Going, going, go-cart
He’s still alive! This time last week BV’s only male heir, seven year old Addie, spotted a poster for a go-cart race, in just 3 days time, and pointed it out to Sam and Calum. Here’s what happened next:
First we emptied the shed of all the broken bike bits we had lying around and started trying to imagine the lay up. We settled on using two broken frames (my old Blizzard!) and the chopped off front end of an inherited BMX. Add to the mix an old sledge and we were away.
Taking an angle grinder to a frame that you once loved ri
ding is quite a wrench, but a welding mask is perfect for hiding tears! Calum then spent his next 2 days poring over the details – check out the images for his cunning brake splitter. The finished article was basically a chopper-style trike with twin disc brakes on the rear. Mint!
A quick test ride on Friday evening told us two things: 1. It was damn fast 2. It was dangerous! With more time we would surely have canted the rear wheels to stop it tipping so easily. With no time left, however, all we could do was get Ad to practice leaning into the bends and hope the race course wasn’t too steep.
Come race day and it emerged that 4 of the 8 teams were entirely adult and most of them had spent much, much longer than three days on their projects. The course started with a 50m push uphill into a 90 degree right hander before dropping steep and fast into a 90 left that led to the finish, about 50m away. The left was pretty much a worst case scenario for out slightly topple-happy design but Addie stayed committed to the cause, practising it over and over at gradually increasing speed. Dad pretty much had to look away and not think about the consequences.
It was a two-up knockout race format. In round one we got the hole-shot into the first bend and then Addie took the brutal left at his fastest speed yet. Round 1 = win!Addie’s go-cart win
The semi-finals had him pitched against two mechanics from the local garage who had basically stripped the engine from a racing go-cart. This would have seemed against the spirit of the event had they not also been very, very drunk. Ad scored the hole-shot again and went into the fast left in the lead. He also tried not braking. Not at all. A bold move and the crowd did go mental for the seven year old on two of his three wheels but alas it couldn’t last. He had to straighten up and shot off course, through the safety cones and up onto the pavement, all to a massive cheer. Before we could pull him clear the other lads had crossed the line and won a spot in the finals.
Addie was pretty gutted until we got out the bottle of fizzy apple juice and let him celebrate an awesome day in true formula one style. And there ended the adventure for this year. We’ve already planned mark II, which should be a ton more stable through the bends. Watch this space…