Garden Canyon Run 2.0 Build Journal

AlleyCatRaceClub Saturday, 2/20/2021

Hey there, I'm revamping the track and thought I'd start a build journal so you can follow along and even make suggestions if you like. I appreciate your support and feedback!

The current track has been in service since last summer, and has hosted two tournaments. It's been tons of fun, and I'm grateful for the support I've gotten and the feedback. It consists of a straightaway followed by a quick set of "S" turns leading onto a finish straight with no sidewall barriers. Here's a pic of the current start gate/start straight, it runs straight north along my narrow porch between the house and a garden bed on the other side of those posts:

I'm going to turn the start gate so it faces east (below)

I'll add two left turns, here's the mid-build shot of turn 1, each side is a separate piece, held to the fence by one sturdy bolt with washers and wingnuts:

They're supported by the 4x4 fencepost in the corner, so they just need to be held in place. The new opening straight on the right lands on the section to the left in the pic at the corner, and rests against that little block of wood to stay in place along with the bolt at the other end. I'm using sheet vinyl flooring scrap I got from work, and some old pine boards from an ikea bed that no longer exists to try making a banked 90 degree turn. I'll use three pieces of vinyl in the turn. I think it'll be a little rough, but pretty effective. Testing on the vinyl loosely held in place in my living room was very promising. It's, very much still in the design phase!

After turn 1, heading north with the fence on the driver's right, We'll have the biggest/quickest descent on the track, dropping into the garden bed, in the pic below, about where that white birch branch leans against the fence:

we'll head back toward the porch, turning right between that chair and bright orange post, hooking up with the current straightaway and continuing on as we have now since last summer. In this section through the garden bed I think I'll possibly leave a section open with no sidewalls, just like on the finish straight to add some dramalama.

We had a really nice day here in the PNW to be outside working in the garden and dreaming up a 1:64 scale universe. I hope I can get this done in time for the upcoming GCR Spring Classic! Don't forget to enter your car!


That new layout design sounds cool!  I'm excited to participate in the Spring Classic!

  • The field should be even more competitive than before too! I can't wait to get going! — AlleyCatRaceClub

Designing as I go, I've gotten the start ramp and turn 1 so cars run down them. This is still rough, obviously:

(Pardon my neighbor's bum.)  I'll add a bumper at the outside of the turn to guide cars left, and a safety rail along the second straight. This is all designed to be removeable too, which so far it is. 2 bolts hold the main framing, straights 1 & 2. There's a small bolt/washer holding turn 1 to the fence, pulling the banking taught. Turn 1 is made from 3 pieces of sheet vinyl, laying like shingles, with the two outside pieces held together underneath the one inside apex piece.

Pretty simple and kind of fun to put together. I have turn 2 planned out in my head, plus the straight leading to turn 3. Turn 2 (left) drops the cars into the garden. Turn 3 (right) is where the track will lead back to the porch straightaway, I'm going to attempt to fit the new section coming from the garden, into a 90 degree Crash Racers turn. I think that'll be the fastest turn, and they'll need the speed to make it the 1/8 mile or so they have before they get to the next downhill at turn 4. But can I actually fit my sheet vinyl or BluTrack into the Crash Racers turn smoothly enough with the materials I have? That's what I'll find out next!

Update time! I'm consistantly getting cars all the way to the porch now. Still a lot of work to do, but the hardest part I feel is done, that being turn 2 with the significant drop in elevation. Now to fine tune this first approach you see in these pics, then onto turn 3. And then paint!

I've made a real short video I'll post later tonight on the Alley Cat Race Club channel as well.

I still need to better support the very opening start ramp. In the "heat" of the winter sun the BluTrack sags if not supported. Cars are flying as they come out of the tunnel, and drifting toward the porch. Should be good slo-mo there! Stay tuned for more...

Hi gang, I got a good amount of work done on a beautiful Saturday here in the PNW, but Sunday was mostly out as far as designing/buiding in the actual garden. I knew the weekend would pan out that way so I spent Saturday getting set up for a day of cutting/glueing/fitting indoors. Pics below show how invested Alley Cat Race Club is in the painter's tape industry.

(These pics are from Saturday prior to changes made to that drop toward the tunnel.) Turn 1 works well, there's a bit of mayhem but mostly cars handle it pretty smoothly. The angle of the steep drop leading through turn 2 is the main trouble. As pictured, all cars catch enough air to send them mostly tumbling down through the Tunnel of Love. Or Tunnel of Doom. The tunnel needs a name. My main project on Sunday was softening that transition toward the tunnel, which I did the best I could without totally rebuilding it, but I have yet to test outside because of our beautiful rain.

Turn 3, which sends drivers around the orange post and back down the porch toward the finish, works well. I did shoot some video, but it was not really any different or more exciting than the last video I posted, so I won't share any just yet. I'd hoped to have cars running all the way to the finish by Sunday night, but that didn't happen so I do feel a touch behind. But with changing the clocks yesterday, I now have time after work to do some testing.

