RC cars are, apparently, a thing. I’m not talking about those dinky little, AA-powered remote control cars from Toys R Us that my parents keep giving Grimlock for Christmas.
Real RC cars are about the length and width of a laptop. They have complex components and sturdy bodies. They can be modified to race on a track or grass or street. A starter model runs about $300-$500 dollars. Some people think they’re fun but I could personally use that money for a new camera lens or canister filter.
To each his or her own, which is what we did last Valentine’s Day. (I firmly believe a good relationship supports and fosters the growth of hobbies and interests independent of the relationship itself; each partner needs his or her own circle of hobby friends for emotional support.)
So on Valentine’s Day, we went to Nor-Cal Hobbies for Futurehusband, and Neptune Aquatics for me, which I’ll cover in a later post.
I’m not into RC cars, so these opinions are from an “outsider’s” point of view. As in, I don’t know why suspension-shock-things for a toy car costs as much as a pair of Levi’s.
Nor-Cal Hobbies (really, only one hobby) is, in my opinion, in the middle of nowhere in San Jose: 2099 S 10th St, San Jose, CA 95112.
On a Saturday afternoon, we had no problem parking right in front. The first thing we encountered was the large dirt track and uh, I guess the pit area where people were servicing their cars. Is that the right word for it? Servicing? Fine-tuning?
Beside the track room, there’s a little store where you can buy cars and parts to upgrade or fix your car. I think you can even build one from scratch.
Being in Valentine Day duds – a jumpsuit and wedges – I felt overdressed. But the vibe was very welcoming, and I would return to support Futurehusband in his racing endeavors (but I’d bring, like, a picnic basket of food and a couple of books in case they don’t have free wi-fi).
The racing track is indoors, which was nice in the brisk winter weather, but I don’t know if it’ll be air-conditioned in the summer.
An automated system misted the track between racing rounds but it’s a pretty dirty place simply because the main activity takes place on, you guessed it, dirt. Don’t wear an outfit you’d be sad to get grimy.
I would say it’s a family-friendly place for kids five or older. As a mom, that’s the thing that impressed me most about the venue. The first person who greeted us was a 9yo boy who asked if it was our 5yo’s first time racing. There were also some fathers setting daughters up with their first RC cars. I appreciated that the environment and workers seemed welcoming to kids and people of all sexes.
There’s even something like a rookie-race, which Grimlock and I watched, which is a slower, less intense version of their regular races because it’s done by kids and new racers.
However, I would not say it’s an ideal environment for mobile kids under 5 because there are a lot of small, delicate components within child-reach. Also, there’s not that much space to wheel around a stroller.
The store part of Nor-Cal Hobbies is one small room about the size of a garage, but they’ve packed it with a lot of products, which all looked like paperclips and pen tubes to me. I was overwhelmed by everything, but Futurehusband knew what to look for, and the shopkeep was knowledgable and friendly.
Not really ideal for infants in strollers or loose toddlers.
Welcoming vibe and a fun place to buy, upgrade, fix, or race RC cars.
Hang out in my mental playground! My short are stories available on Amazon, Fresh Cuts: Breaking Volume.
Check out my review of another local place: Chilly & Munch.