Let’s celebrate the Coney Island Cyclone on National Roller Coaster Day
I got to ride the Cyclone 4 years ago on a summer family trip. Your article really captures in words what the experience is like!
Cyclone traditionally opens on Palm Sunday. That made it the first coaster open in the northeast in many years when Easter was early and sometimes it was in March! My daughter and I would brave the cold weather, get to Brooklyn early in the morning and be among the first 100 to line up as the first 100 on opening day got a free ride!
Had to smoke something before riding it.
I celebrated Roller Coaster Day with my first-ever rides on the Cyclone (and the gawd-awful Thunderbolt) in 2014. I'd love to re-ride it.
For my wife's 40th birthday we went on a big NYC trip, and getting to visit Coney Island and ride the Cyclone was one of the highlights of our trip. Your description of it as a "good" aggressive coaster is spot-on. While these coasters can be a bit rough by modern standards, riding them in the mindset of their historical context is always a treat.
Another wooden seaside coaster I'd put in the same "good aggressive" category is the Swamp Fox (1966) in Myrtle Beach, SC. Though I'd wager some would say it leans more towards the "bad" depending on how far back in the train you dare to ride. :) Like the Cyclone it features an unexpectedly good first drop and plenty of surprising pops of airtime.
Nothing beats these classic seaside coasters. No matter how banged up I get riding them, I can't seem to get enough.