Chasing a Race After a Hurricane
Ijust returned from the Baja Rally in which
John, my future father-in-law, was racing. It’s a five-day, navigation-centric race for dirt bikes and UTVs covering nearly 1,000 miles of the hardest terrain south of the border. This is the second year
I’ve chased for him, and it was an absolute blast. My job was to get to the next camp, set up the “garage” for repairs and/or maintenance, help with said service, and have a sandwich and cold beer waiting for him.
Unlike the SCORE races, the support teams for the Baja Rally have mostly highway routes to follow that aren’t very stress-inducing. This year, however, Hurricane Rosa did a number on the peninsula, washing away huge stretches of highway and making for some exciting road days for the chase crews. The destruction was epic. In spite of this, road workers had been able to cut a graded, dirt detour adjacent to the destroyed highway in less than a week, which was impressive.
Racers and crews knew of the destruction Rosa had caused and were also aware of incoming Tropical Storm Sergio toward the end of the week, but didn’t care. Like all of the passionate gearheads in the world, we all pushed through. It made for some exciting stories, and John ended up achieving his longtime goal of finishing the race and placing seventh overall against multi-time Baja 1000 champions, Mexican enduro champions, and Dakar Rally hopefuls. Not a bad way to spend the week.