Over my Christmas holiday trip back East, I went go karting with some friends I havent seen since I moved out to LA. They had setup a deal with one of the indoor arenas to open up the place early and do unlimited karting for a group of 12 at $110 per person. This was 100% worth it since we had 9HP gas karts and everyone was semi-competent enough to make the racing competitive. We went to GPNY in Mt Kisco, NY and had about 3 hours of track time to race our hearts out, trash talk in between races, and recover from our injuries from the day. Normally you get pretty beat up just from the hard turns in a kart with no padding but I got extra beat up due to a track incident at the fastest part of the track.
Here is the “SUPERTRACK” map that we were racing on, which was pretty big for an indoor place. I have drawn in green where the elevation changes were which was also a pretty neat feature. The one in the upper left would result in sideways drift jumps if you hit it fast enough and timed your braking just right. And the one in the upper right was kind of similar to the Laguna Seca corkscrew if you scaled it to a go kart. With the 9HP karts, there were some very necessary braking zones and plenty of spots to meet a wall when competition was heated up and limits were pushed. In one instance, I got to experience a nice “eat the wall” encounter and I will go ahead and describe that now.
The front straight goes pretty much all the way from the upper left inside corner (right below the green plus) all the way down to the final tight hairpin in the bottom right. You need to back off a little on the tricky bits in the middle but in a kart it’s straight enough to nearly go flat out the whole way. Meaning you get going pretty darn fast by the time you reach the pit area through the finish line. Well one of the laps as we were going through there with 3 karts in front of me and a pack behind me, the karts in front clip a wall right at the end of the pit, spin out, and come to an immediate halt in front of me at the fastest and narrowest point of the track. I explicitly remember time slowing down in my head and having nowhere to go but two options, staight into the wall or hard braking and sliding most likely sideways directly into the other karts. At the speed I was going, there was no stopping without hitting something. I chose the wall as my split second decision and ended up nice and wedged under the plastic.
It was a bit of searing pain in the quick jolt to a stop and I had the wind knocked out of me for sure. After a second, I took a breathe finally moved a little in the seat and observed that I wasnt dead, bleeding, or otherwise maimed. My side and knee hurt like hell but I got out of the kart after the track was red flagged and they worked on dislodging my kart from the wall. I was just sore for the rest of the day and all of the super tight right turns had me wincing in pain. But I did manage my fastest lap time of the day a couple laps after that so driving angry helped a little bit lol.
Now that it has been just over a week later of healing, my knee feels fine and all of the bruising has gone away. But I still have some rib pain if I lean on it too hard. So its definitely some more healing to do. Surfing the other day didnt help at all with that process. And sending it off of ski jumps a few days before that also probably didnt help either. It feels better every day though so I am not too concerned or feel like I need x-rays. Famous last words though according to future self!