_By: Rosy the Riveter

In preparation for the hot and sticky weather in India, I've chopped off a more than a foot of my hair. For those of you who have known me for less than 3 years, you're probably only familiar with me with long locks. For those of you who have known me for longer, you know this happens more or less every two years, though it's taken me a bit longer this time!

I will be donating my creepy but beloved braid to Locks of Love, an American based charity that makes wigs for disadvantaged children who suffer from medical hair loss such as chemotherapy or alopecia. This will be my fourth time donating to the charity, which fills me with pride. :)

So far, I am loving the short hair! I can feel a nice breeze on the back of my neck, I use much less shampoo and conditioner, plus it takes me 3 minutes to wash my hair instead of 15. Environmentally friendly AND efficient, all for charity and adventure. What's not to love?
 
 
The first peek at the team jumpsuits ("R.Kim" pictured above) we'll be sporting throughout the subcontinent.  We had to cash in a hefty bit of Martin's (MaDing) massive guanxi at Wendy's Tailor shop in Beijing - and deal with the usual half-promises in production - to get these made.  But they're looking pretty stylin' (even without zip off arms and legs).  Will be down to the wire to get the final two suits, which they somehow "forgot" to make, in time for the last departure from Beijing in the coming days. Mad dash from tailor shop to airport . . . inevitable.
 
 
When we came across SweetBands "The Stache" headband er, SweetBand, we knew we'd found a "must" to bring along on our journey.  Elevating the ordinary to the extraordinary, here's their take on the 'stache:

". . . There’s no hiding the inflated sense of sexual dominance and prep-school arrogance that accompanies a strong mustache. Wearing that stache atop one’s brow takes the experience to another level of intimacy."

True that.  Beyond the band, we quickly suspected that these gents would probably love the irreverence of The Inevitables and our outlandish undertaking.  Turns out they did and we're thrilled to have them onboard as a Curry sponsor of our journey.  Their 'stache SweetBand is the perfect accompaniment to our outfits (currently in the hands of the best Beijing tailor) and will, no doubt, garner all kinds of attention across the Subcontinent.
 
 
W-O-W.  First view of what our soon-to-be "pimped" rickshaws will be looking like.  Suffice to say, this should really up the attention-getting quotient in the Indian countryside, just in case we didn't have enough already! 
 
 
_ “Adversity tests us from time to time and it is inevitable that this testing continues during life The Rickshaw Run.” - Walter Annenberg, somewhat well-known American publisher, philanthropist and tax evader.

By Mitch the Mechanic

I’ve never been too interested in India. I always figured it would be too chaotic, too annoying, too…. much. Too many people trying to rip you off and sell you junk, too many wannabe yogis and dreadlocked Europeans “finding themselves” by smoking pot and reading Shantaram. Too many people, too much crazy. I’ve lived in China for five years; all I need is more people and more crazy.

But along came the Rickshaw Run. When, last July, Aaron Pattillo – our captain, our lord, our liege – emailed me asking if I wanted to drive 4,000 kilometers across India in a moto-rickshaw, I didn’t hesitate. “I’m in,” I replied, casting aside all my misgivings about India. It was an idea just too crazy to pass up.

When I told my brother, who spent three months in India a few years ago, about our trip, he said, without hesitation: “I can almost guarantee this will be the worst experience of your life.” Exactly. The Rickshaw Run, it seemed to me, was a way to fully embrace the worst traveling experience of all time. To laugh in the face of stupidity. To embrace all the chaos India has to offer. In fact, the Rickshaw Run is a way to out-crazy the sub-continent, to out-fox the fox, if you will.

And so we became the Inevitables. Our team’s patron saint is Roald Amundsen, the mustachioed Norwegian explorer of polar regions, who once famously decaled, “adventure is just bad planning.” He meant that journeys must be rigorously planned, down to the last detail, in order to avoid catastrophe and doom.

We took it to mean the exact opposite, and in the spirit of the inevitable, we did virtually no planning whatsoever until only a few months before the trip. We didn’t even get our fifth team member until a few weeks ago, and, as of writing (with three weeks to go before we leave to India), we have only raised $100 of the $3,500 we need to fundraise for the charity Frank Water. (Donate here!) (Also in the spirit of bad planning, I am writing this article more than a month after I promised I would.)

During our first real planning session in January we talked about team names. We looked up synonyms for words like “adventure” and “spontaneous,” and eventually came across “inevitable.”

The Inevitables? It made so much sense. 

Crashes… Inevitable.

Breakdowns… Inevitable.

Diarrhea… Inevitable.

Adventure… Inevitable.

We are… The Inevitables!

SHANTARAM SUCKS!

So, will this trip be the worst experience of our lives? Of course it will – we’re driving 4,000 km across India in a rickshaw! But, at the same time, will it also be the best experience of our lives? 

Inevitably. 

Or at least it will make for a good story once we recover from our injuries and dysentery.
 
 
A mere day after sending out word of our undertaking to a handful of potential sponsors, we've got the first commitments in place.  A huge thanks to Frederick Schilling of Big Tree Farms for the donation of CocoHydro and cacao nibs . . . and especially for sharing the enthusiasm of this adventure and spreading the word to his buddies in the natural food world.  Thanks to them, we'll be fueled by Guayaki organic energy shots and Manitoba Harvest Hemp Heart snacks and cleansed by Dr. Bronner's soap.    Be sure to check out the recent CNN feature video and New York Times Magazine story on "Bali Wood" - Big Tree Farm's incredible feat to build the world's largest all bamboo structure, a chocolate factory in Bali!

 
 
It brings me immense pleasure to introduce our 5th and now fully-committed member for the Rickshaw Run ... Mr. Tim Brister.  He hails from the mean streets of Boston, educated in upstate New York, traded his east-coast antics for a solid stint on the west coast in Portland & Seattle.  He's now coming straight out of Amsterdam where he's been living while getting an MBA with the Rotterdam School of Management.  He's as laid back as broken recliner and the soon-to-be master mechanic of our crew.  Thrilled to have this wide-eyed wanderer join our ranks.  I can absolutely assure you that with him onboard we'll have even more adventures and random mishaps than would otherwise befall us.