There is something to be said for the weekend rally; for those that come out to play in the mud. It definitely qualifies as my favorite motorsport. A recent article about rally losing some of its spirit, by Liam Freeman over on The Back Roads,(drivetribe.com/p/d_yRff4uQSGk_rWywAQKjQ/QMgmlxOjTyi6epKSN2rtWQ), got me to thinking though. I realized that my heart really belongs to something bigger. Don’t get me wrong, I like watching the fun-loving match-ups and having mud flung at me as much as the next rally enthusiast, but I long for adventures that consist of just you, the car, and the open road. Adventures with legendary names like The Mongol Rally, The Cannonball Run, Dakar. These are not races for the faint of heart or the weekend warrior. In fact, one could argue that these races aren’t even about the race.
Take the Mongol Rally, my favorite among them; a ten thousand mile charity run from London to Mongolia and, literally, anywhere you want to go in between. There are no maps, no one cares who comes in first, and no help along the way. It’s not even about the cars, as you’re encouraged to bring the smallest, crappiest, most inappropriate car you can find. A car you’ve traded for a bag of crisps as the official website says, www.theadventurists.com/mongol-rally
No, if you’ll allow me to sound cheesy for a moment, long distance rally is about finding yourself. It’s throwing yourself into the unknown and seeing what kind of person you’ve become when you come out the other side. It’s the chance to have the wind in your hair, grit in your teeth and to leave everything behind to sleep under the stars in an unknown land. It takes a special kind of person.
Which brings us to the second article in this Long Distance Rally series. As most of you probably don’t know, I’m also a novelist and screenwriter. Lately, I’ve been looking for a lesser known historical even that might inform and entertain to turn into a screenplay. You know, something like The Monuments Men. Completely by coincidence, I stumbled onto a, perhaps less important, but terribly relevant story. I may have uncovered the first (or at least most famous of the first) long distance rally race; Peking to Paris, 1907. And it all started with a dare…
Article 2: Peking to Paris coming after Christmas.