Disclaimer: I failed epically with the camera on this one, but it wasn’t my fault, I swear. I was doing everything in my power to retain any form of feeling in my fingertips and taking a picture simply wasn’t an option. Europe was in a cold snap and I was being snapped. The 2 artsy pics are mine, the others are from the Snowice website. I just returned from a business trip to Europe. It was one of those great work trips where everything goes right and all the productivity you hope for does indeed happen. The trip required a weekend away from home, so we managed to sneak in a little fun alongside some serious goggle testing on the ski slopes of Cortina D’amprezzo in Northern Italy.
I have an uncanny magnetism to anything “car”. I can’t help it and it drives my wife insane. However, on this trip, my partner was Brandon, a former professional Supercross rider and someone with a matching affinity to all things internally combusting. It took all of a minute in the hotel for me to spot the flyer for “Snowice Driving School” and all of another minute to stumble through Italenglish with the purveyor to establish the track's location.
We’d have been there in a heartbeat had the diesel fuel lines not frozen in our AWFUL Lancia (it breaks my heart to see something so unrelated to the epic Lancia Delta Intergale bear the same name). Eventually we mde it and the gigglefest began. Unfortunately the rally prepped Mitsubishi Evo 8 on snow tires was a little expensve for my blood, though it looked like a BLAST. However, sitting squarely in my price range were the 150cc race karts running studded snow tires.
I love rear drive vehicles. They beg to move around under power and should you choose to move them around a little too much, you get a slide. Well, “too much” on snow is a very smal poke of the accelerator. This resulted in some of the most fun driving of any vehicle I’ve ever been in. The Karts simply do not steer conventionally on the ice, the front wheels think about turning the kart, but require a healthy dab of power to rotate the rear around. Too much and you are chewing snow from a snow bank, too little and you’re, well, chewing snow from a snow bank. But get the throttle just so, with just the right amount of opposite lock and you find yourself in a glorious slow-mo, Hollywood, snow spitting drift. Neil it even better and you connect that drift to the next corner and become convinced you are a driving God.
Then you probably hit a snowbank again.
I spent my laps laughing hysterically, but sadly was forced to stop far too soon. I simply could not feel my hands or feet any longer. I was steering with my palms and accelerating with my heels, it was just too cold.
It was an incredible morning and I can’t wait to return in slightly milder weather!
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