Positively Northern Nevada: Formula for family fun
Posted by Tom on 01/11/2014
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The author, with Kendall Chaffin and Amanda Gallop at 'Need 2 Speed' a new indoor Go Kart racing track in south Reno
Itís often challenging to find fun activities for teens during the winter if you donít have time to take them skiing or snowboarding. The other day we decided to check out a new indoor Go Kart track called ďNeed 2 Speed,Ē that opened in south Reno. I took my 15 year-old daughter Amanda and her friend Kendall, who are both on the cusp of getting their driving permits.
I figured it would be a good pre-driving experience, because if you spin out-- itís in a controlled environment. Itís also a chance to figure out how to maintain a safe distance between yourself and other drivers as you speed around hairpin turns.
There are two rules at Need 2 Speed: Donít hit other karts and donít hit the wall. Sounds simple enough. I will say that the two teenagers found their driving legs quickly and by the time we had driven around the track seven times they were both on my tail trying to lap me. Iím used to driving kids around in my SUV and am a bit cautious behind the wheel. I obviously need to channel my inner racecar driver.
My friend Robin Krueger took her two sons; Sam, 13, and Charlie who is nine. They reported that, ďThey were the fastest go karts we have ever raced!Ē The electric karts for grownups can go up to 45 miles per hour. The track has karts for kids that reach speeds of 25 mph. At the end of your race you get a printout that compares your speed to other drivers in your party. We saw lots of families racing against each other, including grandparents.
The track is in the old Mervynís building at Sierra Center Parkway and has rooms for birthday parties and team building events. I think Channel 2 should take all of us out for a day at the track to build camaraderie. Maybe we could race against some of the people we report on; like firefighters or judges. Now that I think of it the Judicial College should have a corporate retreat there. Can you imagine a dozen judges in robes with helmets trying to out drive each other in Grand Prix go- karts? Priceless.
As we sped around the track, I found myself laughing out loud. The guys with the checkered flag seemed to be laughing out loud too, probably because I was doing about 20 mph instead of 45 mph.
When I asked the girls about their first driving experience they both said it was a blast. Kendall, who turned in the fastest time, accidentally ran into the wall when she pressed the gas instead of the break. She didnít get the warning flag though, and Iíd a lot rather she hit the wall at the go-kart track than out on the real roads.