By Alyssa Green
Talk about a kids’ dream come true! If you want to show your kids a good time, take them to recently opened k-1 Speed in Rancho Cordova. Dubbed “the place to race,” this electric indoor kart racing venue makes for a fabulous family activity.
My family recently gave kart racing a try for the very first time, and although my boys had no reservations, I have to admit to having some. Not for my kids, but for me. I knew that my boys would be racing with other kids in smaller and safer karts than the adults, so I wasn’t worried about their safety or whether or not they would have fun. I was however, a bit concerned about it being my first time racing, and possibly being thrown into a race with a bunch of really competitive drivers. I’m a cautious sort of person, so I knew I would probably be the slowest racer out on the floor – would I be in everyone’s way? Would I get bumped around? How fast did these things go, anyway? The bottom line was, would it hurt if someone rammed into me. Well, for the most part, my fears were unwarranted.
First, let me back up and explain the process you’ll go through as a new racer to K-1. Upon entering the premises, you’ll realize that this is really cool place to be. There is a real live race car at the entrance (great for photo ops) and racing gear, photos and memorabilia throughout. The first thing you’ll want to do is register your racers in k-1’s computer system (kids must be 48 inches tall to race, so this is not for the little ones.) Once you have done that, you’ll go to the counter to pay for your races. There are several payment options ranging from just one race for $19.99 to 8 races to use anytime for $100.
Once payment has been made, you’ll most likely have to wait a bit for your race. While you are waiting, you can have lunch at the on-site Subway, play video games or pool in the arcade, or watch others race. Once your name(s) has been called, you go out to the racing floor, grab a head sock and a helmet and get a run-down of how the kart works and the racing rules out on the floor. And, not to worry, because new drivers are not thrown in with seasoned, competitive drivers. Phew. What a relief!
Okay. Ready, set, go! Luckily everyone starts off slowly as the karts gradually gain speed. Adults race 14 laps, kids race 12 laps, the perfect number to get a pretty good handle on your racing skills. Most drivers were kind and courteous on the floor, however I did have one driver intent on getting ahead of me and didn’t hesitate to ram me out of the way, which did produce a tiny bit of whiplash (and some irritation) but nothing serious, thank goodness. All in all, it was a fun time!
Just a couple of things I wished someone had told me ahead of time. First, the racing floor is not heated, so be sure to dress warmly. I really could have used some gloves, as my hands felt like ice cubes by the time my race was over. Second, unfortunately adult and junior racers cannot race at the same time, so you won’t be able to be out on the floor with your kids. Adult and Junior races are alternated, so I suggest you have your kids go first, otherwise you might miss photo opportunities (if this is their first time) because they will already be in their karts, rearing to go while you are coming out of your race. Other than that, make an afternoon of it and prepare yourself for a great time! My kids are already talking about going back and have begun planning their September birthday parties at K-1 Speed.