Head organizer Princely has summarized the first days of the Malabar Rampage 2022 for you. If you ever wanted to know what actually happens during a Rickshaw Challenge, now you can find out!
Day 1: Events in Trivandrum – The Adventure Begins
On behalf of The Travel Scientists, I would like to welcome you all to this wonderful and popular adventure under the banner of Rickshaw Challenge, called Malabar Rampage.
You might know that due to the Covid pandemic, India has basically been closed for tourist for two years and flights have only finally restarted recently at the end of March. And while we are more than happy about it, it still meant that out of the 18 signed-up teams only 2 could make it to the Rickshaw Challenge (while the others have postponed their adventure with us to one of our other rickshaw trips this year).
Mark Truman, who has done the Rickshaw challenge Tamil Nadu Run version roughly 8 years back, has brought in his wife and his friends to do the event against all odds. Facing various issues with postpones visa appointments and having to reschedule flights, they have shown the spirit of true adventurers! Luckily by now the normal e-visa process for tourist from more than 150 eligible countries has been restored and if you sign up for the Rickshaw Challenge, you’ll just have to fill out a form online.
Briefing & Driving Practice
Before the start of the briefing the teams received their goodie-bags with event shirts, caps, team shirts a Rickshaw Challenge sling bag and the rickshaw essentials of a tool kit and a medical kit. This was followed by the most important information about the details of the event, e.g. how the luggage truck works (we transport your main luggage during the day, so you don’t have to worry about leaving it in the rickshaw), how to manage breakdowns and what to do in an emergency.
After lunch it was time for driving practice. Driving a tuk tuk is an art form and over time we at the Travel Scientists have become masters in teaching this art. One of our highest achievements must have been getting a team that had never driven a vehicle with gears and a clutch before ready for a 1000 km trip in no time.
After the two Team one ‘The Banditos’ and Team two ‘Wacky Racers’ arrived it was time for them to meet their pimped rickshaws and it was love at first sight!
Depending on the package you choose for your trip, we offer various pimping and customization options for your rickshaw, from a custom paint job to an on-board stereo. For more details just drop us an email!
The First Challenges
Luckily both teams turned out to be very talented rickshaw wallahs and were read to hit Indian roads after just a few hours of practice. Their first official challenge of the rally was to drive the rickshaw back to the base hotel, about 6 km from the practice ground. This might sound simple, but everyone who had to navigate the chaos that can be Indian roads knows better!
During every Rickshaw Challenge the teams have the option to fulfil certain challenges to collect points in the fight for the title of Rickshaw Challenge World Champion. There is of course no obligation to take on these challenges we’ve created, but we strongly recommend it. From taking a picture of your rickshaw in front of certain sights to convincing the owner of a chai stall to let you make a cup of tea, they provide great opportunities to get to know India and to connect with Indians on a deeper level.
We Love Breakdowns – And Our Teams Do Too
On their way home the Banditos had their first breakdown – which you will realize are part of the charm of what makes the Rickshaw Challenge special. So much so, that we even had complaints about missing out on great experiences, from teams before who managed not to break down during the whole trip.
The truck with our guys from the Chennai Garage is never far away and always on call to assist in such situations. But often, like also this time, a kind local rickshaw driver helped the team to fix the issue, so they could continue their way to the hotel.
Of course, our mechanics had another look on the rickshaw in the evening and properly fixed the clutch, which was causing problems. Every evening our guys from the Chennai Garage are available to do an overnight check-up on your rickshaw, so you can keep driving without any worry the next day.
Time to Party
The day ended with a kick-off party in a restaurant near the base hotel, where the teams could get to know the flavours of Kerala. After some great conversations it was clear, that our adventure craving teams were all set for quenching their thirst by driving their rickshaws from Trivandrum to Panaji.
Day 2: Mini Challenge – Getting to Know the Drill
Our teams spent the second day of the Rickshaw Challenge Malabar Rampage with various challenges, to get used to driving their new three-wheeled friend and navigating in Indian roads. One of the challenges is to visit the Trivandrum Railway station and to buy a platform ticket. The second challenge is to get a picture of the team members, the rickshaw and the Padmanba Swamy temple in the background.
These whacky challenges help our teams to get a feeling for Indian traffic conditions. As both the teams are well experienced, driving our Sunday challenges were a piece of cake for them. They spent the rest of the day sightseeing and relaxing, so they could take on the first stage of the Malabar Rampage from Trivandrum to Alleppey on the next day.
More excitement and more fun will be reported in the days to come. Keep following us the adventurous stories!