Raiders of the Lost Rickshaw

Article by, Tom Tyler

Three tragically misguided London teenagers prepare to trek across India in a glorified lawnmower.

What?

There will come a time in my life at which I can reflect on every terrible decision I have made. Given my track record, this time may come sooner than I’d hope. Fortunately, it’s not quite yet, and I may indulge in yet another ill-advised folly.

It’s called the Rickshaw Run, and although it’s probably not the worst judgement call I’ve ever made, it’s very much up there. Organised by the Adventurists (whose agenda is rather self evident), it is a rally of approximately 2,000 miles from Shillong in Meghalaya to Cochin in Kerala.

This seems a reasonable enough endeavour – the distance may be far, especially in monsoon season, and the prospect of breakdown or similar catastrophe is omnipresent – but I forgo one crucial detail. As you may have gathered from its title, this rally takes place not in the standard automobile with which you or I would be familiar, but rather in among the most criminally unsuitable vehicles known to man; the rickshaw, also known as a Tuk-Tuk – three wheels, 140cc’s and seven horsepower of spluttering glory.

Who?

Tom Tyler
Tom Tyler

Tom Tyler

It was only logical that I begin with yours truly, and that should have made it easy, but I’m as much of an enigma to myself as I am to anyone else. Like my two comrades, I am a born and raised Londoner, a rugby player and monumentally ill prepared for the approaching debacle. Unlike them, however, I have chosen to take a gap year before studying at McGill University in Canada. I thus figured that one more near death experience before returning to the books, in addition to my juxtaposed balance of arrogance and self loathing, would serve me well.

Alias(es)

The Bear Jew, T2, The Crimson Chin

Idea of hell

Shoreditch

Biggest worry for the trip

Compromising Anglo-Indian relations for the next two decades

Once described as

“An insufferable gym bunny with all the sartorial flair of damp baguette”

Rushab Shah
Rushab Shah

Rushab Shah

Warwick student and, despite what I would tell you after a few beers, the real brains of the operation. I expect that Rushab’s proficiency in Hindi will help us out of many a sticky wicket, and his engineering expertise will likely prove invaluable for the many inevitable breakdowns. The latter, unfortunately, is exacerbated by the fact that the two of us alone bring the rickshaw’s payload to 200kg – nothing, of course, that a particularly acute case of Delhi Belly can’t ameliorate…

Alias(es)

The Chunky Monkey, The Veggie Avenger

Idea of Hell

A world without food

Biggest worry for the trip

“Accidentally” selling a teammate

Once described as

“The kind of guy who would leave his date standing beside the road in order to catch an ice cream van”

Tom Golding
Tom Golding

Tom Golding

My childhood friend and a man of many faces, mostly confused. His propensity for lewdness is likely to get him into significant trouble overseas. This would be unfortunate if it wasn’t so hilarious when bad things happen to him. Being another engineering student at Warwick, we are left with a surplus of engineers, thus enabling myself and Rushab to sell Tom into slavery should the opportunity arise. This was, indeed, the plan all along.

Alias(es)

Golding, Boris Johnson, Chief

Idea of hell

Dinner with the cast of TOWIE

Biggest worry for the trip

Dealing with Tom Tyler’s intolerably pretentious rambling about geopolitics throughout the trip

Once described as

“A penguin running between the wickets”

Why?

The trip is of course fun and none of us would be doing it if we weren’t sure that we would be gaining a truly unforgettable experience that will stay with us our entire lives (this may or may not be a good thing!). There is, nonetheless, more to it than that. The Rickshaw Run is foremost a charitable endeavour; all participants must donate towards the Adventurists’ official charity – Cool Earth. The aim of which is working alongside indigenous populations in an effort to conserve primary rainforest.

Additionally, we have also opted in to include a charity of our own choosing – Warwick Youth Phab – a charity co-run by our very own Rushab Shah. The organisation, based in Leamington Spa, provides a youth club and physical education classes to handicapped teenagers. The volunteers, students at Warwick University, form constructive personal relationships with the kids, which, I can report, has proven wholly enriching for all involved.

In spite of all our apprehensions and the prospect of an untimely demise, all three of us await our great Indian adventure with baited breath; we hope that you, too, can join us via the marvels of the modern world, and watch our debacle unfold on Facebook – “The Raiders of The Lost Rickshaw” and Twitter – @RickshawRaider

If you would like to donate a small amount of money towards our expedition, we would love to direct you towards our Virgin Giving page.

YouTube Clips

To check out the latest YouTube clips from the trio, click here.