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A costume may ease fear of ‘Thunder’

Thu., Feb. 11, 2010, midnight

It seemed like a hilarious idea way back in January.

Steve Cody asked if I’d like to participate in the “Globe of Thunder” at his annual Inland Northwest Motorcycle Show and Sale.

The Globe of …


It’s this big round steel cage, Cody explained. All I have to do is get into it and stay real, real still. That’s because two motorcycle riders will be sharing space in there with me, but employing the law of centrifugal force to go whizzing round and round the inside walls.

Now that’s what I call a big-time crowd pleaser.

So I told Cody, sure. Bring it ON!

Flash forward to noon Wednesday. I went down to the new Spokane Convention Center and watched pieces of this globe contraption being unloaded from the back of a truck.

Isn’t it funny how reality can change your perspective on something? Why, the more I think about it the less amusing it seems. In fact, the Globe of Thunder sounds like a fast way for me to fulfill the “organ donor” promise on my driver’s license.

But unlike con men, most politicians or the president of the local Convention and Visitors Bureau, I am a man of my word.

So mark your calendars for Friday, my friends. Come to the new Convention Center at 6 p.m. and watch me enter the Orb of Gore and test my fortitude, not to mention bladder control.

Side note: It wasn’t much of a confidence booster to learn the ages of the aforementioned riders who will be circumnavigating my skull.

Meet the Ives brothers: Kyle, 15, and Cody, 17.

Are you kidding me?

I couldn’t parallel park until I was in my 20s.

(It could be a whole lot worse, of course. I could be getting into this Circle of Doom with some Doug-hating Spokane motorcycle cops.)

To break the ice, I asked the boys’ father, Shawn, what kind of costume I should wear.

“A small skirt and bustier. Keep the trailer trash hat,” he quipped after looking me over for a couple of seconds.

Oh, this doesn’t bode well.

Steve Cody suggested that I show up in a “one-piece orange unitard.”

Who do these clowns take me for, Johnny Weir?

If anyone out there has some sane costume advice, however, please contact me via the information below. The event deserves more than my normal columnist attire, which is even shabby by The Spokesman- Review’s dress code standards.

I probably shouldn’t fret so much. The Ives kids perform this act hundreds of times a year and nobody has died yet.

That we know of.

The trick for any would-be globe rider, I’m told, is to get past the dizziness. Once that is mastered, a rider must keep the bike going 20 to 25 mph to stay on the walls.

I don’t even want to think about the mess a crash landing would make.

Speaking of youth, Cody Ives said he made the Guinness Book of World Records at age 9 for being the youngest to ever ride the Globe of Thunder.

Maybe I’ll make the record books Friday night.

Can anyone tell me if there’s a category for highest-pitched scream uttered by a terrified columnist?

Doug Clark is a columnist for The Spokesman-Review. He can be reached at (509) 459-5432 or by e-mail at

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