Ahh, the Rickshaw Run. Two weeks and 3,000km of curry fuelled insanity topped off with a side of mechanical failure and a little explosive diarrhoea.
It's been nearly a week since the August 2017 edition of the Rickshaw Run launched from Cochin. By now, most of the rickshaws have fallen apart at least once. The seven horses powering their engines have contracted tropical diseases or died from exhaustion, and the Runners have learnt there's nothing they can do but get the fuck on with it.
There are a few things the Runners can control though. How much to bribe the police officer who has dared to question the authenticity of The Adventurists issue driving licence. If driving at night is really that much of a stupid idea. And, most importantly, whether to stick to the highway or make their own route. We know what we'd do, but then again we don't have ambitions to live into our nineties.
And nor do these guys:
If a tourist asked you how best to explore England would you recommend spending as much time as possible on the M1? Of course you wouldn't, because you're probably not a bastard. Or maybe you would.
India's equivalent of the M1 is called the 66 and it runs from the Southern tip of India up almost the entire West coast to Mumbai. Sticking to this road guarantees you three things: a slightly faster time, a far more dull adventure and a much greater risk of being t-boned by a truck. Personally, we avoid it like a piece of street meat that's been festering in the midday Delhi sun.
Pros: speed (up to a trouser soiling 30mph)
Cons: trucks, exhaust fumes, police checkpoints, missing out all all the other cool shit that's happening just off the highway.
Slow spaceships for 2 miles.
There are some perks to being on the highway. This though, isn't one of them either.
The Proper Way
This is what it’s all about. Hidden beaches, quiet villages, invites to Indian weddings and dusty tracks through jungles where you’re more likely to be mauled by a tiger than hit by a speeding truck. Now that'd be a good way to go.
Pros: no trucks, proper adventure, the chance to meet the locals, unlimited bragging rights
Cons: no chance of being placed first on the completely unimportant leaderboard
"Quick, push it into the lake before he realises we've been driving up his garden path".
The finish party, in Jaisalmer, Rajasthan is on 27th August. First they need to make it though...
You can keep track of all the teams and the action from the road on the Tracking Dashboard
If you feel a hankering for badassery and think it's your time to do the Rickshaw Run - then August 2018 is still up for grabs