Road Rally


Melissa Stagnaro

When I heard that Coventry was incorporating a road rally into their Spring Fling this Saturday, I laughed out loud. Not because I thought it was a ridiculous idea, but rather because I think it is absolutely fantastic.

I instantly pictured myself, map in hand and gps at the ready, racing through the scenic highways and byways of Chenango County, a la Herbie Goes to Monte Carlo. (What can I say? I was always a huge fan of all those Love Bug movies when I was a kid.)

The more I learned about the event from Coventry Events Committee Chair Doug Besemer, the more excited I became. At registration (9 a.m. Saturday Morning at the Coventry Fire House, only $20 a car), participants will get a list of clues rather than directions. Those instructions will lead them on a 3 1/2 hour tour of the area. While it’s timed, it’s not really a race per se, but a test of driving skills and local knowledge, from what he said. So each car needs a navigator as well as a driver.

Doug assured me that there is no off-roading required (darn!) and that it’s all timed out at legal driving speeds (double darn!). Despite my superb powers of persuasion, I couldn’t get him to reveal any of the super secret instructions. But what he did say was that he’d taken a look and wished he could be doing it himself. I was sold.

I’ve checked the weather for the weekend. Saturday looks like it will be in the low 60’s, sunny with a smattering of clouds. I’d say that’s perfect weather for a road rally.

I’m definitely game, but unfortunately I haven’t found anyone else who is as excited about it as I am. (Although I know my niece Jessica would be up for it if she wasn’t a thousand or so miles away.) I need a teammate!

Having been my father’s co-pilot (both in the air and on the ground) for years, I don’t feel shy about touting my navigating skills or experience. I read a mean map, have a close, personal relationship with my GPS and love road trips of any kind (to which my college roommate Liz can attest.)

Now all I need someone to do the driving (and preferably has a classier ride than my ancient Explorer.)

So, who’s with me?