We re-invented the road trip format – here’s how…


We re-invented the road trip format – here’s how…

The Poles of Inconvenience is back this summer with a brand new format. In the most modest terms we can muster we’ve completely re-invented the road trip format.

Our Founder and Chief Idiot Mr. Tom says “it’s like a bag of adventuring whoopass to open in your own face. Think adventure meets gameshow. Both dangerous and inconvenient. Who doesn’t need that?”

You can launch from anywhere you want on 14th July then 3 weeks later there’s a massive festival style finish party just outside Prague on 7th August.

The poles are carefully crafted nuggets of spectacular inconvenience you have to try and reach in the most unsuitable vehicle you can muster. You get points for every pole you bag – the more inconvenient the pole, the higher the number of points you score.

From the northern tip of Scandinavia down to Western Sahara and all the way over to Turkey and Georgia in the east, they include salt flats, mountains, deserts, ghost towns, and many other flavours with varying degrees of adventuring spiciness.

Here’s how we’ve dialled up the stupidity for the 2024 edition:

  • Any vehicle allowed as long as it’s unsuitable – aim for the smallest and crappiest adventure chariot you can get your hands on
  • Points for every pole – the harder the pole the higher the points
  • Randomly announced Golden Poles – worth shedloads more points
  • Bigger prizes for the winners including a Venturo motorbike worth £5,000
  • Live leaderboard updating every team’s score daily
  • Bonus points awarded to teams who bring comically unsuitable vehicles
  • Points penalties for anyone trying to make their adventure too convenient
  • Daily updates and expert punditry from Inconvenience HQ on who’s winning, who’s gone missing in the Sahara and who got stuck in the middle of an Algerian salt flat
  • Start from anywhere – Mr. Tom and Buddy will host a live broadcast to officially open the network of poles
  • Poles of Refreshment – official meeting points to have a few shandies with your fellow teams, and rivals.
  • Festival style finish party in a former missile silo just out Prague – our favourite venue for a suitably ludicrous climax of inconvenience

So what is a Pole of Inconvenience?

POI 77 - Team Ohopel in Morocco on the Poles of Inconvenience 2023

Imagine being hurled spicy bits first towards the mincer of life. Jumping into whatever unsuitable vehicle you can lay your hands on and heading off to the middle of nowhere, in a country you’ve never been to before, to find a spot on a map that is utterly ridiculous.

Each Pole of Inconvenience is a very specific location marked by a what3words address (the world’s finest mapping system). Every 3 metre by 3 metre square on earth has been assigned a unique 3 word code. Even better their app doesn’t give you any navigation directions, so you can stick to paper maps, intuition, the stars, and speaking to real human beings to ensure you get lost. Twice. Every day.

Every pole has a distinct flavour and reason to exist. Its characteristics will be formed from some of the following ingredients:

    • It’s hard to reach
    • It’s stupid
    • It’s miles from anywhere
    • It’s potentially impossible to get there at all
    • It has a silly name
    • It will bestow upon you glorious inconvenience
    • We chucked a dart at a map and it landed there
    • Because why bloody not?

As you can see, these are all serious and highly important reasons.

What’s all this about points for every pole?

Every time you bag a pole you’ll get points. And those points will be tallied on a live and constantly updating leaderboard. So you’ll be able to see where you stand against your fellow fools wobbling across the network of inconvenience.

Some poles will be worth more points than others, due to their very nature. If a pole is very inconvenient to reach, then it’ll be worth one point. If, just by thinking about a pole you begin to sweat like a sumo wrestler doing hot yoga, then it’ll will be worth more points.

The Committee of Inconvenience will be monitoring all teams and will use the power of points and the leaderboard to rule with an iron fist of chaos. Valiant acts that show a team’s dedication to getting lost and stuck will be rewarded with bonus points. And any attempts to make the adventure too convenient will be met with severe points penalties.

The ruling Committee is a benevolent dictatorship, and as such their decision will be final. There is no appeals process. Any attempt to lodge an appeal will result in further points deductions.

Introducing Golden Poles…

Another brand new addition for this summer’s adventure. On top of the ‘normal’ poles, there will also be a collection of Golden Poles. You’ll get a shitload of extra points for bagging one of these frothing gremlins of inconvenience.

You will shoot up the leaderboard each time you hit one, laughing manically at those poor sods that weren’t able to get there. To ensure you don’t overthink your route or, heaven forbid, plan it, we’ll be releasing the golden poles sporadically throughout the adventure. They will be chosen by us, in the stupidest ways we can think of.

Prizes include limited edition Venturo worth £5000

Venturo Mark 01

There’ll be a bunch of prizes up for grabs for various categories… Best vehicle, most poles hit, hardest poles hit, best facial hair, stupidest route, most inconvenient object carried, most raised for charity… the list goes on.

One of the prizes we’ve already confirmed is an absolute belter – a highly limited Mark 01 Venturo motorbike worth a shedload of money. Our new manufacturing division Venturo has recently delivered its first batch of re-invented monkey bikes, designed by our founder Mr. Tom to deliver giant adventure in a tiny package.

The first batch of bikes sold out in minutes and the Mark 02 already has a long waiting list.

Do I need a special type of vehicle to take part?

You can take any vehicle you like as long as it’s unsuitable.

Think small, crap and underpowered. Something with zero comfort and no mod cons is heartily encouraged. As is anything that’s just completely bloody stupid, such as a tank, a cherry picker, or a segway.

Bonus points will rain down on you if you choose to partake with something that has no motor at all, such as a penny farthing, a pogo stick, a camel, or by lashing yourself to a kite.

If, on the other hand, you’re a massive wuss and want to come along in a giant 4×4 or something else way too accomplished then we’ll try to talk you out of it.

If you’re as stubborn and come along in it anyway, then prepare to for brutal points penalties issued by the Committee, alongside a ‘we’re not angry, we’re just disappointed’ look from your fellow teams.

Poles of Refreshment

Spread across the network, these are designated mustering points to congregrate with your fellow inconvenience seekers. Positioned near poles like welfare tents for Adventurists, you’ll be able to meet up with fellow teams, share tales from the road and engage in bonding via the magic of alcohol and comparisons of recent chaos.

Pitch a Pole

If you’re thinking ‘I know the perfect place for one of these poles’ then you should enter the Pitch a Pole competition.

Submit your idea and explain why it’s splendidly inconvenient and you could win a free entry to the adventure worth £695.

There’s no limit on the number of suggestions you can make and the deadline is 30th April.

If we use one of your suggestions on the official network of inconvenience, we’ll also consider naming the pole after you. Unless your name is a bit shit. Then we might just call it something good instead.

When is it and how do I sign up?

Friday 12th July

A live broadcast will kick off the adventure. You can start from anywhere and head for your first pole. You can start anytime after this too, just the later you start, the less chance you’ll have of getting your mitts on some poles.

Wednesday 7th August

Ginormous finish line celebrations and festival style finish party at a former missile silo just outside Prague in Czechia.

Registration is open right now.

Grab a mate or two and get yourself signed up here.

Here’s Mr. Tom explaining almost everything you need to know:

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