The rideas teamLinks

Name : James Lloyd
Position : Site Operations
Time on-line : Since February 1996
Location : Derbyshire
Birth date : 27th December 1972

>>   I suppose I am the “odd one out” in the Rideas team, in the sense that I have not had a Ride / Theme Park related website of my own on the internet. Whilst I can “get by” with HTML and have dabbled a bit with it in the past, I am nowhere near as conversant as the rest of the team.

>>   However, I have been visiting Alton Towers for the past 20 years, and can recall quite a bit about how it has changed from the first “pay one price” park in the UK, with one major ride, to what it is today, i.e. the UK’s No1 Theme Park. (I have been fortunate enough to have ridden many of the “ex-rides” that some unofficial Alton sites feature. Thunder Looper is my “most missed” ride.)

>>   I have always been interested in Technology / Mechanisms, and what better way to combine the two than a coaster or extreme ride. For many years, I abstained from riding the coasters through fear and stuck to the tamer rides. Despite the fear they struck into me at the time, the technological side of the rides did appeal and fascinate. The “how do they make it do that?” question was one which I often asked.

>>   After being dragged onto The Black Hole by some friends in 1986, that was all it took for me to bite the coaster bug. From that point on, the taller, faster or more extreme the ride, the better!

>>   My interest in the rides lay semi-dormant for some time – until 1997. Like many people, I stumbled across a Jurassic Park type fence when exiting the Black Hole at Alton Towers. The work going on behind the fence was intriguing – there was a very deep hole and some interesting steelwork lying around… I wanted to know more!

>>   A search of the web revealed Matt’s SW4 Site. From then on I, along with many others, were visiting both the Towers and Matt’s site on a very regular basis to see SW4 – Oblivion – unfold. Come 14th March 1998, I was there – on about the third shuttle to go out (and also on Magic Factory!) What a drop… what a ride. (Nemesis is still my favourite UK coaster though!) But as it says on the pre-show film in Hex… “But it didn’t end there”… My quest to ride different coasters has taken me round a few UK parks (Notably the 3 Tussauds ones plus BPB & Pleasureland.) This year will see me add Drayton Manor & Oakwood to the list thanks to forthcoming European Coaster Club trips. I will also be visiting Orlando again this year – and will take in the industry trade show, IAAPA in November. (Before that, I will sample a park most weekends in the 2001 Season – it has to be done!)

>>   So I come to Rideas as someone who knows a fair bit about the rides and how they work. I also have considerable interest in future developments (a building site next to Nemesis for starters!) Hopefully, I will be able to assist the Rideas team with bringing you the news & some interesting features to the site!

>>   Of course, if there is any feature you would like to see on Rideas about the rides, or the working of them – drop me an email! I’ll do my best to oblige.


(March 2001)

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