Lakeside's Cyclone coaster gets even scarier

Anyone who's ever ridden the Cyclone at Lakeside Amusement Park can testify to the terror it produces. Sure, other roller coasters boast bigger vertical drops or more severe twists and turns. But the Cyclone, whose cars zip along a vintage wooden track, produced more dread than the vast majority because it always seemed on the verge of complete collapse. And that's not a recent phenomenon. The thing's rattled and shaken in a seemingly dangerous way for decades -- generations, even.

This subtext makes today's Denver Post story about the ride all the more disturbing. According to spokeswoman Connie Moore, park officials decided to go beyond standard winter maintenance to get the Cyclone in "really good shape for its 70th birthday." But they didn't get the work done in time for Lakeside's opening, and now the coaster may be out of commission for the entire summer -- meaning, in all likelihood, that it was in worse shape than even the most paranoid Lakeside lover believed. The sound you just heard was me sceaming, retroactively.

By the way, the Post also deserves kudos for finally correcting the Elway the dog item in Bill Husted's Sunday column. All it took to get them to do so were two blogs pointing out that the gravestone described as real was actually made on a website by yours truly (here's the first; this was the second) and three full days. But at least they got it done. The folks at Lakeside should take their time fixing the Cyclone, too, knowing full well that the longer they take, the scarier it'll be for customers to strap themselves into it again.

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Michael Roberts has written for Westword since October 1990, serving stints as music editor and media columnist. He currently covers everything from breaking news and politics to sports and stories that defy categorization.
Contact: Michael Roberts

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