There are lots of scary roller coasters in the world. Every year more of them are built, sometimes taking over the record of the tallest, the fastest, the upside-downiest or otherwise craziest. But in Japan, they always have to go a little more off-center and a little more off-the-beaten-track. So why was I not the least bit surprised when I found out they built this?
The SkyCycle is in the theme park called “Brazilian Park Washuzan Highland,” which is located in Okayama, a town in the southern half of the country. The park opened in 1971 and most of its rides were installed by the late ‘80s. In addition to the park’s standard lineup of roller coasters and other theme park attractions (that second one is a link to a PDF), you can also find this crazy ride that scares, not with its speed or loops or drops, but by putting control in park goers’ hands. Or, well, moreso their feet.
Yup, SkyCycle riders climb aboard a rickety, rusty cycle that follows a rusting course, upwards of 4 stories above ground. The only way to get from start to finish is to pedal it like a bicycle. It’s supposed to take about 3 minutes in total, but, of course, the slower you pedal, the longer it takes.
A basket is provided for the safety of your belongings, and the only thing keeping you on the cycle is your own balance and a small seat belt around your waist.
Oh, and don’t worry about the overgrown vegetation that’s growing INTO the coaster in some areas…they rarely cause any problems ;-).
The views from the SkyCycle are gorgeous – the park is right on the water, so you’ll get to have 360 degree views of the Seto Inland Sea and the large and small islands that punctuate the calm water’s surface. But you can also look straight down and see where you could wind up if you fall. Oh, and did we mention that you could bump into the people in front of you or be bumped by the people behind you? Yeah, you can. Just to add a little more scariness.
The SkyCycle has been running since at least 2007 – that’s the earliest reference I can find about it on the internet, but I suspect, from the level of rust, that it’s been around even longer. I don’t have a fear of heights but I’m still on the fence if I would ever consider going on this. How about you?
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