Sunday, July 24, 2011

True amusement

Friday was a very hot day to spend walking around Hershey Park. With a heat index of 115, the weather was truly brutal. The youth group had planned this outing for several months, so there was no changing the date. Armed with a hydration plan and sunscreen, the boy and I set out on the Sabre to meet the rest of the group at the convergence of routes 72 and 322.

Riding through Lancaster, Lebanon, and Dauphin counties during the early morning was not too bad as the thermometer had not yet hit its apex. We had only a slight issue upon hitting Hershey when I became distracted by the smell of chocolate and stalled the bike. Oops...

Arrival at the park was met with a sweet surprise as I was waved in past the outer lots to a space nice and close to the entrance. Riding a motorbike has its perks.

We joined our youth group at the church's van and headed into the park. At this point, the sweat was already rolling off in buckets. We stopped for water (which we were provided with at no extra charge), and headed to the first roller coaster of the day, the Fahrenheit. It was an interesting nauseating ride, but not as bad as the Wildcat, which I did not enjoy all that much. I like wooden coasters generally, but the wildcat provides a bit more jostling than I prefer.

By the time the night was through, we had been on every coaster in the park (except for the sidewinder which had gotten stuck), and I found myself chuckling at the speed claims for each of the coasters. One of the coaster operators proudly proclaimed a top speed of 56 mph, and I thought, "I can do better than that any time I want, and I don't make myself nauseous in the process!"

On the way home, I topped that speed several times as we happily buzzed past the fields and forests on the way home. With as much as it costs to go to an amusement park, it seems rather silly to spend that money when I can go further and faster than any of the rides at Hershey Park, and see more countryside, while spending a whole lot less in the long run.

There's also the unfortunate side effects of walking around an amusement park and up and down stairs in 100 degree heat. Two days later, I am unable to walk without severe pain in my legs and hip. I don't have as much difficulty after riding for hours.

So, I'll continue to enjoy my back roads and hills in solitude, rather than milling about with sweaty masses of humanity. Others may choose to do otherwise, but I will be content.


Lee said...

Something about the aroma of chocolate makes me stall out too!
One things a roller coaster can give you that the bike can't, is/are G forces. Although, some of the roads I traveled have provided G force and zero G.
The coaster was supposed to provide the feeling one gets in flying in a jet. I think it does that nicely.
I can only take so much, and am not as happy riding coasters as when I was younger.
If you want to try a really unique amusement park, go to Bucks county and Sesame Place. But, be prepared to stay overnight because it's a long ride, and you will be bushed when you're finished there.
No roller coasters there, just rope climbs and water slides. They had a 4 story cargo net the last time I was there. I climbed it 4 times just for fun. I could barely walk the next day. Best place I've been to.

Joe said...

I concur! When persons who've never run a bike ask what it's like I often reply, "It's like going to an amusement park where you can just stay on your favorite ride for as long as you want!

I haven't been to Hershey in a few years, but it's always a nice day, heat index notwithstanding.

- Joe at Scootin' da Valley