Have you considered bobsledding or ziplining from an Olympic ski jump on your boomer travels? Just in case you think it might be more adventure than you care to experience (I’m raising my hand here), we can live vicariously through Leigh McAdam. Today, she’s here to tell us about bobsledding, ziplining and car racing at Canada Olympic Park in Calgary. Are you ready to get your adventure motor started?
I’ve lost control of my head—quite literally. It’s violently shaking from side to side as I roar down a bobsled run at a top speed of 95 kilometers an hour—highway driving speed. I’m in the number two position on a four man bobsled and there is no way out of this. I am committed—and all in the name of a having a little fun on a beautiful September day.
You might ask how I got myself into this predicament.
I’m a travel blogger based in Calgary, Alberta, and a boomer blogger I might add, though most of my readership is unaware of that fact. Recently Ford Canada has undertaken a marketing approach that targets bloggers. Not only do they provide us with Ford vehicles for road trips, they organized an unforgettable day that was more fun than I ever thought possible.
The day started with a luncheon, where I knew nobody and ended with a dinner where our group felt like they’d known each other for years. Not only did we bobsled and zipline, but we unleashed the inner racing car driver that so many of us seem to have—judging by what happened on the closed course where we had a chance to try out some Ford Escapes. All of these events took place at Canada Olympic Park in Calgary.
Driving was not the only item on the agenda. I knew ahead of time that the day was going to involve ziplining and bobsledding. That’s the real reason I said yes to the invitation. I figured a little mid-week adrenalin rush would make a nice change from sitting in front of the computer all day. What I hadn’t bargained for was being the oldest of the group. You’d perhaps think that my years of wisdom would mean I’d have said no to this sort of invitation, but I love adventure and doing something that scares me just a little bit.
Trust me—bobsledding scared me more than just a bit. It’s one of those things I’m glad I’ve done but I have no interest in repeating. Imagine squeezing your body into a contraption designed for super athletes and then hurtling down a hill—and not just any hill either. The bobsled run is the one used in the 1988 Calgary Winter Olympics. The only difference is they put wheels on the sled in the summer. If your core is strong and you pay attention to the instructions—keep your head up at all times—then you won’t get the violent head shaking I experienced for a while. It’s a rare activity that has me counting seconds until it’s over. Consider yourself warned.
Now ziplining is another thing altogether. I’d done it before and quite enjoyed it. What was different about this zipline experience is that it started from the top of the Olympic ski jump. That is a terrifying place to start. There are no trees to lend scale to where you are—or block the view so you can’t see where you’re going. We all knew once we were up there what would happen. The other somewhat unsettling aspect to this zipline experience was the fact that they seemed to think we needed a small parachute attached to our back. Hmmm! Once again we experienced speeds in excess of 90 kilometers per hour. Nonetheless once I got up the nerve to go, I had a blast. Really I did.
So for all of you boomers out there who haven’t lost your sense of adventure, get out and at least give the zipline a try. It will make you feel grateful to be alive.
Whew! That was some boomer adventure. Have you experienced the activities at Canada Olympic Park? Join the conversation at the My Itchy Travel Feet page on Facebook or send us an email with your comments or questions.