Radio control vehicle group gains traction on peninsula
If you’re wandering through a neighborhood in Kenai, you might see a group of people outside racing radio control vehicles on a makeshift track. This is just an ordinary day in the life of Steven Godsoe, who recently built an RC racing course in his side yard. He says that his love for radio control vehicles began as a child.
“When I was a kid, if you ever asked me what you wanted to be when you grew up, I wanted to be a racecar driver,” Godsoe said. “I feel like I’m kind of getting there now, and I am almost a racecar driver with these RC cars, so it’s just been filling a childhood passion of mine in a small way.”
Godsoe, owner and operator of Alaska Car Shop on K-Beach, says that the RC vehicle community on the peninsula has seen growth since his shop began selling radio control vehicles last year. At the time, there were no community RC vehicle tracks available for use. With approval from his next-door neighbors, Godsoe took it upon himself to change that last winter.
Using the snow to his advantage, Godsoe forms winter tracks throughout the season. The winter months also see larger RC vehicle meetups, which are advertised on the local RC community’s Facebook page. While not all of them are held at his house, Godsoe says that some of these winter meetups have seen over thirty people.
“You can have a lot of fun with these things in the wintertime from the warmth of your own car in a parking lot, at least until you tip it on its roof and you have a brisk walk on your hands,” Godsoe said. “It’s kind of interesting how that can actually work out and give you some outdoor fun in the wintertime without getting cold.”
There are two ways to RC: racing and crawling. While racing is what most people think of when it comes to remote control fun, crawling involves more hefty vehicles that maneuver obstacles like rocks or hills. Many RC car enthusiasts take their crawlers on hikes and are behind some of the largest meetups locally.
Godsoe told a story about a meetup last spring where a friend became stuck on a slushy snowbank.
“Nobody wanted to go crawling up that mountain to get this thing, so I took the Bashing Bronco and just sent it up that hill,” he said. “He was on his roof, I managed to get it in my wheels, hopped up at just the right time to lock right on top of him. Literally it was like a ‘I got you bro’ and we just tumbled down the mountain together and brought it right down to our feet.”
While the group hosts meetups for RC racers and crawlers, spectators are always welcome. The group hopes to grow the RC community on the peninsula.
“When you’re watching cars go as fast as they possibly can in a very small space and have to brake really fast, crashes, and crashes are fun,” Godsoe said. “Everybody loves carnage, especially when there’s nobody in those vehicles. It’s a fun time. ”