Saturday, February 09, 2008

Long Live Mil Cumbres!

It has really been exciting to keep up with many teams who have already begun getting things ready for the 2008 La Carrera Panamericana. God only knows that when someone says they have a lot to get ready for this race they mean a LOT.

One thing that really helped us at Team California's Best Racing was the very informative La Carrera memos sent out by North American director Gerie Bledso. Gerie's timely letters were most helpful with regards to helping figure out what to do next. Thanks to Gerie we were able to pay fees, reserve certain hotels, send in paperwork to the correct places in a timely fashion and so on and so on. The truth of the matter is, in retrospect, without Gerie's guidance a LOT would have gone wrong. It would be like trying to assemble a nuclear powered submarine without the instructions.

I find myself really getting excited when I talk to those who are building and prepping cars and teams to get ready and it really makes my heart race. I am sure the closer it gets the harder it will be to sleep as I route for everyone that's heading down.

I was both sad and elated today when I read Gerie's latest La Carrera Newsletter. Regarding a tentative route change, Gerie wrote, "This change in the route means the race will not run, for the first time in over a decade, the mountain road called "Mil Cumbres" (one thousand peaks) or spend the night in Morelia this year."
For me, this was a doubled edge sword. On one hand I was saddened to learn that none of the teams would get to see what has been considered the most notorious and dangerous and possibly the most beautiful stage of the entire race. For those first timers, don't worry, there are a LOT of exciting and beautiful stages. On the other hand for many of us that have read about the Mil Cumbres and looked at countless videos and photos let alone having run it, not running the Mil Cumbres seems almost sacrilegious. Team California's Best Racing has a special reason to have such an intimate relationship with Mil Cumbres since we are so proud of having taken the number one position on the podium during that stage. Now it seems all the more rewarding and we are truly grateful for having lived the experience and the dream. For us and I am sure for countless others, it is a memory that will never fade. Long Live Mil Cumbres!

The photos above were from the 50's and before when all the trees were logged and sent to the great silver mines of Mexico but even still you can see some of the very same beauty we saw while running Mil Cumbres.

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