Find your competitive side at Langar Karting and Quad Centre
Myself and my colleague Alistair recently spent an afternoon at Langar Karting and Quad Centre to see what visitors can do, and test our own skills in a series of activities. Here’s what we both thought of it:
I was really excited to be visiting Langar Karting and Quad Centre to have a go at a few of the activities they offer. Go-karting and archery are two I’ve tried before, with differing success, while quad biking and power turns were completely new to me!
I must confess I love any excuse to go go-karting – it’s great fun for a group of friends to do together. Upon arrival we were given a safety briefing by our host Tom, before two 15 minute sessions. Our first 15 minute session on the track was to get used to the course and see what the fastest lap time we could set was. Tom then talked us through the track, showing us the quickest lines to take in order to improve our times. Our target was to improve by a whole second each so we clambered back into the karts and followed Tom around the track for a few laps to get an idea of the best lines. After several laps with Tom in front, he left us to crack on. I had a real sense of determination to beat my previous best and, I’m delighted to say, I did! I got my time down from a 1:29.6 to 1:28.3.
After another coffee break, we headed outdoors for a session on the quad bikes – we even brought the wet weather with us, which made for a muddy session on the outdoor course. This was my first time on a quad bike but I thoroughly enjoyed it. Conquering rough terrain and pushing the throttle down hard on the slippery grass made for great fun. Next we had a go at archery. Once again, Tom walked us through the technique before letting us loose on the target. To get our eye in, we had a couple of practice rounds before a slightly competitive final round where we tried to beat each other’s score. I will be the first to admit my practice rounds were dreadful but luckily, I got my eye in when it mattered and won the head-to-head – sorry Alistair!
Finally, we had chance to try power turns – a bonkers concept but arguably one of the best things I’ve ever done. A two seater dune buggy contains two levers. Each lever controls a separate engine and the aim is to work together to get the buggy around the course. However, one lever goes forward further than the other, and if one goes further, you go in that direction more. And as if that wasn’t complicated enough, to turn left you use the right lever and to turn right, you use the left lever. On our own we were mediocre but I’m happy to say that as a team we were pretty good at it!
Tom and I arrived at Langar Karting and Quad Centre, excited at the prospect of what was to come, as we prepared to put pedal to the metal in the various thrill-seeking vehicles that were waiting for us.
Firstly, we donned our overalls, put on our helmets, and hit the track to try out some go-karting. As someone who’d never tried go-karting before, I was surprised by how quickly I felt comfortable on the track, and by how much I quickly started to enjoy it.
As a complete novice, I probably looked like I was driving at a snail’s pace to those watching on from the pit lane – but in my own head I was Lewis Hamilton, scorching round the track with ease.
We were racing each other out on the track, but the real battle (for me anyway because Tom was winning the real race) was against the clock. I found myself getting surprisingly competitive in my efforts to cut down my lap times, and in a break between sessions, our instructor – Tom – talked us through the best racing lines, and gave us driving tips to shave precious slithers of time from our personal bests. Detailed print outs broke down our lap times, and revealed that we both managed to gradually improve our lap times over the course of the activity.
Next, we headed out into the drizzle to try out some quad biking. Normally I’d be a little annoyed about the rain, but when you’re driving a quad bike, a good downpour simply adds to the fun. Powering through deep puddles, and skidding across slippery fields is brilliant entertainment, while winding along the narrow forested trails takes a surprising amount of focus.
With the quad bikes conquered, we moved onto an activity that has a special place in the heart of anyone from Nottinghamshire – archery. We were given some quick technique tips, before being let loose on the target. After sending our first few arrows sailing high into the sky, we both felt a sense of achievement as we started to hit the target more often than not.
Having practised a little, we decided to round off the archery with a mini-competition. Up until this point, I’d been feeling fairly smug that I was about to get my revenge for Tom’s, go-karting victory, as it was fair to say he was looking a little shaky with the bow.
Whether the pressure brought out the best in him, or – as I strongly suspect – he’d been deviously lulling me into a false sense of security during the practice rounds, he suddenly began to channel the spirit of Robin Hood himself, and started firing arrows into the high scoring areas of the target with ease.
I stopped sulking, and we concluded our visit with the completely daft, but ridiculously enjoyable, Power Turn buggies. Driven by pushing forward two levers – which power independent engines on each wheel – the practically impossible task of driving in a straight line is made even more difficult by the fact that one goes further forward than the other. This means the best tactic is to simply throw yourself in, and hold on tight as you skid, wheelie and 360° spin wildly.
Surprisingly we both found the buggy much easier to drive when we were both in it, taking responsibility for a lever each – you can’t beat team work!
We would like to say a big thank you to Tom, our guide for the day, and all the team at Langar Karting for letting us have a go at the activities. The team know their stuff and it would be a great experience for a group of friends or family to try one or more of the activities on site. To find out more about booking your place at Langar Karting, please head over to the website.