Let’s say you find yourself watching the opening rounds of the Olympic bobsled competition this weekend and thinking “Man, that looks like fun!” Well, here’s the cautionary tale of how you can experience this wild ride for yourself—and why you may not want to.
You see, I had the same thought when I visited Park City’s Utah Olympic Park last August. When their PR person offered me the chance to try their Comet bobsled ride, well, I couldn’t say “Yes!” fast enough.
The park offers these rides year-round, though the number of public runs is limited during the winter months when dozens of world-class athletes use the mile-long track for training. The modified 400-pound Comet sleds wrap a professional driver and three passengers inside a steel roll-cage as they go hurtling down through the track’s 15 turns in just under a minute.
While they tell me the ride is a little less extreme in the summer—the wheeled bobsleds only hit 70 miles-per-hour and subject you to 4 G’s on concrete—it was still the wildest ride I’ve ever experienced. So much so that it actually made my Air Combat USA fighter pilot experience look downright tame by comparison.
Which is why you need to take the warnings in the Comet’s pre-ride video briefings seriously. Even though I’m in pretty good shape, I walked away from this ride with a collection of physical complaints ranging from bruised shoulders to a sore lower back.
Though I’m now perfectly content to go back to watching the bobsled competition on TV, I can tell you those 60 seconds I spent watching the world go by in a serious bobsled-induced blur are something I’ll never ever forget.
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