Nitro – The Ride

JoAnna Bennett

JoAnna Bennett, O’Brien Communications Group

8 October 2020

We had four Coke cans collected in a disposable plastic bag. I heard them clanking into each other and the subtle rustle of the bag every time we hit a bump in the road. I sat in the passenger seat of the old ’88 white Ford Bronco. My boyfriend (at the time) was driving, and two of our good friends were in the back. We were headed to Pathmark to purchase our first set of discounted season passes – thanks to those Coke cans – for Six Flags, Great Adventure. Since we now had our own transportation, we eagerly anticipated the multiple hour-long trips we’d make this upcoming season.

We walked up to the customer service counter and proudly placed those coke cans on the flaxen linoleum countertop. We each purchased our discounted pass and eagerly awaited our first trip. This season was going to be epic. There was a new roller coaster opening – Nitro. It had a top speed of 80 miles per hour and the highest drop was more than 200 feet. We planned on going to the park on the first day it opened, waiting well over an hour to experience the scream-inducing three-minute roller coaster ride.

And we did. The first weekend we were able, we took the hour-long drive south and had the experience of our lifetimes. We waited in line for longer than we anticipated, but we talked, laughed, and listened to the screams of the passengers who boarded the ride before us. As we crept closer to the front of the line, we were covered in cheesy, teeth-baring grins, we had butterflies in our respective stomachs, and the energy our bodies emitted had to be contagious.

The Time Had Come

Then our time came. With four seats in each row, we carefully filed into our row sitting next to one another. The harnesses came down and clicked into place. This was really happening. The beginning of the ride consisted of a two-minute, 200-foot ascent. Then we finally began to feel the first few rows starting to make their way over the other side. We all took a deep breath, looked at each other with our cheesy, teeth-baring grins even wider, and began to scream as the coaster took us around for about a minute of 80-mile-per-hour twists and turns. We raised our hands in the air and screamed louder – releasing all the energy our bodies had pent up during the wait.

The End

Then it was over. We had the feeling of pins and needles all over our bodies. Our cheesy grins were still glued to our faces, but the excitement was over. The ride had ended.