We’re in the sub continent

While many of the Rickshaw Run teams met up in Southampton for some Rickshaw driving, Gins & Tonic and a good curry, we’ve been getting a bit a taste of the action too. We arrived in Delhi on Sunday morning. The place certainly abuses the sense, but you’ll have to read about the general feel of the place on mine and Espe’s respective blogs. This site is all about the Rickshaw Run, so that’s what I’ll concentrate on.

After fighting our way passed all the touts at the airport we jumped in the first Rickshaw in sight. It certainly was an experience. The traffic is manic. Bigger vehicles rule and keeping you finger on the horn seems to make any manouver whatsover ok. Roundabouts were also a bit scary with vehicles coming onto them having right of way but most impressbive was the way the rickshaws weave in and out of the smallest gaps. Shortly after stepping safely off the rickshaw and paying the driver we spotted this. A little disconcerning, I think you’ll agree.

Not phased, well not too much, the following day I managed to get one of the Rickshaw Wallahs let me have a go at driving one such beast. Not a motorbike rider I didn’t have a clue, but apart from snatching neutral by mistake it was all pretty simple. Right hand controls the throttle, left hand has the clutch leaver and gears. The puny brakes are controlled by a lonesome foot peddle while steering is done by the hanbdle bars. In fact the only thing I didn’t discover was the location of the horn… something I feel I will be needing quite frequently.

Curry Night

My mind is a bit mushy today so please forgive this poor writing…

Last night a whole group of us got together and went down to Lavapies to the Taj Mahal restaurant. This was a combined last dinner in Madrid / fleece my friends for charity purposes. There was a good twenty of us there so a huge thanks is due to all who came along. I had a fantastic night, and it seems like most did too. Along with a good feeding we did a Rickshaw Pimping Competition by passing pens round along with the Rickhaw Image. Espe and I were amazed how everyone took to it with such enthusiasm.

The results, I think you’ll agree were fantastic. It was a tough decision for the winners, but Raul and Ana won 2nd place while Philippe got first place winning a red hot chilli… See all the designs on the hastily knocked together pimp page.

Having arranged a good price for the meal and covered the a large portion of the drinks bill on my Buen Menu card, the bill came to less than €20 a head. Most people gave more, leaving all the extra to charity. On top of that I was touched to be presented with a leaving present from my colleagues at Sun in the form of a huge donation to the charity… In effect, they’re buying me a Rickshaw, and a man can’t really ask for more than that!

All in all, a fantastic night, and I’m very happy to say with last night taken into account we’ve now hit the minimum charity donation for the Rickshaw Run. Thank you VERY much people!

Final Quiz

Last night was our final pub quiz in Madrid before we leave. It was a great pleasure to be joined by Alberto, James, Ana, Jon, Nathan and Sarah. Despite the fact that I answered very few questions, for me it was one of the most enjoyable quizzes I’ve ever been to at Moore’s. Our team “the final humiliation of Andy featuring James” came fourth, which was not bad at all considering that we were only 2 points off the three teams that were joint for the lead!

Best of all though, is the money raised for charity. A huge thank you to Pete and Donald who have allowed us to use ALL the proceeds from the quiz for the last five weeks to go to Mercy Corps. A whopping, and rather funky, grand total of £222. Jolly good show!

Charity Bums

I’ve been discussing with the company I work for if there is anything they are willing to do to assist in my fund raising efforts. A few weeks ago an email went round asking for charity projects with which they could help out. I proposed what we were doing with the Rickshaw Run to them, however today I received the following mail from the charity coordinator… I think something must be lost in the Spanish to English translation:

“Your project to the CAV has been denied since we do not have bottoms”

This is not intended as a dig at the Sun, as the company will be matching employee donations, nor at those who make mistakes when speaking a foreign language (a problem I know too well) but it was just too amusing not to share. Any suggestions as to what the intended response was?


… a todos los que habéis dejado vuestros mensajes de apoyo en el libro de invitados y gracias también a los que habéis hecho vuestra donación.

Alberto y David, Spanish Bullfighters, sabía que sois generosos pero tendríais que haber visto la cara que se me quedó al ver vuestra donación después de que Andy me enviase un mail titulado “f’ing hell!!!!” (no voy a traducir esto, ya os imagináis). Muchísimas gracias y un beso muy grande para los dos.

“It could be crazier than you think”

I’ve been speaking with a client this week who is based in Bangalore. After the arduous discussions about remote ILOM console sessions to an Sun Fire X4200 server, the conversation turned towards the rickshaw run… Below is one of the mails I received from the chap.

