Wow, I can't believe this blog hasn't dried up and blown away in the bitstream of the internet after all this post-free time. Anyhoo, I'm going to relate a boring, mundane story from my recent visit to the CNE
So we're at the CNE. It's about 3 minutes to midnight... just enough time for one more go on the "Crazy Mouse" roller coaster before they shut the midway down for the night. Sweet! We climb into a coaster car with a couple of random strangers, and off we go. For about 10 seconds. Just as we're getting to the bottom of the lift hill, the chain stops moving. We roll up as far as our momentum will take us, which is about 2 "clicks", and stop dead. As the Official Sarcastic Wiseass in our car, I say "All right, midnight, ride's closed, everybody off!". Half-hearted chuckles and eye-rolling all around.
After a minute or two, an employee walks out into the middle of the structure and starts peering up at the track, trying to find the problem. By this time, all the still-mobile cars have finished their run. In addition to us, there's a car at the top of the lift hill, one on a brake run just past the lift hill, and another one sitting halfway around a bend a little beyond that. The employee dude put on a safety harness (for decoration apparently, 'cause he didn't attach it to anything) and clambered up a support pillar and onto the track behind this last car. And then he starts pushing it. Walking along the track, pushing the roller coaster car in front of him. Clearly, something is wrong with one of the wheels, which caused it to get stuck on the curve. Loud squeaks of protest emit from the wheels as the carny tries to push it along the track, but eventually he gets it going. It rolls slowly through the switchbacks at the top of the track, squeaking all the way, until it comes to the "big drop" part of the track. All eyes are on the hobbled car as it reluctantly rolls over the brink. Finally, gravity gives it enough of a boost to get a bit of speed going. This lasts until the car gets about 7/8 of the way up the big hill that immediately follows the big drop, at which point gravity decides it would like to pull the car backwards down the hill, and it continues rolling backwards part way up the drop, then back down again, and so on, back and forth through the dip about 5 times before finally coming to a rest. Ta-da!
Of course the "big drop" being the most exciting part of the ride, this is where the ride camera is situated. The ill-fated car tripped the camera about 5 times as it rolled back and forth past the bottom of the hill. Below, please find for your amusement a short video of the ride photo preview screen, showing several sequential shots of the same people. Fan-tastic. As you can see, on about the 4th pass the guy on the right threw up his arms and yelled "whoo!" really loud. Clearly, the Official Sarcastic Wiseass of that
Luckily for us, we were right at the bottom of the hill, and presently some carnies came and let us out of our restraints so we could climb the 3 feet to the ground. The car ahead of us, at the top of the lift hill, had it almost as easy, just a few more rickety narrow stairs to climb down. Eventually, somebody came along with a cherry-picker truck to get the people out of the car stuck in the dip. I didn't get a shot of that, alas, but I did get a shot of them cooling their heels in their disabled vehicle a few minutes prior:
Once the occupants were rescued and ushered over to the Triage and Waiver-Signing Station, a forklift drove up. Presumably if we'd stuck around long enough, we would've seen them take the disabled car off the track with the forklift, at which point the unfortunate souls on the brake run would finally have a clear track ahead of them and be able to finish their ride normally, although I suspect much of the thrill would be dampened by this point. But we didn't stick around, we went to get supper instead.
And that's my courageous story!