Racing hobby grade RC cars is an acquired taste, but for a group of local enthusiasts, it is a passion.
Early this summer, Dan McCumber, of RC Hobby House in Waverly, and Matt Brase, a Waverly native, decided it was time to put the pedal to the metal on their love for remote control cars and establish a club where like thinkers can gather for fun.
It was an idea they had mulled for years, but one thing or another somehow got in the way.
This time, they moved forward with it. They picked the parking lot of Redeemer Lutheran Church in Waverly, which allowed them to race there on Sunday afternoons when the services were over.
Their network of fellow racers became their first club members.
Matt, who started racing at the age of 12, with cars he had bought from Dan, was excited about the founding of the club since this was a return to the hobby for him.
For over 10 years, he had taken a break from racing the cars and focused, instead, on painting the bodies, so that became his hobby.
To this day, he continues with the painting as well, but after adorning over 600 cars with Star Wars or Marvel comic book characters and other designs to fit the wishes of his customers, he was ready to reignite his interest in the racing aspect of the sport as well.
Launching the club gave him a reason and a forum to do just that.
Meanwhile, they had picked the name Cedar Valley RC, which stuck with the group.
The members now range in age from 6 to 70 years old. Matt’s niece, Izzy, 8, is the only female so far.
Among the club members are also the team of Dave Hugel and his son, Will, 8.
In the cold months, the old junior high gym has been their racing ground.
Matt says the club has rules that set limits on the type of cars that can be raced, so the competition is about the skill and the dexterity of the participants rather than their pocketbooks.
On Nov. 15, they hosted a food drive for the Northeast Iowa Food Bank, to collect non perishable items, showing that they have a hobby with a heart.
“We wanted to help some people and with COVID, it seemed that everybody’s life has been turned upside down,” Matt said. “We wanted to help people around the holidays.”
Matt says the club, which has its own page on Facebook, is a place for fans to be themselves.
“It’s something to get your mind off the real world and have fun with it,” he said.