Subject: RE: 37718975 – X4200 console problems
Date: Thu, 09 Nov 2006 17:36:20 +0530
From: Damodaran **********
To: Andy Place


Bangalore has nothing of tourist interest (Apart from me, of course! :)). But man! It could be crazier than you think. Have you ever seen an Auto before (Auto Rickshaws are called Auto around here)? It scares me just to think some people travel from their house to the office. It sure is an extreme adventure sport. All the best for your charity work.

Damodaran NJ.


It’s now official. We will be raising cash for Mercy Corps with the money going to projects in India. The main project is to get the Rickshaws to needy families allowing them to earn a living without having to get an extortionate loan to buy or rent a Rickshaw. Beyond that, the money will be used for rural projects helping some of Asia’s poorest families.

The target is £650 however we would like to smash that.
Please support us by donating to Mercy Corps via JustGiving.com.
(Note for any Sun Microsystems employees, your donation will be matched by Sun, so top marks for them!)

Just so you know exactly how this will work and where your money will be going, below are some extracts from the organisers mail:

We have got the go ahead from Mercy Corps for you lot to start fundraising. You can now raise the money for your rickshaw through Mercy Corps. The Rickshaw will be given to poor families and individuals in Siligury by an NGO working under the watchful eye of Mercy Corps. Giving a Rickshaws to a poor family is huge life changing gift that enables them to earn a living without ending up in impossible debt for the initial purchase. They will provide us with full reports on how the distribution is going and ensure everything is done in a transparent and proper fashion.

The target each team must raise is £650. This is enough to buy the rickshaws and carry out any repairs as well as cover the charities administration costs. All the left over money and the gift aid will be used by Mercy Corps for the projects they already support in the Darjeeling area. See their website for more details. www.mercycorps.org.uk.

As you can see, the money raised is going to cover the cost of the Rickshaws that will be donated at the end of the event. We are hoping to cover the bulk of required £650 with our Fundraising Efforts (Thanks once again to Pete for the pub quiz last night), leaving any extra cash to go to Mercy Corps projects in rural India. We feel this is only fair, as we will be benefiting from the adventure and any costs for repairs should be covered by ourselves.

That link once more: JustGiving.com.

Thanks in advance to all you generous souls out there.

El rickshawrun en español

Bueno, creo que va siendo hora de que la mitad española del equipo se manifieste en este blog… ¡Ah! ¡esa soy yo!

Tan solo queda un mes para que Andy y yo volemos a Nueva Delhi, aunque el rickshawrun no hará su salida hasta el 27 de diciembre… ¿el rick quéeee? ¡Ay perdón, voy a hacer una breve introducción para los que aún no lo sabeis, tal como lo ha hecho Andy en la versión inglesa.

Esto del rickshawrun es algo muy absurdo que no se ha hecho nunca antes. Es tan absurdo como lo son el resto de las aventuras que se gestan en la mente del creador de la League of Adventurists (La Liga de Aventureros). Primero fue el Mongol Rally, cuya tercera edición tuvo lugar el pasado agosto. El reto consistía en conducir un coche de menos de 1000cc de Londres a Mongolia y el objetivo recaudar dinero para diferentes obras benéficas. El rickshawrun cambia el coche tartana por un triciclo motorizado (el rickshaw) y la cantidad de países que hay que cruzar en el Mongol Rally (unos trece) por uno solo: India. Sin embargo, el fin sigue siendo el mismo; la recaudación de fondos para proyectos benéficos.

Así pues, Andy y yo formamos uno de los 10 equipos registrados (de momento) dispuestos a cruzar el subcontinente de sur a norte, de Cochin en la costa sureste, hasta Darjeeling a los pies del Himalaya… ¡y esto en dos semanas!

Esperamos que nos sigais en esta aventura a través de este blog y contamos con vuestro apoyo, no sólo en aportaciones para caridad, también apoyo moral, para lo que hemos creado un libro de invitados donde nos podeis dejar mensajes a lo largo del viaje. Y os damos las gracias de antemano.

Pub Quiztastic

A huge thanks to Pete who has let us take the money raised at his pub quiz for the charity of the Rickshaw Run. In addition to this huge favor we are still able to take part and yesterday were 3/4 of a point away from the winning teams score. Yesterday 60 euros was raised for Mercy Corps and Pete has most kindly let us use the quiz as a fund raiser for the next four weeks. In return we need to prepare some questions for them, so if you have any suggestions, please add them as a comment below.