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Karting in Austin

Today was opening day at Austin’s indoor electric Go Karting track – K1 Speed. I went along to have a go. They have a bunch of packages, and I just got five races which I think came out at just over $15 per race, and gave me free membership to the K1 club and everything that goes with it.


the older I get, the faster I was

I didn’t have to wait for a race, and got straight into the car and was prepped with helmet and helmet sock, while someone explained what the flags that the multiple overseers might wave at me. I promptly forgot everything they told me as I fiddled to mount my new helmet mounted camera on top of the skull saver while keeping my visor down, and sneaking my glasses onto my hooter.

After a few minutes of sitting, our cars were energized. There’s some kind of skynet deal where they arrest your progress remotely – sometimes limiting your car to a snail’s pace (at the beginning and end for example), but they didn’t tell me that, so I just thought the karts were exceedingly sluggish. After the warm up lap, the restraint nodules were remotely cut, and the cut and thrust on the track began in earnest, all captured by the HD camera atop my noggin.

I was pretty awful, but in the 14 laps I picked up a few things, and they gave me a pretty print out of my lap times (and everyone else’s) at the end. Realizing that I really don’t know the first thing about driving, I coupled the race data, a website about racing lines, and the footage to figure out what I was doing wrong. Pretty much everything.

The course is all turning and trying not to get hit the person in front – there were only four people in my race, and no-one caught me as I started at the back and kept up with the #13 kart all through the race. It seems eminently safe, which I don’t hold against it – it was a good mix of skill (or lack thereof) and competition. The experience was a complete blast though, and I look forward to racing friends, enemies and anonymous strangers there again. And getting more footage. And plotting out what I think the racing line might be on a course map.


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