July 19, 2006

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    I went to Lakeside Amusement Park. This was my first time at the park, and I was really impressed.

    I bought a wristband and went straight to Cyclone. There's an ACE plaque outside the station saying it's an ACE Coaster Classic. It opened 66 years ago. I was really excited about the trains and restraints. And it has hand brakes. These things are all over the fences on the station.

    The trains are classic and look awesome, and the restraints are just like Jack Rabbit at Kennywood: a leather strap with a hook. Sweet.

    You don't get to choose your row until you get in the station, and some people had already got in the last car, the fifth car. I sat in the fourth car in the back seat. I buckled my seat belt on the loosest setting because I'm stupid-crazy.

    There's a tunnel right out of the station, and it turns to the right then the left. The lift hill is pretty quick. The airtime on the first drop was amazing. I was completely out of my seat. I had to grab onto the grab bar because it was pretty scary.

    Immediately after the first drop is a big left turn. It's banked, but you get crazy lateral G's in it. I was totally pressed into the side of the seat. After that are hills and turns and incredibly odd banking. The odd banking really caught me by surprise. It happens a few times on the ride too. There are some straight segments that are banked, so you slide to the side of the seat. Then there's a hill, so you sort of slam into the side.

    The bunny hops are cool, though there's no airtime. The turnaround has good laterals. I really enjoy the skid brakes. They're a complete smooth stop. The handbrakes in the station are great too. Cyclone is an excellent classic ride. I'm glad I got to ride it. It was my 124th coaster. 8/10.

    Wild Chipmunk wasn't open yet, so I decided to take the train ride around the lake. It's relaxing and about 10 minutes long. I got some good views of the park from the other side of the lake.

    The Flying Scooters was closed, so I went to Whip. I like Whips. I had to ride with a stranger who probably thought I was crazy. Everyone else hopped in the cars really quickly, so I couldn't get to one in time. 7/10.

    When I was on Whip, they started testing Hurricane, the Flying Scooters. There was an employee on her day off in line, and she was joking around with the ride host. She told him to tap the foot pedal, and he did about halfway through the ride. It really sped up, and I was able to fly all over the place. I couldn't get it to snap. I've heard these aren't too good to snap. 4/10.

    Wild Chipmunk opened, so I went to it. I've ridden Tree Top Racers at Adventure City, so I knew what to expect. This ride has no restraints at all! There are some places where there's airtime, but the highlights of the ride are the insane turns. You enter a hill then take a really sharp turn. I love that. No. 125. 8/10.

    The sun was setting, so I went to Cyclone. I was determined to ride in the back seat because this was going to be my last ride of the night. There were about 80 people in front of me. I figured that because 20 ride in a train, and I waited four trains. I ended up being the second person in line after the line went down. The guy in front of me went to the front seat. I took the very back.

    Oh. My. Gosh.

    I'd almost forgotten what ejector airtime was. I was completely out of my seat, and I white-knuckled the grab bar. Every drop was more fun back there, but the first drop is where it's at. The laterals amazed me back there. They were more violent than before, and that's probably thanks to the back seat and the night. What a great coaster.

    I wandered around and took pictures of the park at night. Wow. This park is amazing at night. It's incredibly retro, and there are lights on everything. I wish I had my tripod with me.

    Lakeside is a great park. It's got a great atmosphere next to the lake. The night lights make the park come alive. It's got an excellent wooden coaster and a great steel coaster. I'd love to make another visit before I leave Denver. 8/10.

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