Free-fall ride thrills local senior citizen

A 74-year-old woman rode a free-falling ride that stands 235 feet tall not once, not twice, but 110 times last Tuesday.

“I like it,” said Shirley Beeghly, of Marshalltown. “It’s like an airplane. You go up in the air, then you land. It’s fun.”

Beeghly loves the Space Shot, a ride at Adventureland amusement park in Altoona.

“When I get in the park I show them my pass and I go right in,” Beeghly said. “I go straight to the Space Shot.”

After her first turn on the ride she raises her hand and points her finger up in the air, this indicates she is alone and wants to ride again, and again and again.

“A lot of the times I don’t get off the ride at all,” Beeghly said. “That’s how I get so many (rides).”

During a single day last year she rode it 182 times.

“It’s a fun ride,” Beeghly said. “I’ve been riding it for a long, long time.”

Her advice for those who are scared is to be quiet.

“You don’t scream on the Space Shot ride,” Beeghly said. “You only scream on roller coasters, this is the happy ride.”

According to Beeghly, people enjoy riding next to her.

“They just smile at me,” Beeghly said. “I cheer that person up.”

Linda Tasler, Beeghly’s sister, has not been on the ride with her.

“If she enjoys it, let her ride,” Tasler said. “I don’t like it, but she does.”

Beeghly said her sister doesn’t like roller coasters or any of the other rides, except the park’s newest, The Storm Chaser.

“It’s similar to the Space Shot ride,” Beeghly said. “I’ve only been on it once.”

She said she is unsure of when she will go back to the park, but she said she hopes it’s soon.

“I can go to the park every day it’s open,” Beeghly said. “That’s how much I love the Space Shot.”