The GamingZion Rickshaw Challenge Classic Run 2015 was a fiesta of non-stop crazy, but to break things down into a more distilled form of craziness here are our top 10 nutty moments from this year’s event.
10. Driving India in wacky costumes
From Santa Claus to superheroes, from pirates to the Super Mario Brothers, we had some amazing, show stopping costumes from our teams on the last Rickshaw Challenge Classic Run. The Bob Billies had a variety of wacky costumes, kicking off as superheroes Hulk and Superman, transforming into Australian cricketers and 80s superstars. Germans Bavarian Barbarians sported lederhosen in the boiling heat coupled with Bayern Munchen T-shirts. Scots the Kilted Ring Sting wore their national garment of the iconic kilt. We also had ducks and pirates thrown into the mix. Many of the locals didn’t know what hit them, when our caped crusaders rode into small Indian towns on their rickshaws.
9. Bus breaking down on New Year’s Eve
After the clock struck midnight on New Year’s Eve, an hour or so after it turned 2015, we took two buses back to our hotel from the main party. However, for one of the buses, the life was short lived, and gave out only minutes after leaving. The participants got out, and within minutes a swarm of mosquitos attacked, and the bus driver abandoned ship. Rob from the Bob Billies took it into his own hands to try to fix the bus himself, but after failing to manage this ambitious task, some continued on walking, others hopped in rickshaws or cabs, and others even commandeered the other bus that had not broken down.
8. Crazy after parties
If there is a recurring them on the Rickshaw Challenge Classic Run 2015, it’s the insane after parties hosted by the participants. The notorious Bob Billies became the unofficial host to wrestling matches, crazy smashed hotel rooms (which they put right by tipping the cleaning ladies very generously to put it all back together good as new) and naked passed out Aussies in the shower.
7. Fortune Telling Parrot
Claire from the Flying Kiwis had a rather unusual esoteric experience, when she found a roadside parrot who told her fortune. Not quite the standard experience you’d expect, even for India, but there are not many people who got their fortunes told by a brightly coloured talking bird. Unfortunately, this parrot was all doom and gloom, and proceeded to predict terrible fortunes for Claire… let’s hope the bird is just another phoney.
6. The kidnapped trophy
Another Aussie group Team Apathy decided to declare themselves the winner of the GamingZion Rickshaw Challenge Classic Run 2015 and had their own trophy made, along with a bunch of stickers they spammed the other rickshaws with. But the others weren’t a fan of Team Apathy’s fake trophy, so a group of them conspired to kidnap the trophy in Kanyakumari, leaving anonymous photo submissions with clues as to the whereabouts of the prized item. Eventually, they got their own trophy back once the Rickshaw Challenge was over.
5. A kangaroo fixing a rickshaw
On the smooth road to Tuticorin, the engine of the Bob Billies’ rickshaw gave out. Travelling with fellow Australians Mighty Mouse and the Triangle, Toby, dressed in a complete kangaroo suit, came to their rescue and tried to fix up the damaged rickshaw in the baking hot sun, while in full marsupial garb. Hats off to Tobias for his dedication to the cause.
4. Cramming 8-9 people into one rickshaw
Sometimes on the road in India you’ll see whole families, Indian sized families, stuffed into one tiny three-wheeler. Our participants were so inspired by this defiance in the laws of physics that they decided to try it out with the locals for themselves to see how many people can fit in their rickshaw. One team hit 9, another hit 8, getting into the Indian spirit we see.
3. Mugged by monkeys
On the way to Kanyakumari, we paid a visit up into the Western Ghats, but it wasn’t the mountain roads that posed a danger, but little furry primates out to steal anything you had. Whether it’s a bag of bananas, attacking a crotch for hidden crisps or simply stealing bottles of Fantas and toilet paper out of the rickshaw. I used to think monkeys were cute, and they still are, but now I’m cautious around them.
2. Tipping a rickshaw while changing a song on the iPod.
Team Dukes of the Green gained an infamous reputation while on the road and won the award for being one of the worst teams ever to have participated on the Rickshaw Challenge. One of their classic moments was when Piers was driving the tuk-tuk, he had one hand on the clutch and the other on his iPod to change songs, which ran their rickshaw off the road, capsizing it once again and losing yet another windscreen. This made their third crash. Urban legend has it that Piers was taking a selfie while driving, but he denies all accusations.
1. Colliding with a biker
When young Harry took control of the Dukes of the Green rickshaw the day before the third crash, he learned the Indian road is a wilderness the hard way. Despite driving on the correct side of the road, Harry and his rickshaw came face to face with a motorcyclist who came straight at him, and the two vehicles collided. The rickshaw capsized and the windscreen broke. One of the German members of the Bavarian Barbarians came to his aid, but fortunately none of the participants were hurt beyond shocked. The motorcyclist suffered more, but was OK in the end. A narrow escape for the British teenagers though.