Friday, July 25, 2014

Olympic bobsled for tourists

Yesterday I had the great fortune to ride the bobsled at the Olympic training center. Anyone willing to fork over the cash and sign the liability waivers gets hauled halfway up the mountain in a black Suburban by a guy named Gary, fitted in a cheap motorcycle helmet, and trapped into a bobsled modified with wheels and roll bars. We started only half a mile from the finish--just a fraction of the real course--and our speeds would only reach 55, not the 80 MPH the real sledders hit. A wonderful family from Wellesley--a dad and his two girls--welcomed me into their sled for two minutes of sheer terror.

Seriously, I hated it. I mean I loved it/hated it. In the GoPro video, over the clatter of the wheels on concrete you can hear me saying, OH NO! OH GOD! OHHHHH...over and over again. It was too fast, too rough, too upside down, too loud, too rattly, too close to my race and I cannot get injured and who are these so-called "driver" and "brakeman" anyway, they're like 12 years old and probably totally stoned and this thing could just go flying and we'd all be --

And then, only a minute and a half later, it was over, and we were whisked away to pick up our photographs and T-shirts and tote bags compliments of Chevrolet (TM).

The shared trauma bonded our little group, and Dave and the girls let me tag along with them to Tourist Stop #2, the gondola at Whiteface Mountain, kind of a silly ride to the top, look at the view and ride back down thing, but the views were spectacular and the whole thing was a blast.

Lake Placid from Whiteface Mountain

My cool new friends
Whiteface mountain gondola

Ran 30 minutes

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