Having been to India and seen the craziness that is the rickshaw firsthand, I can’t imagine why anyone would want to travel 2,000 miles in one, but that is just what 34 teams from seven countries are doing for the Rickshaw Run charity adventure.
Traveling from Cochin in Southern India through “police, mechanical disasters, shocking pot-holed roads and heart-stopping winding mountain tracks”, the teams will pilot their rickshaws to Darjeeling in Northern India over the course of two weeks (or more for some unfortunate teams).
The rickshaws are 145 cc, two stroke, single cylinder, air cooled, four speed, three wheeled death traps with 7 hp and a hydraulic expanding show to slow you down from the top speed of 55 kmph (though they go faster down hill). The roads are described as “average, bad, terrible and non-existent depending on where you go”. At the end of the run, the rickshaws will be donated to local taxi drivers who are usually forced to work day and night just to pay off the huge debt they take on from purchasing their rickshaw, and donations will be made to Mercy Corp, the trip’s fundraising partner. I just wish good luck and good vaccinations to those who participate.