The Griff

Date Night: Not your usual speed dating

Date night

Date Night: Not your usual speed dating

It’s January and it’s cold, but you know that you still have to get out of the house. Add to this the fact that your date doesn’t go into hibernation like you wish you both could, and you can find yourself in quite the predicament. It’s hard to be romantic in the cold when you have to fear the simple act of kissing in the off chance your lips might freeze together in the -45C Edmonton weather that we seem to be forced to embrace against our will. So now what?

Well, if indoor fun and an adrenaline rush is what you’re looking for, then race on over to Speeders Electric Prokarts. Speeders is not only a great place for a fun date night, but it’s also a great option for a friends’ night out or group date if several couples want to get together. It won’t be the least expensive option, but if racing is your thing, it will be a really fun experience. With locations in Calgary, Edmonton, and Vancouver, these folks have the running of this experience down to a science.

Located at 13145 149 St., there are plenty of available times to go in with hours of operation running Sunday to Thursday from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. and Friday and Saturday from 11 a.m. to 12 a.m. You can even book a time online — except for Saturday, where only groups and drop-ins are accepted. You will also find no shortage of parking spots waiting when you get there.

Inside, the very helpful employees at the front counter will help you get started. You will set up an account and choose between race packages, and an Elite membership costing $10 for the year if so decided. Races run $24 each without an Elite account and $19 with one. The Elite account also gives you options to purchase multiple races at discounted rates.

After all the business of accounts and payments are taken care of and you have chosen a nickname that will appear on the screen while you’re racing, you get to watch a video on safety and pick out your helmet. Once all these little details are done, you will be given your kart number and the real fun begins.

The karts are small, which is a warning to all those who attend. For a five foot three inches tall girl like myself, it felt squishy but just fine. My six foot two inches tall date, however, said he would most likely have had to take a break in between races to avoid leg cramping. Despite the confined space of the pro karts, the speed and adrenaline far outweigh the discomfort.

The first couple of laps are slightly slower to allow you to adjust, and then they open it up and let you go to your heart’s desire, with a few rules of course. You compete only with yourself as you twist and turn through the track. They score based on laps and best time, not on who passes who. If you have a particularly competitive date this might be a great way to make a friendly wager on who will have to buy dinner afterwards. The race only lasts 14 laps, but it is well worth the price of shaking up your date night.

If you do decide to do a big group date with other couples, contacting the events team through speeders.ca could set you up with additional perks. Either way, you choose to enjoy Speeders, your date night is bound to be exciting, keep you and your date warm, and help fight off those dreaded January winter blues.