I will think of a better name for this blog one of these days.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Chinese New Years (2nd Road Trip)

I went with my other group of friends to Miaoli for some go-karting. The place is a pretty far trek from Taipei, roughly two hours by car, but it's supposed to be the best go-kart track in Taiwan.

I wasn't disappointed.

The track is fairly large, has a fast left hand sweeper, a slightly technical section, uphill/downhill part, a hairpin, and a quick left/right section.

Each session costs $250 NT ($8 USD) and they let us run for about 15 minutes. Normally i think it's 10 minutes but since the weather was freezing there wasn't too many people there, they gave us a little more time.

First you go into a room where they brief you on how to drive and some safety stuff. This is nothing like the US. First thing the employee told us was, if you crash and damage the car, you have to pay them for whatever is broken. Second was that if you crash and injure yourself, well. . . that's your problem.

Then he talked about the flags, green means go, yellow means slow down, checkered means the session is over. Left foot = brake, right foot = gas. He pointed to where the helmets and balaclavas were and that was that. I don't think the whole thing took more than 3-4 minutes and we didn't have to sign waivers or anything. Very unlike the US, where you'd have to watch 3 videos, study a safety manual, tell them who to contact if there's an emergency, sign 10 forms, and give them the results from your most recent physical.

Anyways, we strap on our helmets and go outside. It's freezing and the wind is blowing pretty strong. I'm thinking, gloves would've been a good idea. Oh well. . . too late now.

We get into the cars and wait for the green flag. There's a strong smell of gasoline in the air as the go-kart motors are probably running pretty rich in this abnormally cold weather. After the owner guy sees everyone's in their cars and all the engines are still running, he waves the flag and we're off.

I immediately remember how much fun go-karts are. Everything is so immediate and responsive. You only have to think about going left and kart goes left. You get a great sensation of speed since your derrière is only an inch off the ground and there's no suspension so you feel every little bump, crevice, every imperfection of the track. The go-karts probably only go 60 kph but it feels like 150 kph.

I was both disappointed and a little relieved to see the checkered flag. One one hand, I still hadn't completely figured out how to take turn 9 properly. Also, one of the faster guys just passed me so I wanted to follow him and see what i was doing wrong. On the other hand, my brain/body was telling me I could use a break.

I ended up doing only one more session as my friends were too tired to do anymore laps.

Was a lot of fun. Look forward to going back when it's not so cold.

Oh yeah, here's their website:

1 comment:

lunadaiz said...

You are invited to my wedding on June 21, 2008.