It is official, myself and two good friends (Jack and Mike) have signed up to take part in an event called The Rickshaw Run. For those that have never heard of the event before it basically involves driving ~2,000 miles across India in what can only be described as a glorified lawnmower. The infamous auto-rickshaw, 7 horsepower of automotive mayhem.
Oh yeah, did I mention we have to do this all in 2 weeks?!
Will we breakdown? Probably
Will we get lost? Most definitely
Will it be fun? Of course!
The Rickshaw Run is one of a handful of events organised by The Adventurists, a bunch of guys from Bristol who set to make the world less boring. Some of their other equally mad adventures include driving from England to Mongolia in a hatchback, crossing siberia on a vintage motorbike and side car and a cycle race around the entire world.
We chose to sign up for the January 2015 edition which runs from Kochi in the Southern state of Kerala up to Jaisalmer in the North. According to Google Maps this route could be driven in 37 hours. The main difference being that these directions assume you’ll be driving in a comfortable car, cruising at 70mph down the motorways and not breaking down every 10 miles. Rickshaws aren’t exactly known to be the fastest and most reliable vehicles on the planet and are much more at home nipping around the busy cities.
One of the best things about the Rickshaw Run is that even though there are plenty of other teams taking part, normally somewhere between 60-80, you may not see another team for days if at all. This is partly due to what the Adventurists like to call the un-route, they supply a start and end point but the rest of the adventure is up to you. At every crossroads you have a choice of three directions, each have the possibilty of untold happiness or anguish.
Some teams arrive in India with no planned route at all (some without even a map). Others have their days all planned out covering where they want to be and by when. I have the feeling we’ll fall somewhere between the two with a few places we’d like to hit en-route but no strict agenda. If we don’t make it to a place we had planned, no worries, we’ll just blame it on the traffic…
At the moment this all just looks like fun and games but alongside this mayhem we will also be raising money for several charities, with a minimum charity requirement of £1000 we are planning to try and double this and target to hit £2,000!
Half of our charity proceeds will go to Cool Earth, The Adventurists official charity, who look after the world’s rainforests and the rest will be split between one or two other charities which are yet to be confirmed.
We are currently in the process of setting up a fundraising page so if you fancy donating please check back here in a couple days and we will hopefully have this sorted.
How much does all this cost I hear you ask?
Here are some very rough costs I’ve thrown together (made up), many of these figures can go up or down depending on whether you slum it or sleep in 5* hotels.
Entry Fee: £1495 (This is split between the number of people in your team)
Food and Drink: ~£150
Breakdown fund: ~£150
TOTAL: £2,000 each (Assuming a team of three)
It’s at this point we have to say a massive thank you to Sopra, the company both Jack and I work for, are kindly sponsoring us by covering the cost of our entry fee. This support is hugely appreciated and gives us time to focus on raising as much money as we can for the charities we are fundraising for!
Where we need your help?
Over the next 8 months we will be asking for advice and suggestions on all of the following:
- Our route and anything we should consider visiting on the way
- The paint job design for our rickshaw (Yes, you get to “Pimp your shaw”!)
- Tips and tricks for surviving this amazing adventure
- Ingenious ways to raise as much money as we can for our charities.
- Any more potential sponsorship opportunties
Keep an eye on here and on our (yet to be set up) Facebook page for details.