Wobbling Across India: The Power of…Rickshaws
Imagine the quietest, fastest, safest all-terrain vehicle in the world…now imagine the opposite. Three wheels, half a horse power and more fun than any other vehicle on planet earth, the humble auto-rickshaw is the most unlikely vehicle to travel long distances off-road, and yet that is exactly what it will be doing this September. For 3000 kilometers across India, more than 70 teams will lead these untrusty steeds over the Himalayas and across the Rajasthan desert.
Organized by The Adventurists, The Rickshaw Run is a maniacal adventure across India with no set route, no support teams, and no backup. Decapod Riders Team member Sylvie Metzer describes it as “Probably the stupidest and the best thing you could possibly do with two weeks!”. Based in Ningbo, China, the Decapod Riders are one of more than 70 teams meeting on the Eastern side of Bangladesh in the foothills of the Himalayas to wobble their way across the sub-continent to Jaisalmer, near the border of Pakistan. The trek will be epic--and with a fundraising goal of $8,000, the Decapod Riders’ support of the Power of Bicycles will be as well.
The Decapod Riders chose World Bicycle Relief as their beneficiary for this event because of their passion for transportation, inspired by China’s movement toward bicycle use. Sylvie states, “It’s difficult to imagine living in a place with little or no infrastructure. Being able to transport one self is one of the most basic necessities. And doing so on two wheels is something we are more than proud to support. This is about giving people the means to create autonomy.”
Sylvie and teammate Nick have spent the last few months promoting World Bicycle Relief through Bollywood parties, bingo nights, comedy nights, music gigs and large bicycle races while preparing for their ambitious trek across India. Following this year’s Rickshaw Run, Sylvie and Nick have hopes to take their passion abroad to Africa.