See us Live! The Rickshaw Run

The local chapter of the Porsche Club is hosting Smiles and Miles on                           Wednesday, December 2.

We’ll be sharing a video and slide show of our 4,000 km drive across India in an Auto Rickshaw. All are welcome!

Calgary Elks Lodge & Golf Club

2501 – 6th Street N.E.

Calgary, Alberta CANADA

6:00 pm  Porsche Club Mingle & Indian Buffet

7:00 pm  Porsche Annual  General Meeting & Elections

7:45 pm  Smiles and Miles:  The Rickshaw Run

8:45 pm  End

Come on out if you want to learn more about the adventure or just for a laugh.

Dinner – Approximately $25

Presentation Only – No Cost

Please RSVP to Dina McDonald & let her know if you would like to join in for dinner or just the show.

Porsche Club - Square


Rickshaw Run: Follow The UnRoute

No, it’s not a race.  No, it’s not a rally.

Yes, there is a start line. Yes, there is a finish line.  But everything in between will be up to us.

There is no set route, no back up support, no pre-arranged accommodation and no hand-holding. It’s going to be just the three of us and all the magnificent chaos India chooses to throw at us. There is no way of knowing when or if we’ll get to the finish line. The only certainty is that we will break down, we will get stuck, we will get lost, we will be exhausted and we will have one heck of a lot of fun.

As we prepare for this adventure, planning a daily route is pointless. Trying to sort out where we’ll stay every night is pointless. Detailed planning of any kind is really quite pointless.

What we do know is that we’ll need to drive all the way across the widest part of India from  Jaisalmer in the Rajasthani desert in the far west to Shillong in the Meghalayan hills in the far east. The shortest possible distance is about 2,600 km and we’ll have less than 13 days to tackle it at an average speed likely to be below 30 km/h.

So we know we’ll need to start by pootling across the desert, but after that should we take a left turn into the Himalayas? Or will we head across the northern plains and into Nepal?  We’ll certainly need to traverse some tributaries of the Ganges, pass through some tiger reserves and jungle, before crossing more tea plantations than we ever knew existed. To get to the end we’ll need to squeeze in between Bhutan, Burma and Bangladesh to arrive in the ‘Scotland of the East’ where we’re almost certain to be deluged by rain.

It’s our favourite type of blind adventuring, with no guide book to follow. We much prefer to protect the sanctity of the unknown.

In less than four hours the real adventure begins as the Rickshaw Run launches.

Follow us through The Adventurists, from April 6 – 18, 2015

 Live Tracking Map

Image Source:  The League of Adventurists International Limited

You’re Driving What?

He said:

Tracey wanted to post this one, I’m intervening. Hey! I’m the performance guy, I’m the car guy, I’m the driver guy, I’m the guy who’s day job is cars – the fast ones no less…….

What the heck happened here? One minute Joe Figel  and I are talking about the Mongolian rally and I’m showing him the website. Oops, clicked the Rickshaw Run button instead – Hey that looks kinda’ groovy. Call Tracey: “Hey – Wanna go back to India and drive a tuk-tuk (the slang term) across India?”. “Sure!” 48 hours later and we’re paid up and going.

Hmmm, maybe better look into things a bit further. 7 Horsepower! What? My car has 500! What about top speed? 40 km/hr! What? My car can do 300! 149cc of screaming and barking engine? My blender has a bigger motor………There’s that “What were you thinking?” moment again.

So I guess we can scratch off the “I’m the performance guy, I’m the car guy, I’m the driver guy” It looks like it may be “I’m the guy on the side of the road shaking my head” instead.

The first time a kid passes us on a bicycle, I’m going to poke a stick into the spokes.

I guess I’ll let Tracey speak now, I’ll rant again later.


She said:

When the Rickshaw Run kicks off on April 6, we’ll once again be heading off on three wheels to explore our world – the very same three wheels pictured above.  That’s right, this time our trusty Ural sidecar rig is remaining at home and our transport is of a different sort – an auto rickshaw. 

These vehicles are totally different from anything else we have driven. Although the auto rickshaw is known for being difficult to steer and unsteady to drive, these are trials we’re accustomed to with our Ural. Both vehicles are also notoriously unreliable. Although we’ve never actually had any mechanical problems with our trusty Ural after taking it across 20 countries, this isn’t likely to be the case with the auto rickshaw. Daily breakdowns are expected. And the cushy padding and loads of legroom that we so desperately need? They won’t be found in this little three-seat contraption.

Built to tackle short jaunts at slow speeds, an auto rickshaw is not-at-all suited to driving the 3,000+ km we’re expecting to cover and certainly not-at-all suited to the speed that will be required for us to cover that distance in under two weeks.  These vehicles are also designed for city driving and were never meant to see the diverse and difficult terrain that we’ll face as we cross desert, jungle and mountains.

We are set for a grueling and uncomfortable journey across the Indian subcontinent.  But the sights, sounds and smells of the open air are certain to be worth it.  The lure of the open road is calling and we’re up for a challenge.

A huge thanks to Mark Cromwell at Color Club Design for the fabulous artwork on our auto rickshaw. You’ve made it look almost as frightened as I am!