By Mike Garrison
A Moment with Mike is a weekly opinion column where LiveRC’s Mike Garrison gives his take on hot-button issues, general topics, and conversations within the RC industry. The views and opinions expressed in this article do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of LiveRC.
Wikipedia defines the word epiphany as “an experience of a sudden and striking realization.” During my last visit to our local track with my family, I had my first R/C epiphany.
The R/C industry has been on a rollercoaster of ups and downs over the years, much like any industry or sport. Over the past few years many have been deeply concerned about the future of R/C car racing, the industry well-being, and have had a bit of a negative outlook on what the future might hold. Unfortunately, I must include myself in this group of “Negative Nancy’s” who are guilty of focusing more on the negative than the positive, and overlooking the good taking place within R/C.
As I mentioned in my last edition of “A Moment with Mike”, the R/C addiction that brings my wife and I to the track has now infected our family and friends. At this point a trip to the local track means a family gathering consisting of my father in-law, my two brother in-laws, my neece, my three nephews, my close friend, all of the wives and girlfriends, my dad, my wife, and myself. It has truly become a family affair.
While spending a Sunday afternoon practicing with them all, I was busy wrenching on my car trying setup changes for the upcoming JConcepts Winter Indoor Shootout & Invitational at Fastlane Raceway. I was elbows deep in making changes when I looked up from the table and experienced my first R/C epiphany.
As I looked up, there on the drivers stand sitting side by side on stools was my niece and a young boy who was new to the track. Two complete little strangers, brought together and made friends by the pure joy of simply watching R/C cars.
It was at this very moment, I suddenly realized that the world of R/C cars is greater than I had ever realized. The happiness, the friendships, and the joy it brings to people of all ages is nothing short of amazing. As I watched them laugh and cheer each car that passed by, I realized my bleak view of R/C racing's future couldn’t be more wrong.
No matter how many sponsorships are “handed out”, no matter how many racers are cheating in the stock class, no matter how many different tires there are to choose from, no matter who uses tire warmers, and no matter how many other negatives we try to find…the fact is that R/C car racing is a one of a kind hobby that will continue to bring friends, families, and complete strangers of all ages, genders, and abilities together for many years to come. The future of R/C is bright, and I'm anxious to be a part of it.