Preparing For The Unpreparable: The Rickshaw Run 2015

What started as a drunken bar promise somewhere in Thailand back in 2013 has finally, nearly two full years later, become a reality: my buddy and fellow travel blogger Ryan and I are competing in the Rickshaw Run in just over three weeks from now. Although it is with a different lady than we originally planned in 2013, our new teammate is still both 1) a human female and 2) a travel blogger. (One of which was a stronger requirement than the other.)

Rutavi Mehta from team Teen Romanchak Yaar

  My friends, meet the new leading lady…

…rounding out our rickshaw run trio: Rutavi Mehta @photokatha. She is an adventure traveler from India, has trekked to the Everest Base Camp as part of the Kingfisher Blue Mile: Mission Everest (premiering this week…learn more here), is one of few Indian women to be an advocate of motorcycle travel and even fewer to have ever partaken in the Rickshaw Run.

We have had a couple of Indian lady adventurists take on the Rickshaw Run before – not many – but more than 1.

So welcome Rutavi, you are soon to be part of a privileged group with three, maybe four members counting you. That’s as precise of a figure as the Adventurists can give us. 😉

Moving on…

The Rickshaw Run 2015 presents Teen Romanchak Yaar!

Preparing for the Rickshaw Run

Is no task to be taken lightly. And this is coming from the guy who has spent the last six years shrugging his shoulders when you ask him where he is going next. I don’t plan. I refuse to plan. And yet here I sit, fucking planning.

Read More:     The Who-What-Where-When-and-Why of the Rickshaw Run

That having been said, never trust a guy who is still planning something to tell you how to properly prepare for that very same act. Make sense? Just rest easy knowing that next month I will tell you all ya need to know to prepare for the Rickshaw Run. Everything from the logistics of getting sponsors and pimping your rickshaw to what happens when you forget to do key things, like get a visa or your international drivers license — two things I’ll be finding out the answers to very soon.

Safe to say that although I haven’t written anything for a couple weeks, I have been working my ass off. Compiling lists, negotiating with potential sponsors, drawing up a PowerPoint presentation and media kit and press release…all while editing videos, redesigning the HoliDaze, and doing writing for clients to pay for this race.

Life during the Rickshaw Run

Now that Rutavi is on our team, the whole team dynamic has shifted. Ryan and I have traveled together before, we know how to get along and how to handle each others quirks. Rutavi on the other hand we don’t know at all, at least not in real life. I’m sure that we will get along with her just fine. What I worry about is that she won’t know how to handle the two of us.

  Three long weeks spending 24/7 together…on the road all day fighting cell data service interrupts and unwaveringly short limits on Twitter and Vine with one hand while using the other to whip around traffic, ignorant to all the frantic pleas of “slow down!” and “put the phone down!” coming from the back seat…if we just go faster the wind while drown them out scream the voices in your head…and then by night we find ourselves either in a nice hotel fighting for plug space to charge our devices, or camped up on the roadside somewhere, clinging to that phone frantically trying to get one last tweet out while the battery flashes and flashes, signaling its impending demise…

I mean how bad can it be, right? We’re prepared. After all…we are team:


तीन रोमानचक यार

(That’s Hindi for “three adventurous friends”) and while it isn’t as catchy as the Taj Ma-haulin’ Ass name that I originally wanted, it is guaranteed to be less likely perceived as insulting by the locals. Much less.

Presenting Our Rickshaw Design

  Design by Ryan Brown and paint job courtesy of The Adventurists

The Rickshaw Run 2015 presents Teen Romanchak Yaar!

Thanks To All Our Supporters!

There are quite a few people I need to thank for getting us here. My good friend Nellie of WildJunket for help with the initial fundraiser work for two amazing charities in India, Cool Earth and Planeterra. All our friends in India who have helped with the various stages of Rickshaw Run planning. The 11 amazing contributors who have thus far helped us 50% of our fundraiser to help pay for additional gear to film to Rickshaw Run in all it’s horrifying glory:

  Contributor Hall Of Fame

$5 SUPPORTERS Jen D and (1) Anonymous…thank you both, we really appreciate it!
$20 ENABLERS Susan M and Sunil S…glad your parents never taught y’all not to be enablers 😉
$50 SUPER ENABLERS Julie G, Lola of Lola’s Travels, Lauren & Kenin of The Constant Rambler and (1) Anonymous…keep an eye on your mailbox next month for your goodies!
$100 ALL-STARS Sandy A and (1) Anonymous…hey there baller, thanks — Ryan and I really appreciate your never-ending support in all our crazy adventures!

Help Us Out!

