PKI TR: SOB Tour (belated)
It was COLD, it snowed, it rained, the wind blew HARD, and most of the rides were closed. But, did Shaggy and I let that ruin our day? Not on your life!
We started our day by being led into the building that once housed the International Restaurant over the park's entrance. We ended up in the Carousel room, which had a nice view overlooking International Street. Shaggy and I went through a doorway on the far side of the room into a small meeting room to sit and warm up. Suddenly, Shaggy said, "Hey! It's the Brady Bunch board room!" Sure enough, it was. I convinced Shaggy to stand at the end of the table and do his "Mike Brady realizing he had the wrong sketches" impersonation. Luckily, my video camera was rolling, so that moment is now preserved forever! Hee-hee!
On to the SOB tour. It is hard to put to words the mammoth proportions of this coaster. The lift hill and drop literally make up a wall of wood that wraps around the final helix. I doubt that helix will get much sun throughout the season, as it's on the north side of the "wall." Jeff Seibert was a great tour guide. He knows practically every imaginable detail about SOB off the top of his head. Here are some tidbits that I found interesting:
- SOB will have about 2.5 million board feet of lumber in its structure. - Latest "calculations" are predicting a top speed of around 83 mph at the bottom of the first drop, 72 mph at the second drop. - Werner Stengel designed the layout as he would a steel coaster, B&M-ish I think was the term used. This was to eliminate excessive lateral forces.
In my opinion, this will be one amazing coaster. The first drop looks horrifying, and the twisting climb to the peak of the second hill followed by the curving drop in the opposite direction looks insane. I hadn't realized before that the loop will not be visible from the block brake. The train will gradually pick up speed on that long straight stretch (booster tires will kick in if it's not going fast enough) and then suddenly dive down to the left. Only then will the riders see the loop coming! Should be quite a surprise. But quite frankly, this ride looks amazing even without the loop. I am glad that the "loop" didn't end up being the star of the show. Good job PKI!
Shaggy and I also managed to get in an awesome back seat ride on The Beast with only a one train wait. What a great, but COLD, ride.
It was also great to run into fellow URC'rs Acer and Mr. Acer.
Thanks for PKI making a great day out of a potentially bad one.
It was so nice to finally meet you Rocket Roger! I had heard a rumor that PKI might bring back Winterfest, but I thought it would be sometime in Dec, lol!