We got to talking about my own coaster hobby... obsession... and then I told her about the basics (track records, the number of parks I've been to, etc). She seemed interested, until she stopped me, and asked me "What do you like so much about coasters?" I couldn't think of a good answer, beyond "It's fun, and the community is great." So I guess my topic is, what makes this such a great hobby, and what keeps us out there year after year? I don't know if I can quantify it myself.
Edit: I guess it should be called "What makes coasters fun?" I guess I can't edit the title? *** Edited 12/22/2006 4:25:28 AM UTC by Arson***
Airtime because I love being launched out of the seat and that feeling of weightlessness
Then fear because I am the worst with heights and it just gives me a rush but really that is a good question
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Coasters are different. I've thought about this a lot, because I want to be able to explain to my non-enthusiast friends why I do what I do. As best I can figure out, here's my hypothesis: humans -- whether you believe we were created or evolved -- have a need for story. Our ancestors would go out on all day hunts, fighting nature and the elements, risking their very lives, to bring home sustenance for the clan. Over a roaring fire that night, they would retell the harrowing events of the day, the acts of bravery, the moments of absurdity on the way. And the whole clan would savor the story, absorbing and re-experiencing that visceral completion of human endeavor.
Must of don't hunt any more, and when we do there's certainly very little element of danger involved. But we still crave that experience, that sense of being in a story. And roller coasters are the best re-enactment of that dynamic we 21st century denizens have (or at least those of us who aren't fighting in our wars).
Think about it. Roller coasters have a beginning, a middle, an end. They have the slow, wary buildup to the chase, the sudden swift swooping on the prey, the twists and turns and exhilirating sense of controlled chaos that ensues. Roller coasters go somewhere. That may sound trite but play around with the thought a bit. And it also explains why shuttle coasters often don't feel as rewarding. It's not a circuit, not a full story...it's psychologically kind of a cheat.
Anyway, that's my two cents.
Long live the Big Bad Wolf
1. they allow you to escaping life...for a few minutes at a time.
2. they give you license to behave in a manner that would normally be unacceptable [screaming, yelling, acting childlike, etc] that can often be quite cathartic or theraputic.
3. they are a shared experience. Like movies or concerts it is something a group of people do at the same time. That experience forms a bond...even if just for that minute or two.
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Merry Christmas everyone! ;)
Seriously though, what Moosh said.
Sorry to get so scientific on you guys there but that explanation always made sense to me. I know one other reason that roller coasters fascinate me is the structural factor. I have always found unique and interesting structures to be very cool. Roller coasters are some of the most unique, intricate, and beautiful structures out there. Also the fact that so much planning time and money is put into a structure solely for the purpose to provide fun and entertainment is very interesting to me.
There are several other reasons I love coasters which moosh's post covers basically word for word.
Haha. Ha. Seriously?
the community is great
For me, it's about speed and airtime. The feeling of weightlessness, in my opinion, is unmatched.
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We love to interperet the forms and watch the trains dance along them as we wait for our turn. While riding, we discover it's character. As if it is a living thing.
And like a song, there are specific points along the way everyone who has the same experience knows. For example; a harmonic note in a guitar solo...the left turn at the far end that slams you latteral in the rib cage.
Thanks for another great season, VF!
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