What is the only thing more insane than the roads of India? A 3,000 kilometre (1,900 mile) two week long race across the country on three wheels! Of course rather than competing against locals, this race is aimed at foreigners. That’s right, foreigners who may have an international drivers license but have absolutely no idea how to handle the chaos of the mean streets of India.
To Kick Things Off We Have A Contest
You could win $50 for helping us pick our team name.
More on that after the Who-What-Where-When-and-Why of the Rickshaw Run:
Image from The Adventurists
After deciding to compete in the Rickshaw Run this year I had to begin the hunt for a teammate. Luckily my search began and ended with one person: my buddy Ryan of Lost Boy Memoirs. I have traveled with him through three different countries so far and we always have a blast together. Plus given the gnarly nature of this race my preferred choice of partners was obvious: the gnarliest mother fucker I know! Thankfully he has been able to coordinate his schedule to join my adventures once again.
Never heard of the Rickshaw Run? It is held three times a year (January, April and August) and organized by a group of adventure travel enthusiasts aptly known as The Adventurists. They are the same people that run the Mongol Rally, something that I hope to do in 2016, among other gnarly things. The last Rickshaw Run had a total of 98 teams competing and we expect around the same number of teams to partake in the next race. After all, the more the merrier — and the more insanity.
The Everything-India-Can-Throw-At-You One
The three runs have each have a cute little name that they are affectionately known by. In January there is The Party One and in August The Long One because it is three weeks instead of two. And ours? Well it’s The Everything-India-Can-Throw-At-You One. Yes, it would seem we are in store for some grand adventures. Thankfully we’ll have plenty of cameras aboard, documenting every thrilling moment!
Okay, but what the hell is a rickshaw? A rickshaw is essentially the same thing as a tuk-tuk — a three-wheeled 7hp beast that is as fun to drive as it is dangerous. The Adventurists put it best: “It’s not very fast, it smells, it falls over when you go round corners, it breaks downs more often than an emo teenager and a days driving feels like you’ve been kicked up the arse by an elephant. But somehow all this makes them better.”
Image via The Adventurists
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
Luckily I already have experience driving tuk-tuks, among other intriguing vehicles, and Ryan is brushing up on his mechanics, so hopefully we will kick some ass during the Rickshaw Run 😉
The race is also for a good cause. Every team needs to raise a minimum of $1,000 to be donated to charities in India. Thanks to the help of our friends over $4,000 has been collected for our charities. Those funds will be donated to:
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: Empowering Local People
Planeterra is a non-profit organization that helps empower local people to develop their communities, conserve their environment and provide solutions to local problems. It was founded by G Adventures’ founder, Bruce Poon Tip. Ryan has traveled with G Adventures several times and has the utmost respect for the company. We are confident that the money donated to them will be put to great use.
Where exactly in India is the race taking place? Well, since the Rickshaw Run is held three times a year there are three different routes. The one we are doing will take us from Jaisalmer in the northwest corner of India all the way to Shillong in the far east, past Bangladesh. The other two run from the northeast to southern tip (every August) and the south to northwest (every January).
The Rickshaw Run we are taking part in happens this April from the 6th to the 18th. Ryan and I will be arriving in India at the end of March in order to get the Delhi belly out of our system before we hit the road. After all, we don’t want to be fighting our bowels in addition to the other race competitors 😉
Why not? This is something I have been wanting to do for several years and I’m giddy as a schoolgirl to be finally knocking it off my 366-item bucket list. In addition both Ryan and I have begun producing travel videos, so naturally 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.
And Now Details On The Contest
We Need YOU!
Ryan and I have to choose a team name but so far we are clueless as to what to pick. One of the best suggestions we have had so far (at least in my opinion) is Gnarly Daze. However for the next week we will be taking suggestions via the comment form below and both our Facebook pages, The HoliDaze and Just Chuckin’ It The winner will receive a cool $50 cash and the honor of having the name they suggested splashed across both our web sites, on the outside of our rickshaw, and in the Rickshaw Run videos we will be producing.
During this two week journey we will need somewhere to rest our weary bones and nurse our road-inflicted wounds. If you live in between Jaisalmer and Shillong and would like to host Ryan and I for a night, please contact me. The offer also applies to any hotels or hostels along our route who would like a little extra publicity 😉
Want to see more? My buddy Brad Bernard (My Wanderlist) also did the Rickshaw Run:
The Extreme India Challenge: Rickshaw Run Edition
Want to learn more? Meet the people behind the Rickshaw Run, Mongol Rally, and other adrenaline-fueled events around the world.
So what do you think?
Are we just bat-shit crazy?
Or would you compete in the Rickshaw Run if you ever had the chance? Share your comments below and don’t forget to subscribe to The HoliDaze on YouTube and Just Chuckin’ It to stay up to date with all our gnarly adventures.