Riverland Community College has built a permanent radio control (RC) car track at their Albert Lea, Minnesota campus. Not only for their Nitro-X Summer Camp, but also for the community and to help recruit for their transportation programs
Dan Longsdorf (Truck/Diesel Mechanics Instructor) and Jonathan Rymer (Truck Driving Instructor) discussed the idea of creating a permanent track together when both shared interest in hosting a Nitro-X Summer Camp at Riverland. Jonathan found images online of various RC tracks and chose what he felt was a good layout that would best utilize the space agreed upon by administration, facilities department, and grounds keepers.
“Our goal in having a permanent track on the Albert Lea campus is to promote our programs and encourage a steady flow of area RC car enthusiasts who will begin to enjoy coming to the Riverland campus and perhaps have interaction with various faculty and staff,“ said Rymer.
The track covers about an acre on the south side of Riverland’s Albert Lea Transportation Center and is a series of straight a ways and U-turns that are 8 feet wide on average. There are designated “safe-zones” on the track where individuals can stand to assist with any cars that flip over. It took around 5 days to build from layout to completion with many volunteer faculty and family members assistance. A skid loader was used to dig out the track and an observation deck was built on a 53’ spread axel flatbed trailer so racers have a clear and complete view of the track. The decks railing is made from 2×4’s and snow fencing to keep participants safe.
The track isn’t finished yet though, the hope is to haul in red clay to minimize the dust that the cars create on the dirt track now. There are also plans to create banked turns and small jumps to add another layer of excitement to this incredible track.
I caught up with our Statewide Nitro-X Co-Coordinator and Director of Outreach, Steve Hoemberg, to recall what his first thoughts were on the mention of this idea. “What an awesome idea it was [to build a track] and also a testament not only to Jonathan’s dedication, but of the entire institution. It takes a lot of effort to create something like that, and a ton of courage for an institution to support something new like that.” Hoemberg was also impressed by the Riverland camp’s intent to provide something for the community at large. “It’s one thing to have a good idea that benefits the one-week camp. It’s an entirely different level for the camp to develop something with lasting benefits to the whole community. Very meaningful partnerships throughout. Bravo!”
It’s one thing to have a good idea that benefits the one-week camp. It’s an entirely different level for the camp to develop something with lasting benefits to the whole communitySteve Hoemberg
This track is free to use and is open to the public, with any luck you will catch Dan or Jonathan out there. If you do, be sure to say hi and ask Jonathan about his RC collection!