Vrooommm…every year the mountains around Guanajuato become the race track for a rally car race. Even though it seems like there is a celebration or special event just about every week in Guanajuato, the locals get pretty fired up about “The Rally”.
It always starts with a night of celebration as the competitors drive slowly through the center of town. Spectators pack the sidewalks and many senoritas let out squeals when the drivers or navigators lean out the window and wave. The actual race takes place over several days – each day consisting of a different course.
On Friday morning, I got up and headed out the door to do my usual training ride. As I turned onto the road that I use to climb into the mountains, I passed a large group of police. This was my first hint that something unusual was going on. I’m used to being passed by a few buses and trucks as they head up the road to the mines. On this morning, after passing the police, the road was dead quiet.
As I continue my climb, I noticed temporary signs along the side of road that signaled the sharpness of upcoming curves. Huh…were these signs for the rally? On my mountain bike route?
Later, it was confirmed when I rounded a corner and saw another group of police and a bunch of people with computers sitting under a tent. A police officer stopped me and said that I had to get off the road. Why? Because in 10 minutes there were going to be cars doing power slides down the mountain.
I detoured off my usual route and headed straight up into the hills. I stopped on the crest of a hill to watch the action. I wasn’t alone. From my perch, I could see lots of spectators dotting the hillsides. Many had hauled up chairs, coolers and radios, creating a festive atmosphere.
After seeing the first car blaze down the hill, I was glad that I had gotten off the road when I did (see 30sec video below).