On Completing the UK

Something extraordinary happened to me this weekend. Well, extraordinary in my little world anyway. I finally rode every rollercoaster in the UK! Avid readers of my blog will remember a personal goal I set for myself last year, which didn't come to fruition because 2015 tried to fuck me sideways. But finally, after seven years of painstaking trip planning, scouring Coaster-Count and RCDB for updates of new coasters for me to hungrily chomp my way through and finally I've done it. All those little boxes are ticked and I can scroll happily through Coaster-Count without a hint of the dreaded red blob telling me what precious coasters were missing from my most unusual collection.

It's a great feeling, achieving small, personal goals. I assume this is what dieters feel when they finally hit their goal weight, after tediously planning and assessing their journey until finally they do it. But, unlike a dieter, mine is an achievement not shared my many. Nor is it cared for by many. Which is fine, because let's face it, it's a bit odd! If I were to tell a 'normal' that I've ridden every coaster in the UK their reaction is usually firstly one of confusion ('You actually spend your time doing that? Even the little kiddie ones?') and then this is usually followed with 'Oh, that's really cool!'. To which I always reply the same. No. No it's not. It's the opposite of cool. It's geekiness at it's most extreme. And that is OK.

As I've explained previously, I feel like we should all embrace our nerdiness. Now is a better time than any, a golden age for the previously shunned and socially outcast. We live in a time where the geek is put up on a pedestal and embraced rather than mocked, and that is a truly marvellous thing. What's better than finding a like-minded bunch of people to sit and geek-out with about the one thing you thought made you stranger than your average human. And I feel like this little victory of mine has earned me a place in the UK coaster-enthusiast hall of fame. Well, for at least the short time between now and when the new coasters open at Paultons Park in a couple of weeks.

And that's fine too. I am a coaster enthusiast. I live for this shit. Nothing fills my heart with joy more than scrolling through the various coaster-listing sites to find a new rollercoaster has opened at some godforsaken part of the UK. I'll get chatting to my friends, we'll scour through our calendars, find when we're all free, jump in the car and drive to whatever weird and wonderful forgotten seaside town that has for some reason decided to invest in a Big Apple. It would be a very sad day for me indeed if this were it.

And whilst the ticked boxes and completed spreadsheet is immensely satisfying to behold, it's definitely the journey and the memories associated with achieving all of those credits that make this all worthwhile. Never have I laughed so hard or indulged in pure silliness as I have on a cred-run around the UK. And the bonding too. You find a lot out about a person when you're stuck in a car to Bridlington or Porthcawl with them for hours on end. I know a few enthusiasts who endeavour to conquer the UK coasterscape solo - which is fine, more power to you. But the comradery that comes part and partnership with this hobby is for me what it's truly all about.

So thank you. Thank you all of your who have shared the petrol money, begged for us to be let into non-childless adult friendly parks and shared their stories to pass the dreaded hours of motorway travel. It's been a fucking blast over these past seven years or so and I can't wait to keep ploughing away with you all at our weird and wonderful hobby.

Talk later,