Coney Island’s legendary Cyclone rollercoaster celebrated its 95th birthday Sunday, as fans lined up in the blazing heat for a free ride to mark the anniversary.
The first 95 guests rode for free Sunday in honor of the coaster’s 95th anniversary.
Erik Knapp, who has dubbed himself “Mr. Cyclone” and has a tattoo of the ride on his arm, arrived at 6:15 a.m. to ensure he was the first on the ride.
“I’ve been riding it since 1973,” he said. “I’m glad it’s still here. Everything else in New York has disappeared, so the little bit of old New York we have, we have to keep it going.”
When the park opened at 11 a.m. Sunday, there was already a crowd of around 50 people waiting for a free ride and a group of drummers played by the rollercoaster.
Designed by Vernon Keenan, the Cyclone first opened on June 26, 1927 and has been a Brooklyn landmark ever since. It was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1991, a few years after it became an NYC-designated landmark.
The ride holds 24 passengers and reaches up to 60 miles per hour. Its popularity has spawned multiple replicas at Six Flag theme parks across the country and is said to be the second-steepest wooden roller coaster in the world.
Riding the coaster, Knapp said, “feels like my childhood.”