By 11am we entered the hotels meeting room with a feeling of excitement and curiosity. Who were we going to meet and what had we got ourselves into. We were greeted by Princely and Aravind the founders of the Rickshaw challenge. First priority, signing the last of the paperwork, collecting team & group T's and meeting the fellow competitors... Oops I mean teams.
Team 1 - Little Miss Rickshaws! Whoop whoop!
Team 2 - Team Shanti - Danish couple, Christian & Irene
Team 3 - Thermo's India Xpress - German boys, Erik & Thomas
Team 4 - Valle Kulla - Danish couple, David & Laura
Team 5 - Team Sunshine - Danish couple, Soren & Eva
Team 6 - Hit the road:India - Documentary makers, Richard & Keith.
Immediately after the debriefing we headed to the carpark to see our rickshaw. Peeking inbetween the 6 rickshaws was a little pink number!! Our tuk tuk for the next 2 weeks. Enthusiastically we surveyed the other vehicles and decided where to put out last minute decorations.
At 3pm we rendezvoused for an afternoon behind the wheel or should I say handles of our rickshaw. Everyone huddled around Princely as he demonstrated how to drive a rickshaw. After a handful of steps being repeated, Pia bravely took the plunge and volunteered to take us on our first car park test drive.
Rickshaw on - check! Outta gear - check! Start engine and rev- check! Clutch down and place into first gear-check! Slowly release clutch and continue revving - check! Rickshaw in motion... Woooo!
Of course, bunny hops and stalling was part of the deal. Just the thought of driving in a muddy, rocky car park with at least 20 Indian spectators made us nervous... How were we going to cope on the real roads of India?!?! Eek!
Aravind had us practice 9 second starts and transitions. Even though we had to go first, thankfully we managed to achieve top marks. A reassuring feeling indeed. After 2 hours of car park mayhem and already a few close calls, we were ready to pack up for the day and recuperate before our evening meal.
Already we had a sense of our strengths and weaknesses.
Areas to work on: Alisha - spatial
awareness, Pia: smooth gear changes, Ruth: making sure the rickshaw is on when reversing!