The summers of my childhood included visits to Hersheypark, a local theme park filled with rides and attractions and best of all, chocolate. When I finally grew tall enough to board the exciting things like the roller coasters and the splash-down rides, I tried them all. What a thrill–from securing yourself into the harness to hearing the click-click-clicks as the cars climbed the first hill to the steep descents and the loops and the twists and turns at breakneck speed. The wind rushes through your hair and you’re ready to ride again before the cars come to a complete stop at the loading zone. It’s exhilarating, an adrenaline rush that lasts long after you push through the exit gates.
My retinas revealed themselves to be difficult customers in my 20s. My eye surgeon advised me not to engage in things that, in my understanding, messed with g-forces. Not like I ever wanted to go bungee-jumping, but that was off the table for me. So was riding the roller coasters I loved over the years, but I’m not the type to give up on things that I enjoy. I discovered a way thanks to a mention from Molly Lambert of the Girls in Hoodies podcast as she talked around the 30:00 mark about not being able to visit every park she wanted to this summer.
With this new option I don’t even leave my house. No waiting in long lines outside in the sweltering heat of the afternoon. No admission fee. All I need is an internet connection thanks to fellow riders who used GoPro cameras and similar technology to capture Point of View (POV) videos, the real thing for viewers minus the g-force interference.
Here’s one of my favorite wooden roller coasters, The Comet, filmed by FrontSeatCoasters from a seat that I myself sat in many times years ago at Hersheypark. The ride is just like I remember, from the first hill to the fast turns to the bunny hops out and back. It’s fantastic.
And that’s not all. There are countless POV videos out there. With the remaining vision I have, I can surf a wave in Hawaii, I can ride a bull, I can perform on the uneven bars. It’s a great way to enjoy the day off from work on Labor Day. Who wants to ride some roller coasters?