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Re: Photo TR: Canobie Coaster's World Adventures

Thu Jun 20, 2019 1:13 pm

as I'm sure you know, I love zoos, and zoos with carousel (even small,unimpressive looking ones?). . SOLD!

tho I really wanna go to ride that skyride.

what was admission to the zoo? you noted the 'rides' were extra ($2-3, which seems reasonable), do you recall how much it was overall to visit?

Re: Photo TR: Canobie Coaster's World Adventures

Thu Jun 20, 2019 7:16 pm

I think I got admission online for $20. There was also a parking fee, so the zoo really knew how to nickel and dime you. :lol:

Re: Photo TR: Canobie Coaster's World Adventures

Fri Jun 21, 2019 8:48 am

Screw the kiddie coaster, I'd go to that zoo for the sky ride :lover: but I'd have to think of a reason to visit Indianapolis first and I can't think of one. Maybe if I was visiting Indiana Beach and one of these two attractions was open later I could squeeze both in one day.

Re: Photo TR: Canobie Coaster's World Adventures

Fri Jun 21, 2019 11:16 am

^ I originally wanted to get to Indiana Beach before Holiday World, but it was a really long drive. I plan to get back there the next time I go to Chicago.

Re: Photo TR: Canobie Coaster's World Adventures

Sun Jun 23, 2019 10:46 am

I made it to the Indianapolis Zoo last year as a quick credit run, on a trip. The sky ride was down for the day, but you’re right - it looks so absolutely cool!!Glad you got to ride it! I found the zoo to be quite charming overall.

Re: Photo TR: Canobie Coaster's World Adventures

Sun Jun 23, 2019 11:18 am

That sky ride was so odd it needed to be ridden. Did you visit just after one of the times it got stuck?

Re: Photo TR: Canobie Coaster's World Adventures

Sun Jun 23, 2019 11:27 am

Canobie Coaster wrote:That sky ride was so odd it needed to be ridden. Did you visit just after one of the times it got stuck?

I honestly don’t know. We got to the zoo and headed for Kombo. Along the way we saw the sky ride (not knowing exactly what it was right away) and we were like wtf? We followed the track to where the entrance was, which still perplexed us, as the station was ground level. There was a girl standing out front that clued us in as to what it was. She said they were having some problems with it over the weekend (we went on a Monday)and that it probably wouldn’t open that day.

Re: Photo TR: Canobie Coaster's World Adventures

Sun Jun 23, 2019 2:00 pm

That's a bummer, but that's exactly what my reaction was! I knew they had a sky ride, but I figured it'd be the usual cable set up.

Re: Photo TR: Canobie Coaster's World Adventures

Mon Jun 24, 2019 10:43 pm

John Ivers Backyard / Blue Flash

I’m sure we’ve all dreamed of having a coaster in our backyard. Practically, that isn’t an option for most of us due to cost or land. However, John Ivers made it a reality. He has made not one, but two backyard coasters.

Most backyard coasters are junior coasters at best. But the Blue Flash is a bonafide thrill ride. In fact, that aggressive first drop and ridiculously compact loop made Blue Flash one of the most imposing coasters I’ve ever seen.

Blue Too Lift.JPG
You'd be hard pressed to spot this from the highway.

I think this goes without saying, but it needs to be said, DO NOT JUST SHOW UP AT HIS HOUSE! Believe it or not, this has been a problem for John. Every so often an enthusiast will show up unannounced or even creepier, they’ll come by to take photos in the middle of the night. Seriously WTF?!?

And as a safety measure John locks the rides out when he’s not there. Blue Flash has a padlock literally fastened to the rail that prevents the car from moving. Blue Too is a little fancier with a traditional control panel requiring a key.

The process to ride the Blue Flash began months (yes months) in advance. After booking my Holiwood Nights tickets, I started looking into riding the Blue Flash. The biggest question was how to contact him.

Not surprisingly, John’s phone number and email address are unlisted. So I had to think outside the box. More specifically, I had to think retro. I went with a letter. I think it was the first letter I had mailed in years. :lol: And about a week later, John got back to me!

Ivers Road.JPG
It must be awesome having a road named after you.

Flash forward to the Friday before Holiwood Nights. John Ivers lives about 1.5 hours north of Holiday World literally right off a highway. Add in the fact that the coaster is tucked beneath trees, and I’m sure many enthusiasts have unknowingly blown right past it.

