"3,500km pan-Indian adventure
in a 7 horsepower glorified lawnmower.
The Rickshaw Run is easily the least sensible thing
to do with two weeks.”
Vatsal's the one who first told others about the Rickshaw Run.
'What could be more fun than driving an auto-rickshaw across my Motherland?" he'd ask, in a lilting Indian accent.
'What if our Rickshaws break down in the middle of nowhere?" others inquired. Understandably so.
"In India, there is no middle of nowhere."
So last September, four Spirited (or is that Stupid?) Souls drove motorized rickshaws across the widest part of India, from dripping wet Shillong in the Northeast to Jaisalmer, in the desert state of Rajasthan in Northwestern India.
We were crazy, but we weren't alone. We were in the questionable company of 100+ of other unrealistically optimistic adventurists participating in the September 2013 Rickshaw Run. We started in Shillong on September 5 with test driving, parties, acclimation to local traffic, and the pimping of the rickshaws. We broke down within minutes of leaving the starting line on September 8 and crossed the finish line two days later than any other team, on September 23. We covered more than 2000 miles of potholed roads in a pair of 3-wheeled, 2-stroke vehicles at a top speed (think steep downhill) of about 35 miles per hour. There was no established route, no support, and - clearly - no rush.
Along the way, we were invited into the homes of strangers who fed us home-cooked meals, pushed up steep hills by Himalayan villagers, and serenaded by students at two primary schools.
Thanks to the support of friends, family, and like-minded adventurists, we have raised more than $13,000 for Room to Read. We remain inspired and committed to supporting their important work by sharing film, photos and first-hand stories of our Rickshaw Run for literacy. Join us on Monday, April 14 in Bend, Oregon for 2000 Miles in a Tuk-Tuk: Your Next Adventure. If you'd like to host a fundraising slideshow in your town, please contact us.
We hope you will support the cause financially. There are other ways to help, as well. We have already paid all of our own expenses, so 100% of your support goes directly to the charity.