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Robert Niles

What Was Your First Time...

Published: July 29, 2015 at 10:54 AM

...On an upside down roller coaster?

Busch Gardens Williamsburg just uploaded an official POV video for its oldest coaster, the Arrow double interlocking-loop classic, Loch Ness Monster.

This coaster stands 130 feet over the park's Grove Creek... as well as very close to my heart. Nessie was the first roller coaster that convinced me to trust my life to the laws of physics. I was visiting Busch Gardens - The Old Country, as the park was known then, with my Boy Scout troop, so I had no parents or little sister there to comfort me had I decided to continue my tradition of only riding coasters where my head stayed about my feet at all times. No, my only companions were a few dozen other teen and pre-teen boys, who wouldn't hesitate to tease any fellow scout who showed the slightest fear of anything.

Loch Ness Monster

Taking a look at Nessie's unique design, I figured that since the loops were over water, should laws of physics fail me, I'd simply drop into the water, where I had a much better chance of surviving than if I'd plopped down onto hard concrete. So I climbed aboard... and enjoyed the best ride of my life. (Cue Homer Simpson: "So far.")

After my ride, I didn't hesitate as I bolted through the exit and ran back around to the entrance for another go.

I didn't visit the park again until a few years ago, when I brought my family to Busch Gardens Williamsburg on one of our cross-country summer roadtrips. And on that day, the Loch Ness Monster became the first upside-down roller coaster that my daughter ever rode, too.

When we finished, she didn't hesitate in grabbing my hand and pulling me toward the entrance to ride again.

What was the first upside-down coaster you ever rode, and what convinced you to put aside any fears and ride?

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