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Ride Profile
www.parkworld-online.com
outside of the park. The tracks ran abreast, simulating In 1980 the ride was remodelled as the Wacky
a horse race in which gravity gave the heavier riders Soap Box Racers in which riders sat lower on benches
the advantage. Tilyou dressed his attendants as surrounded by the vehicle sidewalls and reached more
jockeys and announced the start of each ride with a moderate speeds of 30 mph. These Racers remained
bugle. in operation until replaced in 1997 by the
“They [the horses] careened around old creaky Windjammer racing coaster from Togo, which in 2002
tracks at breakneck speed,” remembers Danny Sweet, was replaced by the current Xcelerator launched
who grew up in Brooklyn. “As insane as it may sound coaster from Intamin.
now there were no seat belts, so you had to hold on In 1977 Arrow delivered a second unit to the
for dear life!” Pleasure Beach, Blackpool, England. Employing two
When Steeplechase Park finally closed in the fall of lifthills and three 1,500ft-long tracks, the horses
1964, the Steeplechase Horses were purchased for provide inline seating for two riders. The 40ft first lift
$100,000 by Pirates World, Dania, Florida, and provides a top speed of 30 mph. Themed as a horse
reopened there as the Grand National Steeplechase race and dubbed the Steeplechase, it continues to
in 1966. The ride operated as four parallel tracks delight riders to this day.
between 1,600 and 1,700ft long. Pirates World Arrow has since been acquired by S&S Worldwide,
closed for good in 1975. which is not currently offering a sit-astride coaster, but A Vekoma Motorbike in detail (as
Vekoma, Intamin, Zamperla and Schäfer are. Gone seen at Flamingo Land, England)
Arrow Advancements are the lift hills. Each manufacturer now launches the
But the sit-astride coaster concept was not dead. The ride vehicles in another fashion.
very next year (1976), Knott's Berry Farm, California,
introduced Cycle Chase. Supplied by Arrow Motorcycle Mania
Development, it consisted of four 1,778ft-long lanes The Vekoma Motorbike Coaster was the first of the
of track, one rail above the other. Atop the rails rode modern era to emerge when it debuted at Toverland,
motorcycle-themed vehicles. Riders sat precariously on Sevenum, Holland, in 2004. The ride consists of a
the cycles, and once free of the lift hill, the cycles train with nine cars, each with two motorcycle seats
reached speeds of up to 40 mph. designed to replicate the seating on a motorcycle.
“One of the most terrifying experiences I ever lived Riders are clamped in from behind, but allowed free
through was riding the Motorcycle Chase,” recalls upper body movement. It is like taking a rollercoaster
guest Cheryl Monteiro. “I was 26 or 27 years old ride on top of a bike, but being high in the sky with
when I was talked into riding it. From the outside it almost nothing underneath to spoil your view. After
looked like just a cute little ride on a faux motorcycle dispatching from the station, the train is hydraulically
with only a sash around your waist to hold you on-- launched from zero to 47 mph in three seconds, into
how dangerous could it be? Very dangerous, to say a twisting layout.
the least! After the ride ended I endured whiplash, In 2007 Intamin introduced its Family Launch Newest of the bunch: Jet Rescue, by
sore arms from hanging on for dear life, and had the Coaster (FLC), a version of the sit-astride coaster, at Intamin, opened Boxing Day at Sea
shakes for several hours.” Dreamworld, Coomera, Australia. Called Mick World in Queensland, Australia
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