Man who dedicated his life to riding rollercoasters after a trip to Blackpool clocks up 1000th ride
A man who dedicated his life to rollercoasters after a childhood trip to Blackpool has clocked up 1000 rides.
Crazy fan David Ellis, from Lowestoft, East Anglia, has been on 1000 different coasters across the world in his bid to become one of just 40 people to have conquered the thousand coaster challenge.
In his 38 years of coaster hunting he’s travelled more than 1500 miles on the rides and visited 22 countries.
Although the unlikely adrenalin junkie is an accountant in his 9 to 5, at the weekend David likes nothing more than the rush of a loop the loop normally associated with thrill-seeking teenagers.
His mission started when he visited Great Yarmouth Pleasure Beach on a family holiday aged just 10.
He said: “The Roller Coaster at Great Yarmouth Pleasure Beach was my first ever coaster and it still holds a special place in my heart.
“My dad took me for the first time and although I was a bit nervous I immediately got a taste for coasters and I became determined to ride as many as I could.”
Since then he’s worked his way round theme parks all over the UK taking in classics such as the Big One at Blackpool Pleasure Beach and Stealth at Thorpe Park.
He once drove four hours to Alton Towers only to ride Nemesis 64 times and drive straight back again.
In the last 20 years his quest to find new rollercoasters has taken him outside the UK and his dutiful wife Susan has followed him round the globe.
The couple even rode a rollercoaster on the morning of their wedding in 2002 in Vegas.
David said: “Susan is not quite as mad as me because I’m a bit of an adrenaline junkie.
“She rides pretty much everything but most of the time she is happy just to ride a coaster once and then let me ride as many times as I want to.”
Last year in China David managed to fit in 27 amusement parks and in just 16 days.
And he notched up his 1000th roller-coaster on an 18-day trip where he took in his final 65 rides at 27 different parks in 10 US states and two Canadian provinces.
An old-fashioned wooden roller-coaster called Tremors at Silverwood Theme Park in Idaho eventually took the number 1000 title.
The daredevil has even become and unlikely internet sensation after the video he filmed of himself on the Mieders Alpine Coaster in Austria was viewed more than nine million times on YouTube.
David said: “It feels great to be part of such an exclusive club.
“During our trip we drove about 5,000 miles which was pretty crazy and was quite an adventure in itself.
“Completing my 1,000th ride was a special moment for me because it has been in the distance for a long time and it was lovely to finally reach it.
“But the adventure goes on and there’s always new rollercoasters being built every year.”
Speaking about his 1000th unique ride, David was impressed.
He added: “The ride was very good. I was disappointed I only got to ride it once because we only had a couple of hours in each park.
“But I got a front seat ride and came out of my seat several times which is what we call air time and is rated very highly by rollercoaster enthusiasts.”