Putting the Kart before the horsepower
Garry says: I’m surprised how rough the track is. From the spectators’ area, where Lisa is watching her man-in-action, it looks like a smooth but twisted ribbon of asphalt. But not so from my perspective, where the rubber hits the road.
As I motor around the two-kilometre track, the longest of its kind in Canada, I keep the throttle pinned to the floor. No letting up on the corners that just keep coming.
But I’m not Sir Stirling Moss and it’s not a bazillion-horsepowered racing car I’m finessing through the turns at Mini-Indy in Toronto’s Centennial Park. I’m strapped into a 5.5-horsepower, 20-year-old go-kart.
Lisa says:Be careful out there, Husband.
Garry says:When I was a kid, there was a track in a gravel pit near home where on Saturdays I could hear the go-karts running. I’d hop on my bicycle and pedal down there to watch and drool over those tiny racing machines. I dreamed that one day I would be able to have one.
It would never happen though because it was obviously a rich kid’s sport. I would have to be content with the used four-speed Robin Hood two-wheeler I bought for $5 after the Glider bicycle I got for Christmas was stolen from the YMCA because I forgot to lock it up.
Lisa says:Your own fault. Your mother told you over and over again to always lock that new bike when you went swimming at the Y.
Garry says:I realize I look like a giant in this little go-kart but these turns are fun and even though there are plenty of rough spots, I don’t slow down anywhere. A trickle of sweat drips from under the helmet into my left eye and I wonder if I really need to be white-knuckling the steering wheel. My right leg is beginning to ache from pinning the throttle to the floor. I wish there was someone else on the track to ‘race’ with. I’m grinning like a fox eating bumblebees!
Lisa thinks:I’m glad there’s no one else here today. He looks a bit ridiculous in that tiny go-kart. Garry wanted me to go so he could try and take me in the corners (fat chance!), but these wedge sandals wouldn’t be good on the pedals. Plus I just straightened my hair. Do you know what a helmet does to hair?
Garry says:I get a signal from the track supervisor. One more lap and my escape from a string of business meetings will be over. The mighty 5-horse engine whines on the straightaway.
There’s Lisa in the pits waiting for her man. She gives me a hug after I unfold myself from the diminuitive machine. She has a loving look on her face.
“That was a blast. Was I ever moving! How did I look out there?”
Lisa says: Very manly, dear. But couldn’t you have picked up your speed a bit?