On Sunday afternoon, October 9th 2016, I went on the Take Off ride at the Nottingham Goose Fair. I hadn’t been on this ride before. In fact, I hadn’t seen it before except on video. It looked a bit scary from the ground, but it also looked like a really good ride. Having watched several ride cycles, I finally summoned up the courage to take a seat.
The seat wasn’t special, but the headrest was soft. And when the safety harness came down, it was very tight around the crotch area. But once I got used to this, I found my seat surprisingly comfy.
There were only 8 people on the ride, and we were lucky to get a really good long ride cycle. Soon, we were riding super fast, with the outer and inner wheels turning in the same direction. It was an amazing feeling – rather like the Twist, but far comfier, because the g-force keeps you pressed back in your seat. I hadn’t enjoyed any ride so much in my 63 years. And we were still on the ground!
Then we slowed and lifted. Generally, the ride was less scary than it had looked from below; though I did choose to keep my eyes focused on the people opposite me. There were a couple of disconcerting moments, most notably when the inner wheel came to a juddering halt before reversing its direction. And I felt a bit dizzy during the part of the ride where the wheels are turning in opposite directions.
But the final section of the ride, where the wheels go the same way again, was beautiful. Now, it felt more like the Cage than the Twist, and it went really fast. It wasn’t as comfy as the first part of the ride; but it was just as much fun.
Without doubt, my first Take Off ride was the most enjoyable fair ride I’ve ever had. Lasting well more than 4 minutes, and worth way more than the £3 it cost. And, just as in a plane, the best part of the ride comes before you leave the ground.
However... Two hours later, I went back for another ride, and it was disappointing. First, the headrest in this seat wasn’t as soft. Second, the ride was shorter than the first. And third, they had changed the ride cycle, and cut out the best part of all – the super fast ride while still on the ground.
But it was still an amazing, exhilarating experience. I’ll be riding the Take Off again as soon as I can.
See Frankie Perkin’s video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kUsJxpHhifA