Mobs, Bandits and endless breakdowns are just a few things this year's teams have faces in the September Rickshaw run, check out what else they've been up to here
Chief of our official charity Cool Earth Matthew has got his felt tip pens out to express his gratitude to the riders and supporters of the Mongol Derby for the great work that their fund-raising has done.
A message to the 2013 Ralliers on behalf of the official charity Cool Earth. It was great to meet you all, keep up the great fund-raising work.
Last year we spotted a Mongol Rally trailer by Javier from team Restaurante la Yerbita which was a little bit more than the usual hastily thrown together wobbly shots out of the window put to some dodgy music and we were keen to see how it would progress. After a year of editing their final video is finally ready and it doesn't disappoint.
It's not easy putting together a film of the Rally, many teams get too caught up in the Rally itself and find shooting it too much to bear, other teams shoot mountains of footage but either realise it's not particularly interesting or that they don't have the time or energy to edit it. If you've ever thought seriously about shooting your adventure and making something at the end of it worth sharing you should probably watch this.
"Holy shit. Just, holy shit. Driving a rickshaw in India, hell yes!!! What a day."
Team Brains Trust rather enjoyed their first day on the road. And they weren't the only ones. Despite strikes, petrol shortages, losing the traditional game of football against the locals on penalties and some pretty crap weather, the team updates on Day 1 confirm another storming launch took place today in Shillong, north east India.
Back over to Team Brains Trust for more:
"[There is] too much to talk about. Epic kick off from Shillong, absolute madness.
"Glen ignoring the detour sign and making his own road, truck spraying exhaust fumes all over us, overtaking downhill, ran over a baby cobra (says glen), epic pot holes, rain, feeling like royalty, a guy almost running us into an off ramp trying to get us to pull over, driving the wrong way up a one way street and chucking a u-bolt to make a quick getaway and many more.
79 teams gathered in the Meghalayan hill station tucked up in the far corner of India beyond Bangladesh on Wednesday. Over the last few days the biggest ever field of runners have worked out how to drive their 'shaws, pimped up their machines and partied hard. On Sunday morning the President of the Press Club of Shillong waved the flag and the chaos began.
"So after drinking from a shoe at midnight," wrote Team We Got the Runs on their blog, "we finally left Shillong in a convoy of the most luminous shaws you are ever likely to see, complete with police escort...for the locals protection."
"Since Shillong sits atop of a mountain, the only way out is down. The drive through the mountain was incredible. The weavy, pot hole ridden roads combined with the scenary made for one incredible drive. Farshid handled that tuk like a pro, whilst Alex didnt know how to get it moving. But progress was made none the less. A hundred km in, we are staying at a hotel in a town called Guwahati.
"Breakdown update: so far, our windshield wiper is as effective as a bikini in a snow storm. Oh yah, and some really thick white smoke started coming out of the exhaust by the end of the day. Hopefully thats just us not being able to mix oil proportions properly."
"Its epic....EPIC!!! Chesire cat grin for hours with Indian kids running around waving at us! Drive by hi-fives...all the works!! More to come but this is only the beginning!"
Most of the teams made it as far as Guwuhati, including Team Mad Dogs who covered 85km in 6 hours and summed up their progress so far with a bullet point report covering the emotional and mechanical rollercoaster of adventurism:
"Noteworthy events today:
- Ben's nervous breakdown and subsequent tantrum.
- Jackson's ejection of a small child from our rickshaw. While moving.
- Everyone being a back seat driver.
- Our first breakdown. (Ran out of fuel)
- Pushing a rickshaw uphill.
- Pushing rickshaw backwards down a highway.
- The gentleman driving the wrong way up a divided highway."
Follow the adventure:
Sign up for the Rickshaw Run:
Fancy a fortnight of mayhem?
April 2014 - Cochin to Shillong
September 2014 - Shillong to Jaisalmer
Adrienne and Guy from team Fagowi think they can lay claim to a Mongol Rally record; the most countries crossed en route to the finish line.
Their list of 40 countries in order were: UK, France, Belgium, Luxembourg, Germany, Holland, Denmark, Norway, Sweden, Finland, Russia, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Hungary, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Austria, Slovenia, Italy, Croatia, Bosnia, Montenegro, Albania, Kosova, Macedonia, Serbia, Romania, Bulgaria, Greece, Turkey, Georgia, Azerbaijan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, Kyrgystan, Kazakhstan, Mongolia.
They also created a new game to further spice up their rally, a game which they titled "The Bold and the Map-less", this involved burning their maps and smashing their compass (the remains of which Adrienne took to wearing around her neck) and relying on the sun and friendly people to guide them. Here are some highlights in pictures.
Laundry: Mongol Rally style (left)
Roughing it on the Black Sea Ferry (below)
The Black Sea ferry has a reputation for striking fear into the heart of Mongol Ralliers; a dangerous filthy boat with cramped uncomfortable conditions, you can tell from the picture below that Adrienne and Guy found it pretty tough.
All the miles began to take their toll and in Kazakhstan they stopped to pump their tyres to find the right front spring was broken, with their only spare the wrong size. It took just three hours for the local mechanic to use a blow-torch to shape a found spring to the right shape. They then picked up a couple of new tyres and topped up the oil and were ready to roll again.
On the Mongolian border they lost second gear than 4th an hour later, not long after they lost the remaining gears and were stuck, they tried to got a tow to Olgii, but the engine of the truck towing them stopped when it ran out of fuel. A second truck was flagged down and some more fuel was purloined. The tow resumed only for the Fiat's brakes to fail, they managed to avoid crashing into the back of the truck, but as they passed it the tow rope broke. Fortunately they managed to stop using the handbrake.
They re-tied the tow rope only for it to break again. An attempt was made to reinforce the rope with other tow-ropes, only for these too to break. The next plan was to roll down each hill and build up enough speed to mount the next rise; this practice (without the luxury of brakes) managed to get them to Olgii.
The End of the line for Clairellenbeth
Clairellenbeth, not so trusty steed of the Fagowi at her last resting place; the Mongol Rally Drop off point at Olgii. Her drivers side rear window had previous broken on a pothole in Kazakhstan.
40 countries. 11,532 miles. Carless but triumphant Adrienne's finish line pic, taken after 5 days with no shower and 3 days with next to no sleep.
Agents of Karma took three rickshaws on the recent September Rickshaw Run. These are their splendid photo highlights.
The Mongol Rally logo isn't just for the side of little crap cars. You can put it on the side of your (not so crap) home too
You would have thought that with these modern cars the rally would be a whole lot safer. Maybe it's the cars causing all the trouble but perhaps it's the drivers - it seems this years mongol rally is filled with as many crashes and breakdowns as ever, here are just a few...
The riders and crew yesterday on the steppe at the awards ceremony and party.