By Brian Baxter
As winter approaches in northwest Montana, we seal the cracks in our homes to stave off the cold, gather firewood, fill our freezers, and hopefully stash a few dollars for any winter emergencies.
When it comes to winter recreation, the old saying to each his own comes into play in our area. An increasingly popular sport and hobby across the country is remote control small scale vehicle racing. These races are performed on indoor standard carpeting tracks with 1/10 scale stock or 1/18 scale modified remote control vehicles.
The winter season usually lasts from November to March. And now, opportunities for this hobby are offered in the Libby area.
Scheer Bros. Hobbies at 410 Mineral Avenue was opened by Sam and Steve Scheer in 2012, and is a full service and support business. Younger brother, Steve, had worked at a Hood River Oregon shop previously, Working there for ten years, four of which he managed that facility. Steve now manages the hobby shop in Libby, and both his professionalism and thoroughness are evident.
The shop, open Tuesday through Saturday from 9 a.m. until 6 p.m. carries spare parts in stock, and they can order a part if it is not in stock. Steve and the crew are constructing a track on premises which will be completed soon. This track, at 40 feet long and 24 feet wide will be larger than most Spokane, Wash. tracks.
Racing on the track is enhanced by lap counters, seeing eye transponders, fast laps robotronic systems, and my lapse scoring pro.
Steve emphasizes that this is a hobby folks can get into for less than a hundred bucks. Scheer Bros. Hobbies even has loaner cars and loaner transponders for those who would like to try the experience out.
And as if that’s not enough, Mr. Scheer has also organized a club, the Kootenai Remote Control Racers. Steve serves as the club’s president, with Troy Douthit serving as vice president. Checkout their Facebook page at www.facebook.com/KootenaiRCRacers for more information.
To apply for membership stop by the store and talk with Steve. Youth memberships go for five dollars per year; eighteen and older go for ten dollars per year; and there is a family style membership for two adults and two children for fifteen dollars per year.
Club race competitions are in two classes, both 1/10 – 4WD trucks, and 1/18 scale touring cars, with a trophy for first, second, and third places.
New this winter, in coordination with our local VFW are a series of races that will take place at the Veteran’s hall from noon until 3 p.m. throughout the season. Dates included are Nov. 25; Dec. 9; Jan. 6 and 20; Feb. 3 and 17; and March 3, 17, and 31.
The Kootenai RC Racers, located in Libby are northwest Montana’s premiere RC racing club. Club members are passionate about RC racing, as well as making a positive impact in the Lincoln County area. Interested folks can also call Steve at the shop at 293-9362.Club goals include having fun in a positive RC racing environment, to further the RC racing community in and around Lincoln County, to build up a solid race series to attract racers from all over the northwest and beyond, and to build and maintain a NCT compliant racetrack. Also, to work with private track owners to keep tracks in operating condition and within KRCR guidelines, and to foster positive relationships with other community organizations in and around Lincoln County.
KRCR accomplishments to date encompass six years of Hot August Showdowns, developing relationships with local and county governments to create a public RC race track, obtaining strong support from a large amount of RC racing industry vendors, membership growth from four to over 40 members, and the new introduction of the Kootenai Remote Control Racers winter competitions.
Steve Scheer works on remote control racing vehicle. Photo by Brian Baxter of The Montanian.