By John Coyle
“And you get paid for that?”
Since I’ve been writing about cars, I’ve heard that phrase plenty of times. And damn, did I hear it a lot over the past few days. But that’s going to happen when you’re at your friend’s birthday party and you get to answer the innocuous “so how was your week?” salutation with:
“Well, I flew to Miami, where I met up with a pair of Russian models driving a Lamborghini Gallardo on the world’s craziest road rally. From there, we went to Atlanta, New York, Edinburgh, London, Paris, Barcelona and Ibiza. It’s called the Gumball 3000, and it’s rad. Want to see a picture of me and Tony Hawk?”
Honestly, I wasn’t trying to sound like a bragging douchebag. Almost a week after getting home to Los Angeles, I’m still stunned I got to go on this crazy adventure with Team AnastasiaDate.com—let’s just say it’s better to be lucky smart.“Jumping out of the support van and into the teeming crowds of Barcelona, losing the van, realizing I had no money, identification or idea where my hotel was, and then drinking and dancing until 5AM at the afterparty was another awesome—slightly blurry—memory.”
Margarita and Alisa were a blast to be around, and made every place we stopped—a gas station in Georgia, the Chunnel, the side of the road in Spain—feel like party central. And the night we went to Pacha in Ibiza? Obviously, it was rad.
Now, I know about as much about EDM as I do the species which populate the Mariana Trench, but Steve Aoki was spinning, and even I know he’s a big deal. There was also a crazy robot dude with smoke machines for hands and repeated bursts of confetti.
Approximately half of Russian’s annual vodka production was consumed.
When I arrived, I was carrying my trusty Canon, and was promptly told I wouldn’t be allowed inside with it. After I showed my media badge, I made it ten more feet before I was stopped again. This bouncer issued me a special Pacha media lanyard. This proved its value 30 seconds later, when a third bouncer had me escorted to the office where it was confiscated. The manger was friendly, but stern—there was no way I was getting inside with a camera. At that point, I surrendered.
So when we actually went to party central, I wasn’t able to get any pics of Margarita and Alisa celebrating the end of the Rally—you’ll just have it trust it was awesome.
But that’s the Gumball 3000. If you can’t handle fast-changing circumstances, stay home.
Fortunately, I took tons of other photos, and had plenty of other experiences I won’t need pictures to remember. Arriving in Paris—and just experiencing the City of Light in general—was an amazing experience. Even in a downpour, the beauty of that city is unmistakable, and the French countryside is breathtaking. Jumping out of the support van and into the teeming crowds of Barcelona, losing the van, realizing I had no money, identification or idea where my hotel was, and then drinking and dancing until 5AM at the afterparty was another—slightly blurry—one. By the time I left, I was soaked to the skin with Dom Perignon.
Along with hanging out with the girls, driving the Lambo on the Top Gear test track, and getting a photo op with the world’s most famous skater, I also met Karta Healy—probably the coolest guy on the rally. Seriously, this is what Steve McQueen must have been like. When I saw him on the ferry to Ibiza, he just handed me his vodka soda, like out of nowhere. Who does that? Well, Karta does, and he’s awesome.
As you might imagine, the Team generated plenty of press on the Gumball. Head over to the official AnastasiaDate.com site to check it out!