Talking to the Teams: Edward Guy is one of the Rickshawallas team members, a group renowned for their impressive charitable donation to the Malabar Rampage charities. What is less known is that the funds raised came in large part from socks! These ingenious adventurers used their clothing wholesale connections in the UK to produce and sell limited edition charity socks called the Bombay Royale in the colours of the Indian flag. Combined with their own personal donations and the personal donations of the Tamil Nadu expat community in Dubai, their efforts have made an enormous difference to underprivileged and undersupplied rural schools throughout the area.
Edward explained to reporters that his experience back in the UK of charity events was that they tended to become a little repetitive, lacking imagination or excitement. There were only so many marathons anyone could run, even dressed up in outlandish costumes. However, the Rickshaw Challenge series was something completely different, unlike anything they had seen before, and immediately captured their imagination. This combined spirit of humanitarian aid, original thinking, and wild adventure is at the very heart of the Malabar Rampage!
The Rickshawallas were one of the teams caught in the Tamil New Year celebrations yesterday (Day 14), and whilst it did dent their score a little, it was a spectacular sight. Empty roads suddenly tuned into an explosion of sounds and colours and activity and elephants! That night they stayed on a Tuticorin fruit plantation and spent the evening sat in the pond just cooling off and relaxing.
Today (Day 15) Edward and crew used the stationary day in Tuticorin to explore the local sights and culture, wander around the old fishing district, chill out, and eat a whole lot of the local Mud crab. The evening was as usual another party, and included watching the IPL cricket on what could well have been the biggest TV in southern India.
Talking to Andrew Thomas Crew of RickRoll Shaw (Team 6)
Just for chuckles, we thought we would try a whole new approach to find out more about the fearless road-warriors of the Malabar Rampage with some questions that we thought might not have yet been asked of them by the ever-present media and reporters.
CEMS: If you had superpowers, what would they be?
Andrews: I already have superpowers. I’m immortal, or at least indestructible. Maybe immortal and indestructible. This rally proves that.
CEMS: How has being part of the Malabar Rampage made you a better person?
Andrew: Well it’s made me a better person by making me work with a team, and making me appreciate the abilities of others, or the lack thereof. It makes me step up to the plate and cover for them, make me more self-reliant. Also dealing with another culture that is so chaotic, and has such a constant ebb and flow of traffic and movement and noise. Dealing with the traffic that is full of everything from giant dump trucks to cows, either of which would totally wreck the little rickshaws in a collision. Traveling and working and playing in the amazing heat here without resulting to killing each other is also part of the challenge.
Today RickRoll Shaw spent the day like the other teams relaxing, recharging and soaking up the local culture. One of the team members is currently doing his best to recuperate from a bad cut across the heel as they leaned out of the rickshaw to stabilise it on a corner, so it has yet to be seen if he will be able to continue along the way. Fortunately the injured party is local to just a couple of hundred kilometres further along the route, so decisions will be made by the time he passes his home town. Andrew is more than a little concerned that He’ll end up being the only driver in the team for the next 1000 miles, which he is not looking forward to at all, especially with the heat “making you sweat out your brain”. For the meantime, however, Andrew and the rest of RickRoll Shaw are just taking it easy and hanging out with the Rickshawallas, having personally gone into town to fetch back the delicious local chicken biryani for everyone.