(cross-posted from en vivo y en directo)
Earlier this year a friend asked me to consider what many would call a crazy proposition: to join him on a two week trek across India. On a tuk-tuk. When I say that many would call it a crazy proposition, I am implying that I waited to finish my beer before giving him an emphatic YES! So on the 9th of September we will board a 16 hour flight to Mumbai and then head to Goa, the starting point of the Autumn 2009 Edition of The Rickshaw Run.
This rally functions under some really basic parameters: First, there’s the two stroke, single cylinder, air cooled, ultimate driving machine, otherwise known as a rickshaw (and to some as the tuk-tuk) that you must drive; there’s a starting point, which as I’ve mentioned is somewhere in Goa (on the SW coast of India); there’s a finish line in Pokhara, Nepal, which is all the way up on the NE, at the foot of the Himalayas; and finally, the trek must be completed within two weeks, give or take a day or two. Other than that, you are free to do as you please. You can go whichever route you please: North, South, along the coast, right through the heart of India, etc. You can stop wherever you like for however long you’d like (within the given timeframe). You are also allowed to have as many teammates you wish to have. So if you think you can cram 10 people inside your tuk-tuk, then cram on. (My team started off with three guys and now we’re down to two which is about an average sized team.) Basically, for two weeks in September, I will be taking part of the real-life version of The Wacky Races.
The event is not purely for sport. It’s also a massive effort to raise funds for charities in India and Nepal. With 64 teams competing (at least originally, me thinks the total is a bit lower now) and the minimum amount you are required to raise set at £500 per charity (roughly $750), there will be lots of funds being generated… which reminds me, we still have a long way to go with ONE of the charities and every bit of help is incredibly appreciated. =)
Since my teammate and I are both naturalized citizens that would do a convincing job as foreigners in our own countries (regardless of the fact that we are both fluent in our native languages), we came to the conclusion that the only fitting name for our team was Team America: World Rickshaw Runners.
We have also sorta, kinda been keeping a blog which we will try to keep updating regularly during the trip. There, you will be able to find a lot more details and information regarding the event.
p.s. We’re also on twitter.
p.p.s. Maiti Nepal (& Team America) needs your help! LINK