Coches locos

Coches locos © Ana Jiménez

Sweating on a street corner under the blazing sun the noise of the crowd increased. Speeding down the hill came a settee and a round table for its steering wheel complete with granny and knitting.

Screeching around the bend but holding the road well the granny was closely followed by a man on a bike complete with parasol, barbecue and some tasty but well-clamped down burgers and sausages. I leapt back over the barrier of tyres as the whole bike-kiosk wobbled wonderfully towards me but made the bend still upright.

Then came a bath, heavy and not handling well with grating ball-race bearings for wheels and oar –like brakes with work boots on each end, which barely worked. I stepped back further only to watch and hear the tyre wall and bathtub become, very noisily, intermingled as one.

This was coches locos, a Spanish term for dodgems but which translates literally as crazy cars. That´s what they were. Not only crazy cars but this was wacky races too as each “vehicle” had to be quad- towed up the town´s streets, to descend again under their own rolling power the best part of a curvy mile.

Not many entrants had thought about how to get around corners at speed, which by the end of the run they´d picked up quite a bit. Brakes didn´t seem to be the main addition on any of the coches locos.

I´d stood in the right place, an accident black spot. The tipi fared worse. Definitely top heavy and not built for cornering at any speed, but all its Indians, in true mad Spanish style crawled out, disentangling themselves from tyres and material laughing. Then a hoist of tipi onto their shoulders and a traipse down the road in true cool-running finale style. To be greeted no doubt by a cold beer or three. This is exactly what I did, while noting the date for next years coches locos, ‘cos I’ll be there.

Written by - Edited by Charlotte Amelines - Photo by Ana Jiménez

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