Be honest, haven’t you always wanted to do something wild and crazy such as this? Now is your chance to live vicariously through us and avoid any potentially expensive hospital bills.

We are halfway to our goal!  

If you can, please chip in $5 to help us afford all the additional gear necessary to document the Rickshaw Run to the extent that we plan to. As a way of saying thanks we will mail all enablers a gift from India 😀

Official Sponsors

  Later this month we will be releasing the official list of Teen Romanchak Yaar’s official sponsors!

We have already managed to team up with a couple great sponsors but thus far been able to form any agreement with a good elec/tech brand for the final bits of gear — like 20 GoPro batteries and 10TB worth of external hard drives to hold all the footage generated. If you have any suggestions then please do not hesitate to give me a shout.

Pre-Rickshaw Run India Plans

What little I do know for certain is that Ryan and I will be in Delhi from March 25th-29th meeting a few Twitter friends for food around town and reuniting my friend Mariellen of Breathe Dream Go.

  If you live in Delhi or will be there at the end of March then please give me a shout or a tweet me @the_HoliDaze  

Post-Rickshaw Run India Plans

After the Rickshaw Run Ryan and I will be traveling around India. Where to and for how long remains to be determined, all we know for certain is that after India we are off to Pakistan and Afghanistan to start our Silk road adventure! But more on that in tomorrow’s post 😉

In closing, this is how our Rickshaw Run planning is going, who we have to thanks, and a brief tease at what you can expect very soon — so be sure to   subscribe to The HoliDaze YouTube channel for all the wild Rickshaw Run updates and live “from the race” videos. And like always around this time, now I want to hear from you. Share your comments below!

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About Derek Freal

"Some people eat, others try therapy. I travel."   Cultural enthusiast. Adrenaline junkie. Eater of strange foods. Chasing unique and offbeat adventures around the world since 2008. Derek loves going to new destinations where he does not speak a word of the local language and must communicate with hand gestures, or places where he is forced to squat awkwardly to poo -- supposedly its healthier and more efficient. For more information (about Derek, not squat pooing) including popular posts and videos, check out his bio.

9 thoughts on “Preparing For The Unpreparable: The Rickshaw Run 2015”

    • Thanks for the support Andy, I really appreciate it. And yeah, I’m quite curious to see how this endeavor will go as well. You know…the other day a good friend reminded me that this time last year I was in this exact same situation: flying into a country to start a new project that involved traveling 24/7 with a girl whom I knew only from Twitter, not in real life. Remember how that one turned out? Yeah well I most definitely expect madness on the Rickshaw Run but hopefully not that kind of madness 😉

  1. That must be an interesting experience.
    Have you tried the rickshaw in Mumbai at an hour where the street is crawling with people, cars, animals and so on? Try it and you can really live an experience full of adrenaline.

    • Nope, can’t say I ever have Emma. I have driven motorcycles through all sorts of traffic nightmares but only driven a rickshaw in more relaxed environments. However our route will take us through several big cities so I am looking forward to seeing what India can throw at me 😉

  2. Stay cool Derek, and just be calm. I mean, if I were you, I’ll try to be relax and not to be so excited like crazy with such event, yes, of course you need to do your works for sponsorship etc. Because, If I’m just too excited, usually, the reality wouldn’t be as I expected, so.. I’ll be relax and do not really count the days… My experience on the road whether I cycle, mountain bike, drive or just being a passenger, ‘keep being positive and stay humble.’

    Anyway, should I use ‘the code;’ to tell this to you.. hihihi, Hopefully that ‘Ace of Base’ title song wouldn’t be happened to you. Finger crossed!!!

    • Yeah, I find the extreme lack of sleep I’ve putting putting myself through for more than a month now (usually I at least break it up every week with a few short day-trips or week-long motorcycle treks) is taking its toll on me. Getting harder to focus sometimes around this time of night (4:45am) and coffee doesn’t do anything. But anyway, fingers crossed everything falls into place quickly and somewhat painlessly 😉

  3. Oh buddy, this is going to be one helluva…well we don’t know yet, but surely there’ll be hell involved in it equally matched and surpassed by a purity of adventure spirit rarely found elsewhere. I never thought a chat over some Changs would actually come to fruition, but I’m happy it did. Incredibly stoked for this to begin, and I know preparations have been stressful, but like we’ve been told — there is no way to prepare. Get ready for India to take us for a ride!

    • Yup, it’s finally happening. And the Adventurists are going to make sure we have a difficult as fuck time hahaha. It’s okay though, I’m excited, ready for the challenge and the adventure. 5 days until I arrive!


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