Hi Roller

Who likes carnival rides? More on my recent carnival experience after a quick update:

I’m back home in Los Angeles, and man, am I wiped! I got home yesterday afternoon, and my sleeping has been out-of-whack. I’m still feeling out of it. It didn’t help that my final 24 hours in Colorado were a little bonkers. They started with my successful completion of the BolderBOULDER 10K race. I didn’t sleep well that night, because I was anticipating my alarm, which was set at 5am, because Sarah and I decided to get in one final workout before my morning flight.

So, at 5:45am, we were at the pool at Sarah’s local rec center, where we swam 2,300 yards in 45 minutes. It felt great to move and stretch my sore muscles in a no-impact environment, especially after yesterday’s high-impact 10K.

My flight home was without incident (unlike my flight to Colorado, during which I pulled the idiot move of the decade). I tried to sleep on the plane, but couldn’t. I took a much-needed nap yesterday afternoon, and went to bed early last night because I was still tired, but I didn’t sleep well, and I’m not exactly sure why. My plan for today is to power through the day -no naps!- and hopefully I’ll be exhausted by bedtime and sleep like a baby.  Fingers crossed!

I have one more story from my weekend in Colorado that I want to share. On Sunday, we all went to the Boulder Creek Festival, a huge street fair, art fair, and music festival rolled into one. We ended up seeing a lot of stuff there, but we started in the carnival ride section, where I was determined to go on a crazy carnival ride, which I lovingly refer to as ‘whirl-n-puke’ rides, even though I’ve never puked on any of them.

Longtime readers know I love rides and roller coasters. My very first blog post was about my inaugural visit to Magic Mountain, after years of being too fat to fit on roller coasters. One of my all-time favorite posts was from last summer, when I went back to Cedar Point a decade after a humiliating experience when I was kicked off a coaster because of my weight.

As we approached the carnival section, one ride stood out as the craziest. It’s called the Hi Roller. Naturally, my friend Karen and I got in line.

Passengers board what are basically padded cages (sounds good already, right?) that are all in a row, like a train:

When the ride starts, the train start traveling around the loop…

…until the riders are fully upside down. That’s when the train stops, leaving riders heels over head:

Then the real fun begins. The entire oval starts spinning, fast, while the train continues circling around the oval:

OH SWEET – I found footage of the ride (at a different fair) on YouTube. Check this out:

Would you go on the Hi Roller?

Soon, it was our turn. Karen and I go to our cage and get in. The carnie worker comes by to lock us in, takes one look at me, and says “you might be too tall for this ride.” D’oh! I ask if we can try, and he complies. So he gently sets the lid into place, sees that it clears the top of my head (barely), and then WHAM! WHAM! WHAM!, he pounds the lid into the locked position, like he was playing whack-a-mole. The whole contraption is metal, so the pounding reverberates everywhere, but he finally gets us locked in and proceeds to the next cage.  Twenty seconds later, Karen becomes concerned that her purse strap might dig into her neck during the ride, so when the carnie worker comes back our way, she has him open up our cage so she can take off her purse, and then WHAM! WHAM! WHAM! He pounds the cage closed a second time.

It was a tight fit for me inside that cage. There’s a padded lap bar that holds your legs down and your torso into the seat, and if I were heavier, there’s no way I would have fit. There’s padding everywhere: On the top of the cage, along the sides, and in the front, near my forehead. Because of my height, I’d say at any given point on the ride, I was pressed up against 3 or 4 different pads, and I’m thankful for it, because the Hi Roller is apeshit crazy. Once that thing gets going, it only takes about 10 seconds to lose all sense of which way is up and which direction you’re headed. It’s dizzying and completely disorienting. It must be what clothes feel like in the dryer.

That said, it was a lot of fun! Karen and I, both well into our thirties, were the only people on our train that weren’t in high school, and there was a lot of screaming and cheering. The ride lasted much longer that we were anticipating – it seemed to go on forever, although it was probably only three or four minutes.

Going on Hi Roller quenched my thirst for outrageous carnival ride action, and it was yet another experience that wouldn’t have happened without all the hard work of the past couple years.

Keep it up, David!

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One Response to Hi Roller

  1. Leslie says:

    Sweet ride David. At least you weren’t too tall or too heavy for the ride, that must have felt great :)

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