Have you ever looked for something new to do on your weekend or even during the holidays? I have. Recently I was given a gift card for a local indoor go‐kart track, as a kind gesture for helping out a friend. Since I like to take a car to the track and drive fast, I thought this was a great opportunity to give those little buggers a test.
I knew that I could not just enjoy this event by myself, so my husband and some close friends teamed up and decided to encounter this together. This past Saturday we marked the date and headed over to our local go‐kart track, called Need 2 Speed.
We arrived early afternoon and at first it appeared to be a light crowd waiting to hop in one of these karts and give it a whirl. Checking in wasn’t too long, but be prepared to show your driver’s license so that they can make a profile for you, and it also proves to them your age. But don’t be fooled thinking that the kids need to show one if they are underage to drive. Kids under the height of 48 inches will hit the track with only those of the same size and age group. Now if you are over 48 inches, in my case, 61 inches, you get to share the track with younger to older adults.
If this is your first try at go‐karting, be prepared to be bringing up the rear, or somewhat close to it. Those who have experienced this before will have the upper hand, and you just might feel as if you’re a slow poke. Not to worry – while on the track with other go‐karters, you are not racing against them, but in reality, you are going for your best track time.
Once it’s your turn to hit the track, your name is called, and then you are ready to learn the rules of the track. No hitting the walls, no hitting each other, and if someone wants to pass you, the track staff will wave a blue flag letting you know to pull to the side and allow them to advance past you. (To add insult to injury, when you receive the flag and you see a youngster flying past you, it can make you feel like you’re standing still.) Next, you are given a helmet, and placed in a predetermined kart so they can relate track time to operator.
You’re notified to enter the track; you get one lap to get the feel of the go‐kart and the layout of the track. Then the green flag is waved and off you go. Accelerating up to a speed of 45 mph, slowing for the turns, then pressing down the pedal to gain some speed. Twists and turns encompass the entire course; you begin to gain some confidence and allow yourself to go faster. Feeling pretty good, you gain on the person in front of you, and each turn you add just a little bit more speed. The rush is on.
The adults get 14 laps while the youngsters get a whopping 12. So what happens if you spin out of control and find yourself heading the opposite direction? Well, not to worry. There is a reverse switch below the steering wheel, helping you get back in the game once again!
As you head into your final lap, the checkered flag is waved, and your kart power begins to wind down, all controlled by the track staff to ensure a safe departure. After dismounting your kart, head over to the check in counter and retrieve your scores. In my case, I averaged second place among my group. Not bad for the first try, but I know that if I had more practice I could beat my score. I definitely will try this again.
You can drive a go-kart for $23 for non-members, and $18 for members. Need 2 Speed.
Give it a try, I think you will really enjoy the rush. Happy Motoring.