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Photo TR: The Blue Flash


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In the outskirts of a small town nestled in Indiana near the Illinois border lives a man with a passion for roller coasters. A passion so great that he built one in his backyard using scrap metal he got from work. With his welding know-how and some ingenuity, John Ivers pieced together a 20-foot-tall blue coaster in his backyard. He named it The Blue Flash.

 

My friend Doug and I got to John's place a little before 11 a.m. We introduced ourselves and talked for a bit as he showed us his two coasters, The Blue Flash and Blue Too, which he just finished this year. He showed us how they work as got his keys and unlocked the rides. He fired up Blue Too first and sent a train around the track. He has a skid brake set up before the lift hill that catches on the back car. Well, sometimes it does, he told us.

 

He took the tarp off Blue Flash's car, which is basically a car seat attached to wheels. We decided to do Blue Too first to work our way up to Blue Flash because, honestly, it's a bit intimidating. John test-rode Blue Flash for us. This coaster only goes about 20 mph, but it takes the loop really quickly. He said it was running a little slow, and he rode twice.

 

Now it was time for Blue Too. Its two cars have seat belts in them for restraint. Doug rode first. Blue Too has a train of two cars, which is something John was experimenting with. He didn't let us ride together, but he let us try both seats. Doug overshot the brake by a little, but he was able to get off and hop in the back seat. He said it was pretty fun.

 

I was next. I put my glasses strap on because I didn't know what these rides would do. I rode in the front seat first, which was cool. The ride has a drop that slightly turns to the right, then it's followed by a small turning hill and some turns. I overshot the brake and engaged the lift hill again. I got off and sat in the back seat. The back is pretty wild down the first drop. The turns are fun and are sort of like trick track. John grabbed the back car so it would stop in the brake, even though he adjusted the brake a little after Doug's ride.

We signed his log book, which he keeps as a record of everyone who's ridden the ride. We were the 229th and 230th people to ride Blue Flash, and we were the third and fourth to ride Blue Too.

 

Now we were ready for Blue Flash. Doug went first. He sat down and buckled the seat belt, which John told us is from a bulldozer. It's big and secures you in pretty well. John and I pushed the car to the lift hill. Doug climbed the lift hill and flew down the drop. It seems really fast, and you really feel the G's in the loop. Doug climbed over the hill after the loop and down the helix. The car coasted down the track before the lift hill and engaged the chain again. He went twice.

 

It was my turn. The lift hill is really steep. John estimates it about 50 degrees. The first drop curves to the left and levels out quickly into the loop. The loop is crazy, and you have to lean into the direction it turns. It throws you around a bit, but it's over quickly. The hill afterward is taken at a decent speed, though there's no airtime. The helix has a good headchopper in it as you pass under Blue Too's lift hill. It's insane. I coasted to the lift hill and engaged the chain. I was better prepared for my second ride and leaned into the elements a bit better.

 

Blue Flash is a crazy coaster, and Blue Too is fun. John Ivers is a man mad enough to actually go through with something so many of us dream of. He saw his vision through to the end and got some pretty good results out of it. If you're ever near Vincennes, Ind., look John up and give him a call. You may get to check out the craziest little coaster around.

 

Thanks to John Ivers for letting us ride your creation. Keep up the dream.

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Me in Blue Flash's helix.

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Doug in Blue Flash's loop.

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Me going down the first drop of Blue Too.

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The brake on Blue Too.

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This is basically Blue Too's layout.

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Doug rides Blue Too.

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John in the loop.

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John test-rides.

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Blue Flash's car.

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John Ivers stands with Blue Too's train.

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Blue Too's lift hill.

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Blue Flash in the background and Blue Too.

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Very awsome! I never saw photos of the complete blue too, last I saw it only had the lift and first drop. It looks pretty fun!

 

However I am confused at the part where you said you introduced yourselves... Did you just show up at his doorstep and ask to see the coasters? I would iamgine he wouldn't show them to just anyone? What am I missing here?

 

 

Eitehr way it is very very cool.

 

 

I'm surprised to hear he live in Indiana. I don't know why but for some reason a part of me remembered somethign about him being Australian. Ah well.

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^What do you mean "if he is out"?

 

Anyway, tha tlooks extremely cool! You can also tell he learned alot from building blue flash. Blue too looks alot more proffessional.Kinda reminds me a little of those old kiddie coasters.

 

I would love to ride his coasters someday. I think this guy has the only backyard that can be considered a "bonus park" on a coaster trip.

 

Tomi "He inspired me to want to build a coaster in my backyard but sadly I live in the middle of the big city and have neighbours" Zandshtein

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if he is out in his yard. When I was in college, one group did a video on the BF and why john built it. If you youtube search blue flash, you will get a news video somone did where in the end, it says to stop by. BTW, I found this video on youtube of one of the people who rode it on the first post on here.

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Very awsome! I never saw photos of the complete blue too, last I saw it only had the lift and first drop. It looks pretty fun!

 

However I am confused at the part where you said you introduced yourselves... Did you just show up at his doorstep and ask to see the coasters? I would iamgine he wouldn't show them to just anyone? What am I missing here?.

Naw. My friend called him about a week ago, and he set up a date and time to meet. He was expecting us. I wouldn't show up unannounced. That's weird.
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We'll have to get Robb there to do the definitive POV video, those coasters look so good they should be on RCDB.

 

Sounds like it was a real adventure, the TPR midwest trip should have gone there, the queues would have been horrible but I would have ran and got there first or got a gold flash pass.

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Wow. Thats the first time I saw Blue Two complete, and I must say it looks pretty sweet *shot for unintentional rhyme.*

 

Jokes aside, I've always been amazed by Blue Flash, and have since then set my sights on making my own backyard stuff. (Un)fortunately, I have since then raised my standards to the point where my new dream is to buy a plot of land and construct a small amusement park.

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So last year I took three 14 year old boys to Holiday World and told them we would try to find this guys place. We tried to find it and gave up, everybody we asked sent us in different directions. I just wanted to see it in person, I had no idea he would let you ride it. Did you offer him cash after the ride?

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Great TR Alex.

 

As much as I'd like to get the infamous Blue Flash and Blue Too credits, I just have a question.

 

Wasn't this guy awhile back planning on building a wooden roller coaster for his next project of sorts? Whatever happened to that?

He was never building a wooden coaster. You're probably thinking of Jeremy Reid.

So last year I took three 14 year old boys to Holiday World and told them we would try to find this guys place. We tried to find it and gave up, everybody we asked sent us in different directions. I just wanted to see it in person, I had no idea he would let you ride it. Did you offer him cash after the ride?
It's really hard to find. We wouldn't have done it without a map and GPS. We did not offer him cash, and I doubt he'd take any. I'm going to write him a thank-you letter, though.
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I guess since I passed it every trip from home to school I could find it in a heartbeat. This summer was harder because the field in front of his house had corn. If you knew where to look, you could see the top of bf. Basically, to find his place, on 41 coming from vincennes, you pass vincennes truck supply on your left, and once you get to the bottom of that hill, it is there, if you see the big peach, you went too far. Coming from Terre Haute on 41, you pass the Big peach orchard and it is the next right hand turn, if you get to vincennes truck supply, you went too far.

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I stopped by Mr. Iver's house earlier this year. I had called about a month ahead, a week ahead, the night before and when I got to Vincennes. He seemed very excited until I actually arrived in Vincennes. He said that I wouldn't be able to ride, but that I was welcome to take some pictures.

 

I guess I'll have to try again the next time I get down to Indiana.

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