Go Karting

By on 20 July, 2015 in Fun, Kate and Stephen with 0 Comments

IMG_4108This summer’s scorching temperatures could turn a dainty cotillion into a post-apocalyptic survival epic.

So it’s perfectly reasonable that a mid-July invitation to drive go karts on an outdoor asphalt track would leave us feeling like we had just stepped out of Mad Max: Fury Road. The Alabama sun was a sledgehammer, but was nothing compared to the waves of heat coming from the overtaxed engines of the karts. One tap of the gas pedal sends the car lurching ahead as you smell the gasoline spraying into the primitive motor.

The track’s curves are sufficiently tight that you can feel the strain on the axles when you really lean into a turn, and they’ve misted some water on various parts of the track so that you get glazed with a fine coating of mud flecks and tire particles. The rules say “no bumping,” but there’s only so much space on the track, and if you’ve got 7 pre-teen boys coming up behind you to pass your wobbling jalopy, the bumpers may kiss.

All of which is to say that Go Karting Montgomery (9033 Wares Ferry Rd.) is a lot of fun, and a great idea for the young driver in your life. It’s easy to imagine taking a young person there for a birthday party with a few friends, or maybe just as a random adventure. In addition to the go karts, there are also four spinning bumper cars and some other distractions, but the main event is clearly the track out back.

We paid for two laps and felt like we got out money’s worth. Although my kart was more than a little wobbly, I think it’s only because we were with a large group of folks, and I took the last car to make sure that the kids all had the better vehicles in the fleet. Also, having ridden go karts pretty regularly at the beach, I know it can be a real maintenance challenge to keep all of the karts in top running condition. You pretty much have to have a mechanic around all the time to deal with the stress put on the vehicles by the aggressive drivers.

Driving a go kart is an escape from a world of traffic jams on poorly-designed Interstate exit ramps. It’s an indulgence of that feeling of wanting to push a vehicle to its limits, but not wanting to pay the repair bill for the consequences. And it’s also an escape from worlds mediated by phone or computer screens. No amount of video game racing can really compare to the analog pleasures of smoke, speed and squeals.

Although we got a little lost on the way to the place, we’re happy to pronounce Go Karting Montgomery a welcome addition to the local business community. We heard that they were thinking about adding laser tag. Awesome. Also, we need a great mini-golf course. We’re happy to wish our young friend Noah a happy birthday. At the same time, we wish our local go kart entrepreneurs a successful business.

Kate and Stephen are Midtown residents with two cats, a dog, ten fish, a garden, an old house and a sense of adventure. They write about life in Midtown here and about life in Montgomery at their blog Lost in Montgomery.

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