41 minutes | Oct 27th 2020

The Rickshaw Run: Driving 2,500 miles across India in a Three-Wheel Rickshaw with Journalist Simon Parker

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. Highlights:Take part in the world’s most ridiculous road trip: 2,500 miles across India in a glorified lawnmowerBe inspired by the spirit of old school adventure – embracing challenges and the unknowExperience 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.ukFor background information on this episode, including Simon’s photos from the trip, please visit: www.armchair-explorer.com Social media: Instagram & Twitter @aaronmwriter / Facebook: @armchairexplorerpodcastArmchair Explorer: the world's greatest adventurers tell their best story from the road. Each episode is cut documentary style with music and cinematic effects to create an immersive storytelling experienceBook trips inspired by the show at www.armchair-explorer.com or by contacting me at aaron@armchair-explorer.com  
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