It’s not really a good idea to drink and drive, unless you fancy a spot of rent-free accommodation with its own in-built metal bars. To rink and drive, though? Totally different thing.
At QUEENS – a recently trendified west London bowling alley and ice rink – they’ve started running sessions of go karting that take place on ice. They cone off the centre of the rink and then get you and five others to race laps around the outside for a 30-minute session in petrol-powered karts that can do up to 20mph. As you don a protective suit to keep you dry from rink spray and hop into the kart, you realise that are no chains on the tyres – and that this is going to be skiddy.
‘Go gentle on the accelerator at first,’ yells our instructor as we all try to move off by flooring it and the tires end up spinning against the slippery surface. More gentle pressure applied the kart zooms off and starts doing laps – big, slidey laps. The more you put your foot down, the more chance there is of spinning out on corners and operating it proves a tricky blend of going fast enough to not be overtaken, but not going so quickly that you end up sliding off into the barriers. Crashes happen a lot, but that’s part of the fun. This isn’t normal go-karting: it’s extreme go-karting.
By the end of the sesh, we’ve seen more spinning than a trendy gym. There have been more bumps than in a maternity ward. It’s been brilliant, skid-based fun – perfect for birthdays or stag dos or just groups of mates who want a fun trip out. Probably not ideal for people who don’t know each other, though. After all, you probably wouldn’t want to break the ice.