Rickshaw Run January 2018 - Halfway to Nirvana

With the impervious madness and riot-loving crews of the 2018 Rickshaw Run now a week into their extra curricular adventures, the tempo of throbbing two strokes reaches a crescendo.

This year's bold crews seem to be taking the spirit of adventure in their stride and blazing a path of confusion and selfies across India, showing that they have more spirit than an illegal bush distillery.

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So far they have been up mountains, across rivers, lost in jungles, arrested, freed, been thrown out of and dragged into all kind of ludicrous life time experiences. The good cheer and willingness to throw themselves into life threatening fun and frivolity - for the scarce reward of a few beers and possibly a shower - is beginning to define the 2018 Rickshaw Runners.

Bigger, bolder and barmier, the Run heads ever southward leaving a faint whiff of petrol and body odour in its wake.

Mechanical trials and tribulations have plagued the subcontinental explorers and their three-wheeled beasties. Learning that downhill on a mountain is far easier than up and finding out just how far duct tape and cable ties will take you.

The party atmosphere continues as the moving rave bounces and jostles its way through jungles, deserts and traffic jams. 

Local media has picked up on the exploits and have turned our twist and go merchants into minor celebrities, with them being pulled over for selfies and interviews at every opportunity.

So far they have been dragged into weddings, parades, street parties and local festivals. Thankfully no funerals quite yet. But we have word that a few of our adventurers have opted to be given Viking funerals in a burning rickshaw should the worst come to the worst.

There's always time for an impromptu street rave

We ended up staying in a fancy resort with real beds and soft pillows and hot showers. Glorious! Team 3 Kiwis 1 Rickshaw’s engine came loose and our clutch cable snapped so spent the morning at the mechanics. On the road now, heading south taking the most mountainous route we could find
— Bex Bradley

The proper spirit of the The Adventurists is to take the long way round. The un-Instagramed path and generally do the hard shit that makes no sense at all. Life should not be easy and it should not be comfortable. Not always anyway.

This philosophy has been brutally forced on our travellers in all kinds of uncomfortable ways. They love it really.

Wildlife spotting continues with our Runners having narrowly missed a whole variety of tropical creatures, from swerving elephants to capricious carnivores. Our teams have so far luckily avoided crashing head first into a pantheon of flora and fauna.

Less avoidable are the fleas and filth critters of the 'hotels' some of our teams are encountering. Probably the only places that will grant sanctuary to those great unwashed beauties.

 Beware of the Lesser Spotted Fiberglass Leopard.

Beware of the Lesser Spotted Fiberglass Leopard.

Accommodation woes and ablutionary trials seem to be a running theme with our more domesticated boys and girls, who stand in shock and awe at the Indian plumbing systems. Outright terror is present at 5 star hotels that lack interest in having their dusty, sweaty bodies grace their fine establishments.

The ladies of the Run have discovered that air drying their undies by dangling them in the back of their mighty machines is a more than acceptable method of laundry. This may be confusing the locals slightly as to why the bunting is on the inside of the vehicles.

 

I’ve spent enough time in the bush to have the bucket bath down - but after three weeks - one of which has largely involved deep in an engine bay getting covered in petroleum products - a hot shower that lasts at least ten minutes has become my obsession
— Anthony Condon
 "yes, yes, we've checked and it's bullshit down here too"

"yes, yes, we've checked and it's bullshit down here too"

Mechanical tribulations are to be expected in a vehicle that is only one wheel more than a standard wheelie bin. So it goes without saying that anything that can fall off or break, has. Same goes for a few things that shouldn't have imploded on the way, but have.

Teams have had everything rebuilt but the seat and their dreams, yet still find themselves pushing up hill and screaming white-knuckled around every alternative corner. Leaning out and screaming seems to be the best method of cornering at speed, while running into deep sand or mud makes for effective stopping.

The horn is now known to be the most important piece of equipment on a Rickshaw. When in the city, a team whose horn failed from over use ended up with sore throats from screaming "beep" at the confused and unimpressed locals.

 Teams 'Disney' and 'Ready to Pushit' share a Justin Beiber moment at a country school - Loic

Teams 'Disney' and 'Ready to Pushit' share a Justin Beiber moment at a country school - Loic

What really sets our Runners apart, is that they use this opportunity for adventure and madness to promote great causes and raise shedloads of money. Our conscientiously-minded scholars have raised some fantastic funds for some mind-blowing projects both in India and around the world.

 "Grateful to have time to make a stop at The Doorstep School in Pune, the organisation we raised money for. When the teacher asked the kids "what work do you think they do back home?", the kids answered "tuk tuk drivers!". I think they were as excited about the tuk as we are."  Jeff Shaknaitis

"Grateful to have time to make a stop at The Doorstep School in Pune, the organisation we raised money for. When the teacher asked the kids "what work do you think they do back home?", the kids answered "tuk tuk drivers!". I think they were as excited about the tuk as we are."

Jeff Shaknaitis

While we are talking charities, shaking babies and holding hands, we aught to remind everyone on the Run about the awesome amount of coinage you are all raising for the beloved Cool Earth. Sir Attenborough is dead impressed with you all and sends warm kisses and encouragement to carry on the good work.

So far the Rickshaw Run January 2018 has raised a whopping £28,000 for Cool Earth.

Keep on it champions, you are making an actual difference to many peoples' lives and saving a spectacular amount of forestry to boot.

 Getting environmentally excitable

Getting environmentally excitable

The end is still miles of dirt track and potholed roads away. You are nowhere near close to the conclusion of your great adventure, enlightenment can still be found, perhaps in the next dive motel. Do not be discouraged, you are all doing sterling working making the world far more interesting.

Besides, there's still the Goa pitstop party to come, and that has be known to be a tad messy in the past.

 

Good luck with week 2. Ever onwards on three wheels.

Carry on shining bright like little beacons of hope in a boring world, that is just too bloody domesticated by far.

You can follow all the action live HERE