Adrenaline junkies ride the "Wall of Death" in Cortland - WFMJ.com News weather sports for Youngstown-Warren Ohio

Adrenaline junkies ride the "Wall of Death" in Cortland

Posted: Updated:
CORTLAND, Ohio -

They seemingly defy gravity, flying by at speeds up to 55 miles an hour on a motorcycle on a wall that's straight up and down, also known as the "Wall of Death."

"It is America's original extreme motorcycle thrill show," said Charlie Ransom. "This was before Evel Knievel, before the kids on the freestyle dirt bikes right now and anything. This was it."

They stay true to their roots. Jay Lightnin's been doing this since 1969, defying gravity for a couple dozen shows a year.

"The wall itself is 30 feet in diameter. It's 14 feet tall and we ride around the inside of the walls," said Lightnin.

"This is the world's steepest mobile race course," said Hobo Bill.

"It's a thrill show. My goal is for you to walk down the stairs exhilarated," said Ransom.

For the riders, it's a fresh dose of adrenaline every hour.

"You might be an adrenaline seeker, some of us a little more than others," said Hobo Bill. "It's one heck of a day job."

One of the most unique parts about the show, other than the fact that they're riding at a 90-degree angle, is that all the fans stand at the top watching the action from above.

"The kids at the top, that's the real reward, the faces," said Ransom.

"I look up and everybody's staring at me. It's almost funny, 'What are you guys waiting for?' But it does get you a little bit," said Hobo Bill.

"We feed off that energy too," said Reckless Reda. "When we see the crowd up there and they're excited, it makes us that much more excited."

It's their chance to show off a little but also keep some of that spirit from the early 1900s alive and well.

"This is original live entertainment," said Hobo Bill. "Right before TV, there was over 200 of these. Now there's less than a handful."

The faces in the crowd still light up when they see it, with the "Wall of Death" entertaining a new generation.

The "Wall" is part of the Rockabilly Ruckus going on this weekend at the Trumbull County Fairgrounds in Cortland. Gates will be open Saturday from 9 am-8 pm and Sunday from 9 am-6 pm, with "Wall of Death" shows running every hour.

  • More From wfmj.comHot ClicksMore>>

  • Hawaii lava boat tours continue after explosion, injuries

    Hawaii lava boat tours continue after explosion, injuries

    Tuesday, July 17 2018 11:00 PM EDT2018-07-18 03:00:21 GMT
    (Hawaii Department of Land and Natural Resources via AP). This photo provided by the Hawaii Department of Land and Natural Resources shows damage to the roof of a tour boat after an explosion sent lava flying through the roof off the Big Island of Hawa...(Hawaii Department of Land and Natural Resources via AP). This photo provided by the Hawaii Department of Land and Natural Resources shows damage to the roof of a tour boat after an explosion sent lava flying through the roof off the Big Island of Hawa...
    Hawaii tour boat operators plan to continue taking visitors to see lava, but will follow the Coast Guard's revised policy and stay farther away after an explosion caused molten rock to barrel through the roof of a...More >>
    Hawaii tour boat operators plan to continue taking visitors to see lava, but will follow the Coast Guard's revised policy and stay farther away after an explosion caused molten rock to barrel through the roof of a vessel, injuring 23 people.More >>
  • MGM sues Vegas shooting victims in push to avoid liability

    MGM sues Vegas shooting victims in push to avoid liability

    Tuesday, July 17 2018 10:58 PM EDT2018-07-18 02:58:57 GMT
    MGM Resorts International has sued hundreds of victims of the deadliest mass shooting in modern U.S. history in a bid to avoid liability for the gunfire that rained down from its Mandalay Bay casino-resort in Las...More >>
    MGM Resorts International has sued hundreds of victims of the deadliest mass shooting in modern U.S. history in a bid to avoid liability for the gunfire that rained down from its Mandalay Bay casino-resort in Las Vegas.More >>
  • Jupiter's moon count reaches 79, including tiny 'oddball'

    Jupiter's moon count reaches 79, including tiny 'oddball'

