Now I had always thought of doing adventure travel in very different way from regular “Travellers”. What is the only thing more insane than the roads of India? A 2,700 kilometer (1,700 miles) two-week long race across the country on three wheels! An Indian woman riding Rickshaw across Jailsamer to Shillong is something crazy adventurists.
This is RICKSHAW RUN -A 2,700 km pan-Indian adventure in a 7 horsepower glorified lawnmower. The Rickshaw Run is easily the least sensible thing to do with two weeks.No set route, no back-up, no way of knowing if you’re going to make it. The only certainty is that you will get lost, you will get stuck and you will break down. It’s just me and my 2 mates in a wholly unsuitable vehicle, traversing the subcontinent enduring whatever shit the road throws at you.
WHAT IS RICKSHAW RUN?
The Rickshaw Run is an event where teams drive Auto Rickshaws along various routes across India. It is organized by the Adventurists, who also organizes the Mongol Rally.The Rickshaw Run began in 2006 and has grown and evolved ever since, with many route changes over the years. It is an arduous journey and there has never been a single run where every team has finished. In fact usually only around 90% of those competing in the race actually cross the finish line two weeks later. As such, the Rickshaw Run is not about who takes home the gold but rather just in finishing with all your limbs intact. There is no prize for the team that comes in the first place other than bragging rights and the personal satisfaction that comes with knowing they can now leave this world confident in the knowledge that they have undertaken and survived one of the wildest and adventurous races ever to take place. I believe there are always more than 98 teams racing against each other for this adrenaline filled race.
This Race is The Everything-India-Can-Throw-At-You One?
WTF is THE RICKSHAW RUN? CHECK this Video!
Now do not ask what is Rickshaw? Oh well, Let me still Explain 🙂
That is how it looks when it is filled with colors. Below are the technical specification.
Engine: 2 stroke, single cylinder, forced air cooled ,Power: 7 HP at 5000 rpm (equiv. 1 family dog)
Transmission: 4 forward, 1 reverse, Fuel Capacity: 8 ltr + 1.4 reserve , Top Speed: 55kmph (downhill)
Engine Size: 145.45cc , System Voltage: 12V , DC.
Who are these crazy gnarly adventurous?
“Teen Romanchak Yaar” which means “Three adventurous friends” are crazy travelers who have come together to experience this adrenaline rush as a team.
Ryan, born in Washington DC, began trading the world in 2011. He was the first of his family to own a passport and to leave the United States. Ryan travels to experience and showcases the cultures, the people, and the beauty that lie in every country he visits. Through travel blogging, he works to encourage others to enrich their lives and their minds first hand by traveling. He has recently traveled to Haiti and was featured on Al Jazeera as well.
Derek, originally from Austin, Texas, quit his corporate career and left the USA in 2009 to begin traveling and experiencing this entire amazing world has to offer. While not all Americans are willing or able to quit their jobs, his bold adventures are allowing others to draw inspiration from his adventures, or at the very least live vicariously through him. He runs the travel site The HoliDaze and does whatever he can to motivate and educate others to experience firsthand all the amazing and diverse cultures around this great planet.
Rutavi, born in Mumbai, India is one of only a handful of Indian women to ever participate in the Rickshaw Run. Adventure has been in her blood since she was a little girl and has led her on some amazing adventures, such as hiking to Everest Base Camp and spending months living on the remote and uninhabited Lakshadweep Island. Using her travel stories and experiences, as well as the upcoming Rickshaw Run, she strives to empower women with a “women can do and will do” attitude for Indian women. Aiming to show that Indian women, and in fact all women in general, can take on incredible journeys and travel India safely. It all starts with the realization that they can overcome any fear.
Which Route we are taking?
We would be driving across India’s widest bit. From the Rajasthani desert to the Meghalayan hills in the far east corner beyond Bangladesh. From extreme scorching heat to cool and breezy winds is what our 2700km race is going to be like.
Once we have thundered across the desert in your rolling turd there are some serious three-wheel mountaineering opportunities to my left: The Himalayas. Heading across the plains of northern India or take a left into Nepal and we will find out if we can force high altitude motoring miracles from our 145cc tin can.
We would be passing the tributaries of the Ganges, tiger reserves in the jungle and more tea plantations on our route.
And it all finishes in the ‘Scotland of the East’, Shillong. Nestled cozily in between Bhutan, Burma and Bangladesh. Way off the beaten track in a bit of India unsullied by gap year students and acid casualty ex-pats.
Rickshawing for a cause
Each team has to raise a minimum of £1,700 for charities that Adventurists based in India. This race is not all about adrenaline filled by Derek, Ryan and me. Proud to say that Derek and Ryan both they both raised $4000 with the help of their beloved friends, families, & followers. The purpose of the Rickshaw Run is to give adventurers an opportunity to give back to local communities and causes. Most notable charitable donations were made by the ‘JacksGap’ team: Jack Harries; Finn Harries, Harry Crowder, Max Cantellow, Ben Brown, Will Darbyshire & Louis Cole. They successfully managed to exceed their $100,000 goal and raise just over $180,000 for Teenage Cancer Research; their adventures were all filmed for a four-part TV series on YouTube. Watch their adventure story below:
The reason why I love “Rickshaw Run“. It is a mix of social give back and adventure at same time
The Two Charities are:
Cool Earth: Saving Rainforests
The Adventurists selected charity, Cool Earth, works alongside indigenous villages to halt rainforest destruction. By building better incomes, schools and clinics, they give their partner villages the resources they need to keep their forest intact. To date, they have saved 411,525 acres of forests and supported over 35,410 indigenous people.
Planeterra is a non-profit organization that helps empower local people to develop their communities, conserve their environment and provides solutions to local problems. It was founded by G Adventures’ founder, Bruce Poon Tip.
When is this Race?
The Rickshaw Run I and my team members are taking part happens this April from the 6th to the 18th. Now the most fun would be taking Derek and Ryan out on this race on Indian Roads 🙂 And I DO NOT know how to ride this rickshaw, but there is always the first time.
What’s unique of our team?
More cameras than wheels? So we are going to cover our rickshaw in GoPros and pray that we get some wild and crazy footage. That’s right, our rickshaw will have more cameras than wheels. What does this mean? That you can expect tons of short videos to be released during the Rickshaw Run (provided we have time and wifi along the journey) as well as a final compilation video highlighting the best moments of the run.
Join Our Team!
Interested in becoming our eyes & memories along the way?
Since my idea of this adventure is a motto for woman “ All woman can be adventurous, follow our dreams and believe in the gut feeling” Regularly hearing the issues with “Girls being raped, and women empowerment being at stake” I decided to fight back those thoughts by going for this trip. So I would be bearing all the expense including Fuel, lodging, food, water, beers, excursions, repairs, tools, toilet paper, shampoo, etc.) I’m looking for awesome people or companies to help us along the way. The cause is a great one, and our mission is to inspire others to take part in the travel adventures especially woman while supporting communities around the globe. If you are interested in slapping your logo on our Rickshaw (that will mind you, have more GoPro’s attached than it does wheels), if you have great accommodation in India or an excursion of some type that you want to be written about, or if you are a travel related company that would like us to try out your technology or services, contact us below. If you are just a regular ole’ dude or dudette that would love to contribute to our journey, you are awesome!
Reach out! Doesn’t harm to spend only Rs 100 for this cause. Contribute clicking below!