Q&A with freshman Josh Cale, self-proclaimed “roller coaster enthusiast”

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Lorna Ding

What sparked your interest in roller coasters?

I just remember growing up, my family would take me to Kings Island every year. Leading up to the park visit, I would look back on past maps and that sparked an inspiration to me.

Why do you like roller coasters?

I think it’s a really fun experience. There’s a lot of technical things that go into the construction and the operation of roller coasters, so I find joy in learning about that, as well as obviously attending the parks and riding the coasters themselves.

How has the pandemic impacted your roller coaster experiences?

With the whole pandemic, they were changing up operations, so they had us wear masks the entire time throughout the park. That proved some challenges having to wear a mask the entire day outside while (you’re) sweaty and hot.

(From left to right) Freshman Addy Czarnecki, freshman Josh Cale, freshman Andrew Bartley, and freshman Dawson Droste pose at Kings Island. According to Cale, “This year, I’m aiming to go (to Kings Island) six times because a couple of my friends are going to go with me now so it should be more fun to go with friends, and I should have more opportunities this year.”

Would you consider going into a career related to roller coasters?

Yeah, I think over the past six years that I’ve actually really enjoyed roller coasters, I’ve always kind of had that in the back of my mind. I’ve always wanted to be an engineer. I’ve actually really considered going to Purdue and possibly pursuing a career in designing or developing new roller coasters.

What type of roller coaster do you like the most?

My favorite type of roller coaster is probably a RMC (Rocky Mountain Construction) Ibox Hybrid coaster. Essentially, it is a hybrid coaster, (made of) wood and steel and the track is an I-beam in buildings. (The beams) twist and turn with the coaster, so, you’re running on top of two I-beams that go with the coaster, and that is the track on top of a wood structure.

Do you ever feel like your stomach drops on a roller coaster?

I definitely do get that (feeling). There are definitely a couple rides that really make your stomach turn. One of (them) being Top Thrill Dragster at Cedar Point. (For) that one, you’re going 120 miles an hour, so your stomach just essentially drops. I think it’s still exciting and fun, (and) there’s that fear factor of roller coasters, but after a while, you get used to it.

How do you deal with that feeling of your stomach dropping?

Honestly, if you are struggling to ride roller coasters, I’d just say to close your eyes for a little bit, and eventually when you work up the courage to open your eyes again, you should be feeling better. Other than that, I think (you) should be careful with eating beforehand; you don’t want to eat too much and throw up.

Do you have any tips for people who are scared of roller coasters?

There’s nothing really to be scared of. Obviously, there’s that fun and joy and experience of actually riding a roller coaster. Take it from me: I’ve done a lot of research, and I’ve interviewed a lot of people, (and) there’s nothing to be scared of. There hasn’t been a severe accident on a roller coaster in the past 20 years that has caused major deaths. (There’s) nothing to be scared of, especially if you go to a well-run park. The people they have working the operations are very smart and take very good care of all the rides.

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