Finally, it was our turn. I learned that bobsleds are built for speed, not comfort. I thought, "this must be how a bullet feels when it's cocked into the chamber."
Lehto pushed us down the track. The bobsled collected speed, a feeling like topping the first crest of a roller coaster. The momentum built. We were already going pretty fast when we hit the first turn, then another long, dropping straightaway. Sitting behind the driver I felt a strange temptation to reach up, cover his eyes, and say, "Guess who?" The temptation passed.
Where's the Reset Button!
The bobsled's skates running over the ice made a sound like a drop of Tabasco sauce dancing on a hot skillet. We venomed through the crease, creating the illusion that we were skimming across the ice surface like a rock skipping across a pond, not so much hugging the ground as patting it on the back. We were a laser beam bouncing down a tunnel of mirrors, split atoms exploding in our wake.
We hit the second curve tight, G forces piling up. Now, it felt like we were hugging the ground. More appropriately, it felt like the ground was hugging us. In a long, crushing, face-reddening, eye-bulging, bear hug.
I am 27 years old, but we were going so fast I felt like I was 27 light years old.
The sled shimmied like a space shuttle on re-entry. I rolled my shoulders up and braced them against the bottom of my helmet, hoping to reduce the teeth rattling vibrations of the sled. No good. I felt like I was about to explode with carbonated adrenaline, like a shaken bottle of root beer, my head untwisting a bottle cap. If our driver's vision was shimmying as badly as my own, I wondered how he was able to keep his vision focused well enough to steer this thing. We were gonna crash for sure. Where's the freakin' reset button on this thing!
We came out of the last curve and charged down the straightaway. The sled felt aligned with the finish line like a negative ion aligns with a positive ion for a lightning strike. The sound barrier must have exploded too slowly for us to hear. We thundered down the track, a blinding flash of energy.
Sealed With a Kiss
The ride took 55.8 seconds at an average speed of 71.8 miles per hour. My adrenaline had reached its boiling point. "Ya-hoo!" I screamed.
Stacy and I took off our helmets. "I think that was worth a kiss," I told her. We kissed.
He chutes. He scores.
Do Some Slick Rockin' of Your Own
Written by Steve Law