - 2 countries

CoffinBoy:

one time I did 92 laps on Chang in one day.

Touchdown:

That said, there’s more to parks then roller coasters, I’ve always been a do everything a park offers kind of guy, SFGAm is not one of favorite parks because of it.

You are spot on about SFGAm. Outside of thrill rides there really isn't any thing to do. I'm not into shows but I do love good dark rides. Justice League isn't. I haven't seen any of their water rides open in several years either, which is a real bummer. I'm a sucker for a log flume ride.

SteveWoA:
I could ride B&M inverts like Raptor, Alpengiest, Black Mamba or whatever over and over and never have an issue because the force profiles are mostly positive G sustained.

It's definitely the positive G's that are getting to me. I wonder if it has anything to do with blood pressure. I've always been on the low end of normal. Maybe the negative G's are keeping the blood in my head.

CoffinBoy:
what was the weather like? For me the heat & humidity will do me in quicker than anything. I have never gotten sick. Came close once while power-riding magnum one day many years ago. Was really hot and I started feeling queasy so went to car and sat for about an hour and I was all good.

It was 70 degrees and overcast at the time we rode. Back surgeries can be a tricky thing with coasters. I was fortunate that I only need one surgery to clean up the disc between L5-S1. I took a year off riding coasters because I didn't want to mess my back up again and have the pain and numbness return. Luckily I've been pain free for the last 3 1/2 years.

BrettV - my knees were shot. Had issues walking for while. Probably why have knee issues now. LOL

Mulfinator - Small world. L5-S1 is where my problem was. Had a severe nerve pain caused from bulged disc. The first surgery they put it back in place, took care of bone spurs on tailbone, fixed a tear in nerve lining and installed rods and screws. Once I was cleared and started physical therapy, the pain came back and learned that screws broke. Second surgery they left alone broken hardware, replaced disc and added screws from the front. Again, month later pain came back. The broken hardware was shifting now. So they went in third time, replacing the hardware. Month later nerve pain came back. So I canceled remaining appointments and told them I wasn't going back. I know my weight was issue. But when I can't handle walking, what can I do? I bought a bike right after Covid started. After 3-4 months and 400 miles of riding, my nerve pain was gone. Go figure. If I have issues again, I will be finding a different spine doc. Add to that I still have numbness/tingling feeling in left foot ever since first surgery and that was in December 2017. So I know it's only a matter of time until I need to have something else done.


Jerry - Magnum Fanatic
Famous Dave's- 206 restaurants - 35 states - 2 countries

eightdotthree's avatar

If you start having pain again I’d go straight to a physical therapist. Maintaining core strength helps with so much as we get older.

I stopped my PT during the summer because I was riding my bike and so active that I was too tired (lazy) and now my knees are bothering me again.

Muffiinator, if it was your first time riding in awhile it may have been too much too fast. If I don’t ride a coaster during the winter that first day riding in the spring is rough…


Yoga has certainly helped keep my back loose but stronger.

I don't think recency was an issue. We were at Great America last month and rode a bunch on our Orlando trip in June. I think if I had done a second lap on Montu during that trip I would have been in the same boat.

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