Coney Island's Cyclone opens and stomachs churn
The Cyclone -- a 87-year-old wooden roller coaster and Brooklyn institution -- made its first stomach-churning drop of the season on Sunday.
Erik Knapp, 48, who makes it a practice every opening day to be first on line for the nearly two-minute ride, emerged from the coaster delighted.
"It was amazing. It was great. I feel 10 years younger," the Brooklynite said.
Knapp first rode the Cyclone in 1973, as a boy accompanied by his grandfather.
"The idea is, don't lose that inner child," Knapp said.
For John and Lyn Torre, a couple from Brooklyn, the Cyclone's off-season fixes, including new wooden tracks, made this year's ride unsettlingly smooth.
"This is the first time my stomach didn't drop on that first hill going down," Lyn Torre said, sounding disappointed. "There's no more jolting around."
Alberto Zamperla, president of Zamperla Group, which owns and operates the Cyclone's home, Luna Park, christened the coaster with the traditional egg cream and sat in the front car for a spin with other dignitaries before the ride officially opened to the public.
"I love it," he said. "It's nice to have the adrenaline rush because life is about speed. And the Cyclone is speed."
Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams called the Cyclone the epitome of Brooklyn.
"The Cyclone defines the Brooklyn experience," Adams said. "It's an up and down ride with a lot of bumps and turns. But we always end up where we need to be."
Adams decided where he needed to be on Sunday was firmly on the ground -- he declined to ride the Cyclone himself, offering a simple explanation: "I had a full breakfast, so there's no way I was getting on that roller coaster," he said.
- With Jennifer Barrios