This post courtesy of Official Rickshaw Run Reporter Candace Rardon.

In the first few hours after all 69 teams left the Rickshaw Run starting line last Sunday and began wobbling their way down Meghalaya’s hills towards Jaisalmer, the airwaves were void of updates and the team websites were suspiciously quiet. A little too quiet, even. Like the calm before the storm, you could only imagine the carnage to come as the run kicked off. It’s now been a week since the teams launched, so what exactly have they all been up to? I could tell you myself, but the best way to get caught up on all the exploits and dramas of this autumn’s Rickshaw Runners is to hear it from the teams themselves. Here’s an idea of how things have gone so far – and they couldn’t be off to a more beautifully un-smooth start:

Team: Shawly Doomed: “Waiting for our police escort through Assam… ain’t no party like in an Assam police station!” [Later] “More police escorts… another 10 rickshaws stuck waiting while the Assam police keep us off the roads!”

Team: Los Majaderos Tontos: “Had an accident. Was forced to leave the scene as a lot of very angry locals were gathering around us. Chased down by motorbikes and forced to stop and pay money.” Later on, “Hit a roadblock of 20-30 men with sticks further up the road. Forced to stop again. Very heated and demanding more money. Ed managed to defuse the situation. All okay!”

Team: What Tuk You Shillong?: “Our little tuk tuk is ill again having had the battery fall out on some particularly vicious pot holes. Sitting by the roadside as we cable-tie it together!”

Team: Glow Baby Glow: “Pop quiz time – what works better – a local welder or duct tape. If you have confidence that the welder should do a good job that holds then you’re wrong. Duct tape every time from now…”

Team: The Two Phals: “Kanpur at last.. brakes don’t work, crashed with a lorry, got mobbed in Kanpur but still going. Shaw has some damage but we are OK John eats all my curry. Slow but sure”

Team: Two Girls in a Tuktuk: “Broke down in the middle of bandit country but we managed to avoid the badgers, even when they were hitting our tuktuk with a sticks. Our day and a half journey to Varanasi turned into a 4 day mission of 12 hour drive days, potholes and trucks with a death wish.”

Team: The Japanese Mercedes: “Monkeys and elephants on the road!”

Team: The Mermen: “Scott has just driven past a cow, which slapped its tail on Vincent’s face.”

Team: The Spice is Right: “Two epic days, 16 and 17 hours out on the road. So much night driving we might as well have entered Le Mans. After wrong turns, breakdowns, traffic jams, lock-ins at car parks and monsoons we have finally made it to Varanasi. Day of rest tomorrow. Grueling.”

Team: Fly Boys: “The front tire has gone completely flat. We were not stopped for more than 30 seconds before a local man stopped and insisted on changing our tire. The speed at which he did this would have impressed any pit crew. He refused any payment for his generosity and then led us to the local police station…. Once the officer in charge was satisfied with our documents he offered us the floor of the jail to sleep on for the night…Our night was spent, under a mosquito net, on a tarp covering the concrete floor, outside, in front an empty jail cell of the police station in Manjhi, India. Good times.”

Team: The Gin & Tonic Parade: “In urgent need of my psychoanalyst.”

And if the constant updates of chaos and commotion are anything to go by, it’s safe to say maybe a few other teams are as well…

 

The teams heading out of Shilong into the chaos  and the first of many repairs on the Rickshaw Run

   

little concerned about the number of guns within the Rickshaw and Team Glow Baby Glow experience a night of pure luxury

   

The Mermen ‘Mission of Foreigners to Have Clean Water in India’