Right. I’ve had a poke around on the Rickshaw Run website to get a bit clearer on what’s going on. Unfortunately all it’s done is ask more questions. Grandpa [an old India hand] wondered how you’d carry all the food and spare fuel (not many petrol stations, apparently – though he hasn’t actually been to India for 60 years!).
Is there any way of cheating?? I am certain it is totally in the spirit of the Run (and the Institute of Bally Fools, or whatever they’re calling it) and I couldn’t help thinking you might have been better off going to Outer Mongolia in a Jeep – we’d be fools not to learn from our mistakes.
Grandpa assures me that, contrary to my hopes, India is not actually just like Holland and there are hills, not to say mountains. My Vespa, for instance, is 125cc and about a tenth the weight of a tuktuk and that struggles up Angel Bank [in Shropshire], so God only knows how a rickshaw will cope. I bet they have to go flat out just to get over a sleeping policeman.
Of course we’ll be two grown men plus luggage plus supplies (oh God, please don’t bring a whole sportsbag of books this time) and I imagine that running your iPod will drain at least a third of the power from the engine, so how about I slyly buy an Ambassador or a Mahindra Jeep? My treat. I can get a 1989 Ambassador in cream with aircon for £530. That’s got to be better value than the tuktuk.
Hell, for £260 you can get a maroon Fiat Premier Padmini, 1974, 45000 miles only, tax and insurance thrown in. It can always be sold in Darjeeling at the end of the Run, just like the rickshaws. Alternatively I am going to look into putting the rickshaw onto a locomotive carriage and letting the train take the strain!
Maybe I am just dreading getting out and pushing 2000 miles.
Otherwise, if you are having your tuktuk pimped remotely, how about a 400cc engine plus a lockable cabinet? The only place there’s room is under the driver’s seat but it might be an idea to have somewhere we can stash clothes instead of carrying them everywhere with us. An old tin despatch box with a clasp would do it.
Have you conned any more idiots into going? Do you know anyone else who’s getting a team together and are they interested in going in convoy? Have you given any thought to the route? Questions questions. Perhaps I’d better have a lie down and it’ll all go away.