Wanna ride a bobsled?
Today the Gazette ran an Associated Press story about what it’s like to ride in a bobsled, which you can find here.
The descriptions in the piece are pretty good, but if you really want to learn what a bobsled ride is like, you can go to Lake Placid and see what it’s like for yourself. Visitors willing to sign a waiver and pay $85 can take a 1-mile bobsled ride down Mount Van Hoevenberg, accompanied by a professional driver and brakeman. Here’s how www.whiteface.com advertises the experience: “If you’ve ever wondered what it feels like to be a comet, this is the place to start.”
I did the bobsled ride six or seven years ago, and although it only lasted about a minute, it was worth every penny. At the time, I regarded it as one of those once-in-a-lifetime type of things, but lately I’ve been thinking I should do it again. The website informs me that visitors can pay $125 and experience both bobsled and skeleton, which I don’t think was an option when I went there, so maybe I should do that.
Here’s what I can tell you: The bobsled ride is a huge jolt of adrenaline, and it literally takes your breath away. It is fast and jarring, and I remember feeling pinned to my seat, unable to turn my head and fully take in the beautiful Adirondack scenery. It’s terrifying, yes, but also a ton of fun. Don’t listen to the Olympians quoted in the Associated Press article, who make it sound like something only a masochist would attempt. A sampling of what they have to say:
Canadian Justin Kripps: “It’s like getting kicked down the hill in a garbage can with four guys. It’s really, really rough.”
Australian Heath Spence: “There’s no seatbelts. There’s no airbags. There’s no cushioning. There’s no anything. It’s violent.”
American Lolo Jones, on her inaugural bobsled trip down Mount Van Hoevenberg: “It was awful. I’m praying in the bobsled and then you don’t know where you’re at and you stop praying and you start screaming.”
Frankly, there’s no time to scream.
All you can really do is sit back and wait for it to be over.
And when it’s over, you might feel like going again.
Because it’s exhilarating.
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