Did you have to wear a helmet?

The first question every one of the cousins asked yesterday was “Did you have to wear a helmet?” And, yes. We did have to wear helmets.

They were required, and helmet speed was exactly how fast we were driving in our high-speed, beyond-the-airport go-karts. Bookending a week that began with a LivingSocial deal for shooting guns, the week ended with a LivingSocial deal for driving these high-speed go-karts.

I’d approached a number of potential drivers with this kart possibility. Alison was the only one who immediately said, yes, let us drive these high-speed go-karts. In fact, she had already been to the facility. Not willing to accept go-kart mediocrity, this was exactly who and what I was looking for. So, prior to Marah rocking Arlington, we raced to outer Dulles, raced in the fun small cars and then charged back to the city.

We did have to wear helmets. And racing suits. And gloves. And head socks under the helmets. Beforehand, there were safety forms and a room with a safety video. On the track, there were three attendants, electronic race times, flags that included black, and the most powerful go-karts I’ve ever ridden. They had more than lawnmower engines.

The speed and slick track was like nothing I’d ever felt in a kart.

I looked like a dummy in my suit (pictured below); I knew as much. It (the suit) made me feel like Buddy Hackett in Herbie’s Love Bug or Don Knotts in Herbie Goes Monte Carlo. I apparently wasn’t man enough to feel like Dean Jones. Until I got behind the wheel. Alison and I didn’t put up times like the racers after us, whom I captured in the YouTube below. They nailed the roar into the corner and the subsequent power slide. But when we did open up the engines in the turns, accidentally or briefly on purpose, what a ride. It was easy to see why this track had memberships and formal races. Had I grown up near here instead of near Little League fields, my life might have turned out differently.

Quote of the race from Alison: “No pictures. You’re not going to put me on your blog in this purple suit.” Well played and well raced. Vroom…

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