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Sizing up the not-so-cheap thrills

A sampling of some of the big rides at this year's Pepsi Waterfront Village and their thrill factors:

• Ride: Big Sling

What it does: Slingshots you 300 feet into the air.

Barfometer: Low. One second you're perfectly still; two seconds later you're 300 feet up. Too quick for nausea.

Stagger quotient: Medium. Riders look more wobbly-legged getting on than getting off.

Scream factor: Modest. More shouts than screams, mostly right at the start when you experience 5 Gs and wind up higher than many downtown Portland buildings.

Height: 300 feet

Duration: 1 minute, 15 seconds, most of which is spent during the return to the ride platform.

Cost: $30 per person; $50 for two

• Ride: Evolution

What it does: Strapped into a seat, you spin on the end of a pendulum that swings you upward in a complete circle.

Barfometer: Medium high. More of an issue after mealtimes and, inexplicably, when they play 'Flight of the Valkyries.'

Stagger quotient: Low

Scream factor: High, mostly because of all the upside-down action. 'It's a head rush,' said Phillip Bouiss of Sun Valley, Idaho.

Height: 68 feet

Duration: 2 minutes, 10 seconds

Cost: $5.10; cheaper when buying coupons in bulk.

• Ride: Ring of Fire

What it does: Loop-the-loop

Barfometer: High, partly because of extreme speeds.

Stagger quotient: High. Most people hold the handrail when getting off.

Scream factor: High. Frequent, pervasive and loud.

Height: 64 feet

Duration: 2 minutes

Cost: $4.25; cheaper when buying coupons in bulk

• Ride: Fire Ball

What it does: Secures you inside a frame that spins around at the end of a pendulum that swings back and forth.

Barfometer: Low; varies according to intestinal strength.

Stagger quotient: Medium low

Scream factor: High. 'I love it,' said Amanda Mortimore of Yamhill. 'I've been on it three times.'

Height: 45 feet

Duration: 2 minutes

Cost: $4.25

• Ride: Turbo Force

What it does: Spins you like you're sitting at the end of a propeller.

Barfometer: Low

Stagger quotient: High. It subjects riders to 3.5 Gs.

Scream factor: High. 'This ride has no mercy,' said operator Michael Ates of Georgetown, Calif. 'You rip and roar.'

Height: 140 feet

Duration: 3 minutes

Cost: $4.25

Ñ Don Hamilton