    Tuesday, July 17 2018 9:27 PM EDT2018-07-18 01:27:19 GMT
    (GSFC) via AP, File). FILE - This April 3, 2017 image made available by NASA shows the planet Jupiter.   A team of astronomers is reporting the recent discovery of a dozen new moons circling the giant gas planet. That brings the number of moons at Jupi...(GSFC) via AP, File). FILE - This April 3, 2017 image made available by NASA shows the planet Jupiter. A team of astronomers is reporting the recent discovery of a dozen new moons circling the giant gas planet. That brings the number of moons at Jupi...
    Scientists have found more moons circling Jupiter, bringing the total to 79 at the giant gas planet.More >>
    Scientists have found more moons circling Jupiter, bringing the total to 79 at the giant gas planet.More >>
  • More NewsMore>>

  • Lawsuit, ex-student focus on complaints about Ohio State doc

    Lawsuit, ex-student focus on complaints about Ohio State doc

    Tuesday, July 17 2018 10:59 PM EDT2018-07-18 02:59:26 GMT
    (Ohio State University via AP, File). FILE - This undated file photo shows a photo of Dr. Richard Strauss. Former Ohio State president E. Gordon Gee and former vice president of human resources Linda Tom tell The Columbus Dispatch they don't remember r...(Ohio State University via AP, File). FILE - This undated file photo shows a photo of Dr. Richard Strauss. Former Ohio State president E. Gordon Gee and former vice president of human resources Linda Tom tell The Columbus Dispatch they don't remember r...
    A lawsuit by four former Ohio State University wrestlers alleges the school failed to stop "rampant sexual misconduct" by a now-dead team doctor despite being "repeatedly informed" about his behavior.More >>
    A lawsuit by four former Ohio State University wrestlers alleges the school failed to stop "rampant sexual misconduct" by a now-dead team doctor despite being "repeatedly informed" about his behavior.More >>
  • Lowellville PD: Woman faces charges after allegedly stealing a stop sign and fleeing

    Lowellville PD: Woman faces charges after allegedly stealing a stop sign and fleeing

    Tuesday, July 17 2018 10:49 PM EDT2018-07-18 02:49:59 GMT
    Jennifer GrecoJennifer Greco

    A woman who is accused of stealing a stop sign and fleeing from police in Lowellville was in a court Monday to be arraigned.  The incident happened back in April when police saw 40-year-old Jennifer Greco of Lawrence County in a parking lot on 3rd Street. Lowellville police say they spotted Greco throw a stop sign into the trunk of a car and then drive off speeding, the report said. According to the report, police say the woman then allegedly drove through lawns, ran stop sign...

    More >>

    A woman who is accused of stealing a stop sign and fleeing from police in Lowellville was in a court Monday to be arraigned.  The incident happened back in April when police saw 40-year-old Jennifer Greco of Lawrence County in a parking lot on 3rd Street. Lowellville police say they spotted Greco throw a stop sign into the trunk of a car and then drive off speeding, the report said. According to the report, police say the woman then allegedly drove through lawns, ran stop sign...

    More >>
  • Oscar the Singing Dog fails to advance on AGT

    Oscar the Singing Dog fails to advance on AGT

    Tuesday, July 17 2018 10:26 PM EDT2018-07-18 02:26:23 GMT
    Last week a local pooch captured the hearts of people from all over America as he sang his way past the audition phase of NBC's America's Got Talent. It's not over until the fat lady sings. Or in this case, the golden retriever.   Oscar gave it his all but it wasn't enough to advance to the next round on Tuesday night's show. Mel B quickly gave him the buzzer. Then at the end of the show, Pam was told she wasn't going on to the live shows. We caught up with Pam Baker and O...More >>
    Last week a local pooch captured the hearts of people from all over America as he sang his way past the audition phase of NBC's America's Got Talent. It's not over until the fat lady sings. Or in this case, the golden retriever.   Oscar gave it his all but it wasn't enough to advance to the next round on Tuesday night's show. Mel B quickly gave him the buzzer. Then at the end of the show, Pam was told she wasn't going on to the live shows. We caught up with Pam Baker and O...More >>
Powered by Frankly
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2018 WFMJ. All Rights Reserved. For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy and Terms