If you've looked at the on-road cars section, you noticed references to an indoor track in the basement of Special Ed's new house. The track is formally named Lakeshore Speedway. Lakeshore is the model of house the Eds had built, and it sounds like something that would be a real track name, so we went with it. No it is not on the shore of a lake...though there is a small lake behind the houses across the street (the name will remain unspoken so Special Ed's stalker won't know where he went).

Lakeshore Speedway is a carpet track approximately 200+ feet in length and 3 feet wide. At scale this is just shy of 1/2 mile in length. We could have stretched it to a half-mile track but that would have been cramming it in too tightly. Maybe down the road Mrs. Ed will authorize expanding the track into the remaining 1/3 of the basement in which case we'll have to apply for a zoning permit to hold races :)

Construction of the track began in early March 2010 after the Eds moved in. The track was built in three phases. First was the carpeting of the southern 2/3 of the basement. Lowe's sells a really nice outdoor carpet for 49 cents per sq. ft. that has a nice tight pile to it so is perfect for RC racing. Special Ed is an idiot and cannot seam carpet himself so two of his man cave buddies came over and helped him (translation: they did most of the work) lay the carpet.

The next step was to build the track boundaries. We went with a wooden framed system with particle board for the walls. Also in this step is the construction of the overpass. If you look in the first design graphic below you will see that the initial track design cuts back to the left and crosses over itself twice. When we actually got to laying out the track, it became evident that this was going to make things way too tight. We therefore went with a simpler design where the track loops around and crosses back over itself just once. It is still technical enough to challenge drivers but allows for a more free flowing track the rest of the way around. We used sealed foam for the infield areas. It's durable and easy to work with. However, Special Ed learned the hard way that rolled-on latex paint won't adhere to the foam. After one night of racing, that damned green paint was EVERYWHERE (and we still find it in the house 9 months later)!!! Long story short, Ed replaced the foam with new stuff which he didn't paint. (The first finished track pics show the green painted foam. The second set of finished track pics (after the man cave sign on the door) show the new foam which replaced the blasted painted crap). Again, the man cavers came to the rescue for both the initial building phase and the renovating phase (translation: they did most of the work).

The third phase was building the timing system. Ed found a used IR system on eBay that came with 10 transponders. The system is called i-LapRC. It's a great system if you want to save money but it has some caveats: 1) You have to have a line of sight from the transponder to the bridge sensors because this uses IR beams to track your progress across the start/finish line. 2) You have to run a network cable from the bridge sensors to the decoder unit that connects to your computer. I suppose you could rig up a wireless solution but I laid things out so the bridge was near the computer. 3) You have to plug the transponder into your RC's receiver to supply power. I use 3-channel receivers in my cars so I have a spare channel for this. If you use a 2-channel receiver, you'll need to get a y splitter and run it to one of your channels. These things aren't a big deal and the system is very well suited to Man Cave racing. And it's easy to setup. Proof of that is in the fact that Special Ed actually did this part of the track by himself. I know...don't pass out from shock :P

I mentioned this being man cave racing. We all know what man caves are and that every man either wants one or has something they consider to be one. Well...a number of my friends and I belong to the Mile High Man Cave Racing group. You can find us at Mile High Man Cave Racing. We have several active indoor tracks now and a couple of outdoor rally tracks. All comers are welcome as long as they remember that we do this to have fun hanging out with a like-minded group of people. Though by definition racing is competition, this is not going to be one of those types of racing scenes where people bring their attitude of superiority and make it a miserable time for everyone else. And in true man cave spirit, the only rules at Lakeshore Speedway are that there are three classes (2WD, 4WD and F1) but there are no other restrictions. It's a "run whatcha brung" philosophy. So bring your desire to have fun, laugh and run your RC cars and you'll be welcomed with open arms...umm...closed fist bumps (this is a man cave thing after all).

Mrs Ed is a saintly woman (translation: she let's Special Ed buy toys he has no reason to buy). For their 12th wedding anniversary she bought Ed a GoPro HD Hero 2 camera (Outdoor Edition). Not wanting to waste daylight, Ed immediately produced two crappy videos of him driving Grimm, his Tamiya M03, around the Lakeshore Speedway. There are two videos on YouTube: The Short Version (5 laps) and The Long Version (8 laps).

Finally, here are some pics of the plans and the final track....enjoy!