Rickshaw Run here we go
You would need a very good reason to sign up to a madcap rickshaw ride across India, risking death or disfigurement.
Luckily Alan Cunnane has one – raising money for a Third World water charity.
Mr Cunnane, 28, a graphic information specialist at Porirua City Council, will spend April travelling 3000 kilometres by motorised rickshaw from Kochi at the bottom of India to Shillong in the far north-west.
The Rickshaw Run is a charity event for only the most extreme thrill-seekers: there is no supervision, no set route and no guarantee participants will get to the finish line in one piece. Participants spend six to eight hours on the road every day, and only 70 per cent make it to the end, Mr Cunnane says.
‘‘There’s a high chance of permanent disfigurement, loss of limbs, and kidnapping,’’ he says. ‘‘It’s the maddest race in the world.’’
Twenty- five teams from around the world will take part but Mr Cunnane expects to see most of them only at the start and finish lines.
Mr Cunnane, his brother, sister and three friends, will form two teams whose names riff on sacred Indian bovines: The Psychows and Last of the Moohicans. The teams’ rickshaws will be decorated to theme, mohawk and all.
The two teams have already raised $ 7000 for Frank Water, a charity that has given 400,000 people access to clean water by installing purification systems in India and Africa.
A visit to a village served by a Frank Water system will be a highlight of the journey, Mr Cunnane says.
Much of the trek is off the beaten track so he should have plenty of opportunities to meet locals.
‘‘The whole point is we’re going to be visiting really remote locations.’’
Finding locals with mechanical skills will be especially handy – rickshaws provided for the trek tend to break down twice a day, but that’s all part of the fun, Mr Cun- nane says. ‘‘It’s going to be just an amazing adventure. We’re doing something out of the ordinary. I’ve done lots of stupid things before, this is just one more to add to the list.’’
Follow Mr Cunnane’s adventures, and learn how to donate at facebook. com/ PsycowsAndMoohicansRick shawRun.
Water warrior: Council worker Alan Cunnane will spend April risking life and limb in a rickshaw ride across India, raising money for a water charity.