As I pulled into their long driveway, Ms. Ivers greeted me from their porch swing. Moments later, the engineer himself came out of the house and introduced himself. Both John and his wife couldn’t have been nicer. You’d think they worked at Holiday World.

John's cat also came by to say hello.

I felt like I had a VIP tour. John gave an overview how both the Blue Flash and Blue Too came to be. Even though Blue Flash is the far more ambitious coaster, you can see all John’s learnings applied to Blue Too. As an engineer, it was fascinating to see how these rides ticked.

And then it was time to ride the Blue Flash. The car looks like a wagon with a car seat slapped on top of it. John tightly secured the (former bullbozer) seatbelt and fired up his creation. There was no turning back now.

Blue Flash Car.JPG
I can't say I've ever seen a coaster car quite like this.

Blue Flash Overview (Front).JPG
And then it was time to ride John's famous coaster.

The first drop is wicked. It may only be 20-25 feet tall, but it packed a serious punch. It felt like a mirrored, more compact version of the first drop on Phantom’s Revenge. And the visual of the car clearing the shed is a sight to behold on its own.

Then came the pullout, which is arguably the most intense part of the ride. Whereas Phantom’s Revenge is refined and graceful on the pullout, Blue Flash is raw and untamed. As the Blue Flash uncorked, I was whipped to the side. Had I not been holding on, who knows where my upper body would have gone.

That’s followed by the signature loop. This has to be the smallest vertical loop in existence. Not only does it pack on the Gs, but it feels undeniably weird. It felt like I was performing a backflip. I’m pretty sure your head stays at the same place during the inversion and your body rotates around it.

Keep in mind the sequence I described is about 3 seconds in length. And it’s arguably three of the most intense seconds of any coaster. Blue Flash then felt like it was going to stall out on the helix finale, but I barely completed it each time.

John gave me three consecutive rides. Unlike most coasters which have a legit brake run, John “brakes” the ride by simply turning off the lift hill.

There are bigger, taller, and longer coasters out there, but there’s just something special about Blue Flash. Make no mistake, this is undoubtedly one of the most intense coasters out there. 8 out of 10

Blue Flash Overview (Back).JPG
What's in the shed?

Blue Flash Loop (Front).JPG
A loop without an OSTR? John was a trendsetter.

And like any good credit whore, I snatched a ride on Blue Too as well. Unlike Blue Flash, Blue Too is unquestionably a junior coaster. But in some regards, it’s a bit fancier than the Blue Flash.

For one, it has a two car train closer to what you’d find at a traditional amusement park. In addition, this coaster has an actual braking system. There’s a skid brake in the station that engages the back car.

Most of the course was an uneventful loop, but the first drop had some very surprising yank to it. There wasn’t any airtime, but I definitely was whipped forwards. 4 out of 10

Blue Too Train (Front).JPG
It has a logo and everything.

Blue Too Overview.JPG
Few parks let you get this close to a coaster unless they're at Mt. Olympus.

Blue Too Brakes.JPG
Geek shot of the skid brakes.

So my visit was over in (if you will) a flash, but it was absolutely priceless to ride two of the most unique coasters out there and pick the brain of the designer and builder.

I am very thankful for John and his wife to take time out of their day to grant the wish of a crazy coaster enthusiast. Riding the Blue Flash (and Blue Too) is something I never thought I’d do. I may never get my own backyard coaster, but at least I can now said I’ve ridden one two.

I never thought I'd be here one day.

Some other logistical notes. The Blue Flash currently has a weight limit of 180 lbs. John was very open about that from the moment I reached out to him.

There is no waiver, although John did say his home insurance went up once they learned of the coaster (go figure :lol: ).

There is no fee; however, John accepts donations. Considering many of us won’t even bat an eye as we hand over $10 for a stupid wacky worm, please be generous and support the man’s painting and maintenance fund. Riding these coasters is a priceless experience.

Re: Photo TR: Canobie Coaster's World Adventures

Tue Jun 25, 2019 2:33 am

Awesome report! I had kind of forgotten about this ride since I haven't seen anything about it since the days of the travel channel "ULTIMATE ROLLER COASTER THRILL RIDE BLAH BLAH BLAH" shows. I hope to one day get a lap on it!
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