Well, I knocked off another bucketlist item. Unfortunately my travel companion Emily wasn’t able to join me this time. But, she’s thinking about maybe next time!
I got an email on Thursday that Over The Edge was going to be jumping on Saturday in Akron. Since they normally jump much further away in Pennsylvania and West Virginia, I figured this was the closest opportunity I had to go. We were to meet at the main street bridge in north Akron, just outside of Cuyahoga Falls:
We were to arrive at 8am sharp. I got there about 7:45, and got a call that they were running late and wouldn’t be there until about 8:30. So I decided to walk down below the bridge and check it out:
We nervously waited until they arrived. Â Once they got there, things got a little sketchy. Â They had one of us watch out for the police while another loosed the bolts on a manhole cover on the sidewalk in the middle of the bridge. Â This got me a bit worried, realizing that not only could I die but I could also go to jail.
Once the manhole was opened, we started moving all of the gear. Â Then I got a little more worried when they decided they should send someone to the store to get some string to see exactly how high the bridge was! Â With string in hand, we measured it (and believe me I was looking over their shoulder), and we determined it was 207 feet. Since the bungee we were to use had a maximum length of 193 feet, we were good.
This graffiti didn’t sit too well with us (yes, it says “You will die now”):
After all of the rigging was in place, they asked who was going first (uh, not me). Â So brave soul Eric volunteered. Â This gave me a bit of relief since he was the only other person there who was around the same size as me.
After an hour or so of rigging and adjustment, Eric finally jumped. Â We each had 2 jumps, and to speed things up each of us did our jumps back-to-back so as to not have to disconnect and reconnect.
Eric’s jump went off without a hitch, so it was my turn. Â They recommended that for your first jump, you should go off backwards, but that wasn’t really what I had in mind. Â I wanted the full effect, so I decided to go face first.
I thought I would be nervous climbing over the rail and hanging on, looking down at the water and ground below, but it really wasn’t that bad. Â Actually making the leap, however, was TERRIFYING. Â As soon as I committed and jumped, it was the strangest feeling. Â You really don’t feel the harness or bungee attached to you, and for 5 seconds or so it is total freefall. Â I still get vertigo just thinking about it. Â The ground was coming up so fast, then at the very last minute you feel the reassuring tug from the cord as it spins you around to face back toward the sky.
All in all a good day. No injuries, no legal problems. Can’t wait until next time.