Tales from the ARVInn 1

by: Robert Nalley | Complete Story | Last updated May 30, 2024


Chapter 25
ARVInn--Transportation Guy


Chapter Description: For people who had lost some ease of movement, with distances now feeling much greater, getting around at the ARVinn could pose problems. The resident staff came up with some really fun and innovative ways to talk care of those problems.


Tales from the ARVInn: Transportation Guy

Guy Flemming (3/2002) became a hero of sorts to most of the smaller residents at ARVInn when he found a way to provide convenient on-campus transportation for everyone.

As garage supervisor for a county school system in rural Virginia, he’d done plenty of work on vehicles, including his own racing efforts that dated back to his teens.  

One of the things he’d done for his kids when they were small was get them a small electric car so they could ride around the yard.  He’d also seen vids over the years about souped-up versions several companies offered for sale.  He’d thought about buying or making one, but his kids weren’t interested at the time.

When he began working in the Garage at ARVInn in 2066, he quickly noticed that transportation was an issue on campus.  While there were a few residents who brought cars, parking wasn’t all that plentiful and the distances were small enough that it took as long to drive as to walk.  Other residents were too small to drive and had to walk everywhere.  It didn’t take him all that long to connect the dots.  Picking up a few of the children’s cars, he found it easy to increase the speed of the mini-cars with stronger batteries and a few swap outs on motors, along with some appropriate reinforcements and seat belts to keep feather-weight riders from bouncing completely out of their seats on the unpaved parts of campus.   


                                                       

Since he himself topped out at 35 inches after his bout with ARV in 2056, it felt good to drive himself and it did mean increased mobility for those who wanted it.  The cars also spawned a new activity on campus among a bunch of those who’d been ‘car guys’ earlier—Guy wasn’t the only one who’d seen the videos.  Quickly, a number of really interesting small vehicles began appearing on campus.  They were smaller, so parking was less of an issue; they were quicker than walking; and they could carry purchases as well.  Of course, some of them were designed as much for speed as for transportation.

After a few instances where someone was almost run down, though, it was decided an area needed to be set aside for the car crowd and that speeding on campus would mean no driving.  With a campus speed limit set at 10 mph, getting the gears right and adding a stronger battery made doing 30 feel like a IHRA event.  This brought a speed hobby to a group that was too small to enjoy the larger go-karts that had already come to campus.  Coming together, the Kart Club was formed by these enthusiasts to give some organization to the mods and competition centered around the various small powered vehicles. 

                                                                        

                                           
With the number of residents who felt the challenge to outdo each other with improvements and performance, the Kart Club began to give them opportunities to demonstrate their skills.  Their first effort, in 2070, was a car show, where everyone got to see them closeup. The first official races were run in June 2072, on a grass track, where the lack of real suspension made it a bone-shaking experience.  Later, an eighth-mile paved course was added, which not only helped with racing control, but also brought some new members, some with quads, mini-bikes or scooters, in addition to mini-cars, street bikes and go-karts.  The Club continues to be active, with a racing series each year for different classes and a couple of car shows, often including special guests.  A small private race track just a few miles away is the usual location for the racing series. Local residents also enjoy these and they have become the Club’s main fund-raising event, which supports an on-campus workshop and maintenance on the track.

In 2068, the facility management agreed to purchase more battery-powered cars and station them around the campus as public transportation, allowing them to be checked out at various locations.  A number were simply inexpensive children’s cars which were upgraded cheaply onsite, but others were commercially produced, including some with metal frames and bodies.  They also bought several specialty utility types for use by the Building and Grounds staff—tractors, small trucks, even a dozer!  While many of the staff could handle full-size equipment, this allowed even safer operations.  It was also much cheaper to buy and operate the small vehicles.

The transportation part has helped out a good bit.  Having the ‘Guy Cars’ available at various points around the campus makes quick shopping trips or other errands a much more pleasant experience for the smaller residents.  While larger golf-cart ‘buses’ are available, a lot of the residents relish the personal pleasure and independence of driving themselves.  The experience of driving the small cars has also led to an increase in the number of personal automobiles around campus, as many residents have learned they can still manage highway driving, thanks to modern technology.  Their cost means there is not an overwhelming number, but they do serve to make life more convenient for their owners.

Written 3 April 2110

 

1 Photo © Dstamatelatos | Stock Free Images

2 Photo 1666990 / Child Car © Hixson | Dreamstime.com

3 Photo 5225900 / Child Car © Photomyeye | Dreamstime.com

4 Image by Nadine Doerlé from Pixabay

5 Photo 199355240 / Child Car © Shibin Vk | Dreamstime.com

 


 

End Chapter 25

Tales from the ARVInn 1

by: Robert Nalley | Complete Story | Last updated May 30, 2024

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