Follow journalist Simon Parker as he takes part in the world’s craziest race: 2,500-miles and two weeks across the length of India … in a rickshaw. You read that right. Welcome to the Rickshaw Run: if Monty Python went on a road trip, this is what they’d do.
The rickshaw, if you haven’t ridden one before, if perhaps the least suitable vehicle on the planet for long distance travel. Used commonly across many parts of Asia, it’s basically a three-wheeled moped with a roof on it and room for a couple of passengers to squash in the backseat. It has no sides. It falls over often. Top speed is a rip-roaring 14mph. And you will breakdown. Often. It has been described as a ‘marginally glorified lawnmower’, which is actually doing a disservice to many top of the line grasscutters. But none of that matters, because, by God, they’re fun to drive.
And that’s the point. Dreamt up by a load of nutters called The Adventurists, the Rickshaw Run is all about challenging yourself with proper adventure, whilst belly-laughing at your own ridiculousness at the same time. Simon and four mates travelled from the far reaches of northern India, in the shadow of the Himalayas, all the way to the steamy jungles of Kerala on the southern coast. There is no set route. No pre-planned stops or hotels. No convoy or safety car or back up of any kind. Smart phones are scoffed at; Google maps are barred. They simply set off with a pocket map of India and a vague sense of where the finish line was. What happened in between, well, no one could be sure except that there would be chaos, there would be tears and, travelling on back roads and well off the well-beaten track, they would see a side to India that most visitors never see. Are you ready to set off on the wackiest, most ridiculous race on the planet? Let’s go.
- Take part in the world’s most ridiculous road trip: 2,500 miles across India in a glorified lawnmower
- Be inspired by the spirit of old school adventure – embracing challenges and the unknown
- Experience a side of India that few tourists ever see, staying in small villages well off the usual traveller trail and seeing the entire country from the far northern Himalayan foothills to the steamy jungles of the south
Who’s the guest?
Travel writer and journalist Simon Parker sails, cycles, climbs, hikes and paraglides around the world in search of the planet’s most interesting news stories. He writes, films and produces documentaries for the likes of the BBC, The Telegraph and The Independent; and his TV Series Earth Cycle is out now on Amazon Video.
If you’re listening October-November 2020, you can follow his latest adventure in real time – a 1,600-mile cycle across the length of Great Britain from the tip of Shetland to the Isles of Scilly, wild camping along the way. He posts great photos, and videos, and is a lot of fun to follow. Twitter, Instagram and Facebook is @simonwiparker. His website is www.simonwparker.co.uk
Photos from Simon's trip, all courtesy Simon Parker @simonwiparker
I love these guys. They run crazy trips all over the world, designed to ignite a spirit of proper old school adventure crossed with a healthy dose of eccentricity and chaos. Here’s how they describe themselves:
“We’re fighting to make the world less boring. Our planet used to slap us about the face-cheeks with iron fists of adventure every day. Maps had edges to walk off. Men feared the monsters that lurked in the deep. Whole continents lay undiscovered.
But now, the entire surface of the Earth has been scanned by satellites and shovelled into your mobile phone, tagged with twattery about which restaurant serves the best mocha-latte-frappeshite. Getting lost and in trouble is no longer an occupational hazard of walking to the market. It is an art-form. One we strive to perfect.
We live to find ways to make the world a bit more difficult. To bring chaos into our over-sanitised lives. To create adventures where you don’t know what will happen tomorrow or if you’ll even make it. Because we think there’s no greater moment than those seconds as you leap into an abyss of uncertainty and disaster.”
For more info: www.theadventurists.com
I have no commission, sponsorship or affiliation with them. I just think they’re cool.
Tell them I sent you!
Photos from The Adventurists, all copyright www.theadventurists.com
Videos from The Adventurists
Some things I mention in the show
Morris Dancing - " ...like a little girl's nursery school dance performed by grown men without a hint of irony ..."
Kabaddi - " ...like an extreme version of playground tag played by brawly Indian blokes holding hands ..."
The Adventure Agency
Book trips inspired by the show. I've set up an Armchair Explorer travel agency to help you plan, dream and book your next big trip. I'm calling it The Adventure Agency, mainly because travel agency sounds too dull. Each trip is bespoke, personalised and is based on a 1-1 consolation with me directly. I'll use my 15years+ as an award-winning travel writer for the likes of National Geographic and The Times of London to ensure your next trip is the absolute best, most sustainable, awe-inspiring, positive, life-enhancing adventure it can be. For more info, email me - firstname.lastname@example.org