Muskegon’s luge track lets you live an Olympic dream

Lugesmile_dsc0927_2 I gave up my dreams of Olympic glory long ago. But one event I'd love to try is the luge.

After all, how hard could it be to fling yourself down on icy slope on a tiny version of a Flexible Flyer sled?

Chicago Tribune reporter Christopher Borrelli got to fulfill my luge fantasy recently in Muskegon, Michigan, one of the few places in the country with a public track.

His description confirms a ride's not for the faint-hearted. First of all, you're on your back, you steer by leaning your legs, and the two-story-tall, 850-foot long track is covered with ice.

But it's not as dangerous as you think. You know," the 15-year-old instructor tells the intrepid reporter just before he takes the plunge, "more people die in cheerleading than luge."

If you're lucky, it's all over in under 30 seconds, but I bet the adrenaline lasts all day. And all this drama runs just $40.

Be warned, though. Even if you survive the trip, you're not ready to try out for the U.S. team. Muskegon track's much slower than an Olympic one. Top speeds are about 25 mph, reaching a maximum of 40. It's practically crawling by Olympic standards.

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