It had been 40 years since I last rode the Cyclone and with my newly revived interest in roller coasters, I decided to give it another whirl on July 10, 2011.    Always a classic and perennial favourite, it held some nostalgic value for me , as I originally made the trek to Coney Island because it was scheduled for demolition and I was going to ride it, SAVE THE CONEY ISLAND CYCLONE button pinned to my shirt, if it was the last thing I did.  So 40 years later I was curious to find out how well it had stood the test of time.   And I must say that apart from becoming increasingly rough and worn – the padding on the hold bars is badly ripped and the wood on the front car is cracked - it has stood the test of time very well.    For such an ancient coaster, it affords a surprisingly good ride – this relic can still deliver thrills and the first drop hasn’t lost anything over the years – with some reservations.  It’s a rough ride regardless of where you sit, but if you sit in the wrong row it’s too rough for anyone but a masochist.   My two front seat rides were wonderful, just rough enough to have the feel of a really good wooden coaster and exciting enough to induce both fear and euphoria.  Unfortunately, the front seat was not available for my third and final ride so I had to take what was available.    There is no provision for waiting behind the air gates (there are none in the loading area) for the seat of choice as there is for some coasters – e.g.,El Toro and The Voyage.   So I rode in the 4th row and the ride was so brutally rough that I was in agony.  I got knocked about so violently that I couldn’t wait for it to end.  My left arm was so severely inflamed and bruised from the trauma that the ride operators, who handled the situation extremely well,  got me an ice pack and called the on- duty doctor and an incident report was written.    I suspect that the injury resulted in part from being a single rider on an articulated train with a single position lap bar and no seat belts.    I honestly can’t remember the ride being quite that rough 40 years ago although my memory may be faulty; it could also be that because 40 years ago I was 80 pounds heavier than I am now, I had more padding to absorb the shock.  Although it took a full month for my arm to return to normal, I still think that the Cyclone is a great ride which can compete with any number of more modern coasters -  and as one accustomed to riding coasters with an out and back layout, I was pleasantly surprised after all this time at how much ride could be fitted into a compact twister.   I would ride it again, but only in the front row.  4 out of 5 stars.  For more information about the ride, including complete stats, visit the following website:  http://www.lunaparknyc.com/about-us/the-cyclone.html  First photograph courtesy of www.coasterimage.com/

 

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