re-sized the adventurists smurff

A hint of danger and a great slice of adventure, what more could you possibly want?

If this is all that’s missing in your life then that can be easily remedied. All you have to do is sign up to the The Adventurists Club and partake in a few of their weird, wonderful,wacky and extreme adventures – or, if pressed for time, or lacking in decision, you need only attend one of their parties, whether it be the Christmas one, the tea party or a picnic. Here you can rub shoulders with those who HAVE done some of the crazy things that The Adventurists throw together… and then make up your mind.

Like what you might ask?

Well, two of them we have already reported on: The Mongol Rally…

… and The Mongol Derby .

Both were huge successes this year.

THE MONGOL RALLY

The Mongol Rally is already fully subscribed for 24th July, 2010 but there is an operating waiting list and there might still be a chance for you to do this crazy race. All around the world people are already sourcing their tiny car (any car with more than 1000cc of umph is strictly forbidden), approaching sponsors, and choosing their own charities to support.

Having said that The Adventurists are bending the rules slightly by allowing a 1.2 l engine. This is only in the interests of the beneficiaries at the other end. Am I making no sense?

Ok, here’s the deal. One of the final charities you can support on this race is the Mongolians themselves. You can donate your car to them at the end of the race. However, in the interests of longevity, the Mongolian government has kindly requested that any cars donated be younger than 10 years old. And it is now quite difficult to find a car in this catagory of less than 1 litre. Sooo, 1.2 is acceptable…just.

There are only 3 rules for the Mongol Rally: once over the start line you are entirely responsible for yourself; you have to raise £1,000 per team for the  official rally charities, and the car size.

Apart from that, and in the immortal words of The Adventurists: “Other than these rules you are free to sneak, bribe, cheat, connive and generally out-wit the world to get yourselves to the end. In fact you will probably have to. If you get to the finish line without some good stories to tell, then the Mongol Rally has failed its mission. Which it won’t.”

THE RICKSHAW RUN

This one happened very recently and I kept my eye on it, but didn’t, I’m afraid, report on it at all – however it looks like a whole lot of outrageous fun and it’ll be happening again next year.

“With no preparation and less luggage one flies to the Indian Subcontinent and does one’s damndest to force 150cc of Indian engineering over thousands of miles of questionable terrain in around two weeks.”

This race is so popular that it now happens 3 times a year!

The Winter Run, 2010 starts on New Year’s Day and finishes, with a bit of luck, on 16th January.

The Spring Run begins on 28th March and ends 11th April.

The dates for the Monsoon Run are not yet in  – but it will be in September.

And don’t for a moment think that constancy creates familiarity – the route changes every time, each time having its fair share of huge mountains, dirt tracks, tropical jungle and in September the extra attraction of monsoons.

The Adventurists aim to please and the only way they can ensure this is to make sure there is plenty of opportunity for adventure.

What exactly is the venerable transport that is being offered?

The Rickshaw has three wheels, half a horse power and guarantees more fun than any other vehicle on planet earth in a race like this. “It is undoubtedly the ultimate long distance, off road machine, despite being designed for short distances on road,” promise the organisers.

The £1,000 rule, as above, applies – 1000 quid per team to go towards the chosen official charity…

THE MONGOL DERBY

“This will be no ordinary horse race. The Mongol Derby is not a test of the horse’s speed, but the rider’s skill, endurance and the toughness of the skin between their legs,” say the Adventurists.

The idea of the race was thought of about four years ago by The Adventurists,  “we do a lot of work in Mongolia, and because the horse is sacred over there we decided to try a horse race,” said the spokesman. “It is based on Genghis Khaan’s ancient postal system, where riders crossed Mongolia to Eastern Europe in about 14 days changing horses at urtuus–horse stations–along the way. It’s a massive logistical challenge.”

100 people applied to take part in the first Derby run in August this year and 26 entrants were chosen. This is a race that covers 1,000 km stopping at 25 stations, ride 25 different horses, picked on a first-come, first-served basis. the selected 26 were all experienced horsemen with polo players, endurance riders, eventers, and amateur point-to-point jockeys amongst them.

The Mongolian horses are semi-wild and between 12-14hh.

The Mighty Africa Rally

This race is about to happen – 13th December

On top of the 3 rules that apply for the Mongol Rally – there is a very important 4th one for this race – the left hand drive rule...

The race begins in Europe and ends in Cameroon. In October 2008 the law in Cameroon changed to state that right-hand drive cars were from henceforth illegal. As the cars are auctioned there for charity at the end of the race, Cameroon’s law must be respected…

You can head through Africa to Cameroon in any number of ways… as always with The Adventurists’ races – the choice is entirely yours. You could head west through a gaggle of coastal countries before heading inland through Mali, Niger and Nigeria. Or perhaps feast on Pecorino and Prosecco in Italy before going south through Tunisia and the Algerian Sahara.

The same rules apply:

1. Charity – raising huge sums of cash for awesome projects
2. Vehicles – 1-litre, Left Hand drive and completely unsuitable
3. The route – there isn’t one
4. On your own – there’s absolutely no back up, it interferes with your adventure like a nasty rash so there is none…

Mad dog an Englishman… need I say more?

THE MOTOTAXI JUNKET

And then there’s this one –

Mototaxis

With three wheels, a throbbing heart of 124.01cc, steering that works faultlessly in straight lines, and brakes that slow you down gently, The Adventurists feel that the Mototaxi is the perfect vehicle for thundering across some of the most remote terrain on the South American continent, crossing the Andes and driving along the most dangerous road in the world.

The Stats…

Engine Size:125ish cc
Engine Type:Single cylinder, 4 stroke, air cooled
Horse Power:Equ. of 7 family dogs
Load:Perfect for you, a lightweight team mate and very little luggage
Drive Chain:3 x 1 chain driven
Brakes:Drum brakes
Top Speed:1 kmph (up hill) 70ish kmph (down hill or flat)

Starting in the deserty hills of Huancayo, Peru, you and your Mototaxi will go through the high Andes – a ridiculous feat for a machine already ill-equipped for the flat. After that the choice of routes is yours. Lying in wait is everything you could ever want from an adventure. Squelch right through the Amazonian rainforest on dirt tracks, float across the biggest salt flats in the world, thunder through the driest desert in the world, through the highest capital city in the world, along the most dangerous road in the world, and through one of the most remote wildernesses in the continent, the Chaco. A place so vast and empty they have a prison without walls since there is nowhere to escape to…

The aim of this race, as with all the others, is to ensure that you have an adventure. For this reason you are forbidden to take your Mototaxi on any highways and you have just 2 weeks to complete the race.

But be assured that there will be a party to end all parties in Asunción in Paraguay some 4000km later.

If these races stir something in the deeper recesses of your soul, then I suggest you head over to the official site (www.theadventurists.com) and see which one you can sign up for… or follow the links below:

Mongol Rally – London to Mongolia in tiny cars

Mongol Derby – World’s longest multi-horse race 1000km across Mongolia

Rickshaw Run – Goa to Pokhara in auto-rickshaws

Mototaxi Junket – Three wheeling from Peru to Paragu

I know this isn’t exactly extreme sport – but it’s an extreme variation of adventure and well worth reporting on!

It will be fun – of that you can be certain.

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