By Diane Chase
We aren't actually going on the bobsled, this time. My partner in crime does not meet the 48" height requirement and if heredity stays true, she won't be that tall for quite some time. We drop her brother at Mt Van Hoevenberg for a skate ski lesson and figure out how to entertain ourselves. I have a bum knee from a skiing mishap and she is hungry.
A short distance away is the Lake Placid Bobsled Experience. We are fortunate because busloads of people are being dropped off. Though you do need a ticket to enter the building, we ask if we can just watch a few runs while enjoying some hot chocolate from the snack bar.
There are waivers to sign and warnings posted for safety that anyone under 18 must have a parent sign their waiver. Participants are also asked to keep cameras secure and hands and arms inside the sled.
The original Olympic Bobsled run was built in 1930 for the1932 Winter Games and revamped from the 1980 Lake Placid Winter Olympics.
This ride utilizes the refrigerated combination luge and bobsled track and starts from the ½ mile point. Built in 2000 for the Goodwill Games, the whole Olympic Sports Complex Sliding Track is 1,680 meters long, has 20 curves and a vertical rise of over 400'.
Used by Olympic racers, ticket holders shoot through swift turns named Shady, Labyrinth and The Heart and can reach speeds of over 30 mph. Don't worry, professional drivers and brakemen go along for the ride.
The viewing area above the ticket office has some bobsled memorabilia worth checking out. The 1930s wooden Team Germany bobsled is on display and will make you appreciate all the safety checks and modern day equipment.
A family visiting Lake Placid from Neuilly-sur-Seine, France is in town and suited up for their bobsled run. The father asks me to try to take pictures from the live feed TV. I agree as long as I can live vicariously through their experience.
They return shortly to share a video from their own perspective. Yes, they all agree. It was worth the price. Check out the Olympic Sports Complex calendar as times and schedule with vary.
All photos @ Diane Chase. Diane Chase is a freelance writer and author of Adirondack Family Time: Tri-Lakes and High Peaks: Your Four-Season Guide to Over 300 Activities to Lake Placid, Saranac Lake Tupper Lake, Jay, Keene Valley and Wilmington.
© Diane Chase, author of Adirondack Family Time: Tri-Lakes and High Peaks (Your Four-Season Guide to Over 300 Activities) for the towns of Lake Placid, Saranac Lake, Jay/Upper Jay, Wilmington, Keene/Keene Valley which is available online or bookstores/museums/sporting good stores. Diane is currently working on the second guidebook in the four-book series of Adirondack Family Activities.