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Today is the Last Chance to Take a Spin on the Hurricane

There is one week left to ride the 20-year-old roller coaster at the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk. Here's what it looks like from the front car.

Yes, it's scary and fast and thrilling. The new one should be even better.

Here's a ride Monday, a week from D-Day for the Hurricane. Perfect coaster weather. Go take a last ride...you will remember it forever.

The Hurricane brought back the lyrics of a Cracker song about the other coaster in town, the Giant Dipper. In "Big Dipper," they sing: "you could see all the way to Monterey or think about San Jose, though I know it's not that pleasant."

The views up there are superb. Worth riding a few times just to look out on the mountains and the Bay. Although, as the jerky camera shows, there isn't that much time to gaze.

For those who don't remember, the Hurricane had some serious problems when it opened. It was so jerky, it had to be closed down.

Here's an excerpt from a Lee Quarnstrom column on June 24, 1992 about opening day. Quarnstrom, a former columnist and Santa Cruz reporter for the San Jose Mercury News, was among the first to ride the coaster, and got hurt doing so.

"Is the newest ride at the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk a real pain in the neck? It may be, and boardwalk officials Tuesday were going to close it temporarily and reduce the speed.

Some of the local luminaries and journalists who took a spin during the Hurricane's maiden voyages Monday complained later of sore necks and backs.

Boardwalk officials, conceding Tuesday that their $2 million metal roller coaster was a tad too herky-jerky, said they would temporarily close the attraction so they could calibrate speeds downward.

"It's a very intense ride, " said Ed Hutton, general manager of the amusement park and executive vice president of the Seaside Co.

"The train's running very fast. We knew it was running fast, so we're slowing the ride down by two or three seconds. We'll probably shut it down for a half-hour or so . . . so we can reduce the speed."

The story has a quote from current and then Mayor Don Lane:

"I was sort of hesitating to go on because my back has been sore during the last few weeks, " said Mayor Don Lane. "But it didn't seem to hurt it."

The Hurricane has been sold to the Western Playland Amusement Park in New Mexico...so enthusiasts can still visit.

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