That section after the tunnel, before turn 3 I think will lead to some awesome slo-mo, cars can really drift as they head through, but that also means losing speed, so we'll see what happens. Could be the track turns into a hillclimb competetion where it's a battle to see if anyone can reach the finish! Ha!

Hi gang! If you've been following our channel, you know that the Spring Classic has been proceeding on an under-construction track, and it's been mayhem, especially at the bottom of the descent at turn 3, heading into Painter's Tape Gully. It's a crash fest! Well, I continually tuned during qualification, then after Qualification and before the Elimination brackets (which are shot, but not posted) I made these changes pictured below. It really softens the impact of the curve at the bottom of that fast descent. Cars are much better able to handle the transition as you'll see during Elimination. It's still a doozy of a track, but more cars will reach the end now. What do you think?

Still largely held up with tape, as it's still an in-process situation. But I really like this new softer line, and I think you drivers will as well. Here's a look at the current state of Turns 1 & 2 as well:

Thanks for watching friends, The first Elimination bracket should be ready to post by Wednesday night, I think. Cheers!

Good morning friends, if you've been following the Spring Classic, you know that Garden Canyon Run is a rough, rough, track with only 6 of 31 drivers making it to the final checkpoint thus far. Treacherous! Before the Elimination brackets I did get some work done on turn 3, leading into Painter's Tape Gully, and I think it smoothed that out quite a bit. But there's still trouble on turn 1 and turn 2 as you know. Turn 2 is the slight bend heading directly down into the garden bed. Last night I got some time to do some tuning of those two trouble spots, to great effect I'm happy to report! It's nothing to really photograph since it was really some tuning of the angle of entry and exit of turn 1, and then the approach to turn 2. Both the barrier and the whole roadway itself got some small adjustments that are sending cards all the way past checkpoint 3 fairly regularly now. How they handle Painter's Tape Gully, though, that's another issue perhaps...

Thanks for following along!

Hey there folks! That pic above ^^ is the current layout of the track in all it's dangerous glory. As I post this we are at round 13 of the Summer Round Robin tournament, and tweaking all along, the track is currently running as well as it has ever, with fewer ejections from the track overall, and more cars making it to the final finish straight than ever before. To be clear, the track was always meant to be rough, kind of like a steep hillclimb event for motorcycles, where part of the fun is just seeing if the guy can make it to the top. Or like downhill mountainbike racing, where the line between success and failure is razor sharp and spectacular moments emerge as the racers hold on and let the bike have at the trail. All the same, turn 1, and turn 3, ala Painter's Tape Gully need some help here, and they are going to get it.

The plan is to resculpt turn one so it has a better-cambered, wider entry. We'll introduce some more Crash Racers track and a 90-degree corner there to keep the race from being determined right out of the gate.

Painter's Tape Gully, coming right at the bottom of that harrowing descent through the garden bed is getting almost totally replaced with a 3D printed 45-dgree corner thanks to Slanman Customs and some more Crash Racers bits. 

There will still be a mix of tracks, and a fair amount of tape and homeade whatnot. Hopefully these changes will smooth out the racing overall, but not take away form the mayhem and the danger, and not put Tom, Dick, and Harry out of jobs. I'll do my best to document this along the way. And hey fans, you know who you are, if there's anything you'd like to add to the track or the surrounding Garden Canyon Motorsports Park as a whole, please let me know. Your banners, signs, and/or scale appropriate bits and hobnobs would be welcome and may or may not be used at our discretion. 

I'll be working on this over the next month or as parts become available. And there's a separate post about the next race series we'll be hosting starting just after Halloween. Thanks folks! 

OK gang, the track update is underway and I'm super excited about it. This is all just sitting in place for measuring and planning, but check out the new turn 1:

The track will still open with BluTrack straight out of the gate, then hit this new turn 1, head toward the same, but newly-massaged turn 2 where the big drop is, then...

Down into a new turn 3 where Painter's Tape Gully sat. It's now a real nice 45-degree banked turn that locks right into the Crash Racers track. That turn came from Slanman Customs, and it's a nicely made bit of track!

It comes as 2 pieces, with red tabs you can just see holding the two together, and black tabs to connect up to the Crash Racers straights. A little bit of filing on the connecting points and they all fit together super duper snug. Great job by Mr Slanman including the ordering/fulfillment process. A couple test runs proves that it's going to be a great addition to the track.

What's that? You're worried that all the trademark Garden Canyon Run mayhem will suddenly disappear and we'll be left with nothing but straightforward racing? Worried that Tom Dick and Harry will be out of work? Not to worry. That drop from checkpoint 2 is still far too steep. Those drivers that don't utilize the breaking rail on the descent will still find themselves in a very likely world of hurt as they enter the new turn three going WAY too fast. But what I hope is that turn 1 is no longer the defacto finish line of the race. We'll see! Stay tuned...

  • Looks great!!!! And cant waitt to be back with the chous!!!!!!! — RAGTAG_JIM
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