See us Live! The Rickshaw Run

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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.

dinamcdonald@shaw.ca

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Rickshaw Run: Follow The UnRoute

Lost Map

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

Introducing the Smiles & Miles Rickshaw Run Team

Rickshaw Run logo designed by Jonathan Gregory, November 2006.

Long-time friends and members of the Hot Potato Auto Racing Team, the three of us normally travel together for racing events throughout North America. When we were looking for a new adventure, we briefly considered the Ice Run, but we’re from Canada and drive an Ural year-round, so that really seemed like just another day. The Rickshaw Run seemed like a fairly calm and relaxing change of pace, and a great way to draw some attention to our causes – Cool Earth, Free the Children and the Veterans Food Bank.

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Miles (The Brains)

Instigator, inspirer, and ingenious mind.

Age:  kid-at-heart.

Early years:  playing bagpipes & racing a luge to the Olympics

Role on the Hot Potato Race Car Team:  Team Manager, Speedy Driver, Mechanic, Chef

Adventure Credentials:  Travelled around the world overland, drove an Ural sidecar rig through 20 countries & 3 continents, and took passage on a cargo ship across the Atlantic.

Normal mode of transport:  Very fast, frighteningly fast & blindingly fast.

Driving accidents:  Nothing that everyone hasn’t walked away from (unless you count the luge).

Most likely to be found … enjoying a gourmet meal I whip up on the side of the road.

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Tracey (The Beauty 😉 

Detailed, delicate and derailed.

Age:  I’m neither a wine nor a cheese, so it doesn’t matter.

Most comfortable language:  Charades.

Early years:  Working my way through University as a fashion model. Yes, that was a long, long time ago.

Role on the Hot Potato Race Car Team:  Umbrella girl.

Adventure credentials: 25 years side-by-side with Miles…need I say more?

Most spontaneous adventure:  Flying half way around the world for a birthday weekend.

Normal mode of transport:  Karmann Ghia

Most likely to be found … sipping a mango lassi.

 

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Richard (The Brawn)

Handy, hard- working, and hardly ever at home

Age:  Old enough to know better.

Family:  Father to Sarah, husband to Nancy. They’ll both be cheering on the team and following along from 11,000 km away. Sarah is counting the days until she’s old enough for a motorcycle license & her own Rickshaw Run.

Early years:  Milking cows (before the dawn of robots)

First time managing motorized handlebars: Seriously? At the age of 5, I was herding cows on a homemade scooter.

Role on the Hot Potato Race Car Team:  Transport driver, Paddock manager.

Adventure credentials:  No stranger to conflict zones, Richard has been part of several U.N. missions and maneuvered through some of the world’s toughest conditions.

Driving accidents: None… yet.

Bionic part: Hip

Most likely to be found … munching on something out of a crinkly cellophane bag.

Keep reading for more stories from these three adventurers as we head to India next week.

Tracey, Miles & Richard

Let the Ridiculousness Begin

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As we’re sure you’ve noticed, the Smiles & Miles blog has been resting for a very very long time. After 26 crazy weeks, 23,000 wild km overland, 15,000 lonely km by sea & 20 awe-inspiring countries, we had a bit of a hard time re-adjusting to life at home and finding a place in our new routine for writing. Sitting in our home office, the inspiration wasn’t quite as strong as it had been while we were on the road and we questioned whether anyone was actually reading now that we had returned home and shared our stories with family and friends in person. It somehow didn’t seem as relevant now that we had settled back into more predictable days and began to resemble somewhat normal Canadians.

But reality is that the travel certainly hasn’t stopped. Since flying home from London with our Ural in March 2012, we have visited:  China, Denmark, England (three times), Estonia, Finland, Germany (three times), Iceland, Japan, Latvia, Lithuania, Mongolia, Poland, Russia (twice) & Sweden. Whew! We continue to travel primarily by land & sea, but our journeys are all under four weeks and the Ural has stayed safely parked in our Garage Mahal.

Now that a couple of years have passed, we realize how many new stories we’ve accumulated and how much we’ve missed sharing our adventures with like-minded or just plain curious friends around the globe – and we’re hearing from many that they are missing it too.  Although we’re no longer on the road every day, exploring our big beautiful world is clearly still a significant part of our lives and we don’t see that changing anytime soon.

These are some great reasons to resuscitate the Smiles and Miles blog . . . but currently overshadowed by another huge motivator. We’ve just committed to another tremendous adventure which we can’t wait to share.

Rickshaw Run logo designed by Jonathan Gregory, November 2006.

In 78 days, we will be getting behind the handlebars of an auto rickshaw (aka tuk-tuk, samosa, tempo, bajaj, lapa…) for a leisurely 2,700 km drive from Jaisalmer to Shillong, India participating in the Rickshaw Run and raising funds for Cool Earth and Free the Children. We’re quite sure this will prove to be one of our craziest exploits to date. Stay tuned for more details.

In the meantime, the stories from our overland adventure from Calgary to London via Buenos Aires & Dakar will continue.  We invite you to come along for the ride.

Tracey & Miles