Monthly Archives: September 2013

Thank You for your support!


A big thank you to my main sponsor who is supporting the World Rickshaw Taxi on it’s epic journey around the world. The photo was taken in Amsterdam.

If you require timely, professional airport transfer service between London Airports checkout 247 Airport Transfer

I’d also like to thank my local MP of Haltemprice who got around to wishing me a safe and enjoyable journey.

“I wish Luke all the best of luck on his adventurous project to learn about and document other cultures. His endeavours will undoubtedly be an inspiration to others of his generation.”

Rt Hon David Davis MP

Also a big thank you to everyone who is giving me the encouragement to keep going through the first two weeks. I appreacite the support and it helps keep me motivated when I’m feeling elated.

I hope people are enjoying the blog posts. I’ll try my best to cut them down as most of the time has been cycling which is largely uneventful.

Day 20: Along the Canals into the headwinds – Utrecht

Sorry if the last post was a bit underwhelming in terms of positivity. Today has been better, but has been mainly been fairly pleasant cycling.


The day started off early – I am getting used to these early starts slowly. I packed up and was ready to go after getting into some Yorkshire Tea. I had become a bit dis-orientated with my location travelling during dusk, and finding signs towards Utrecht was difficult. Usually, cycle ways are well sign posted, but they have been difficult this time. Some signs fail to tell which way to go at a ‘T’ junction and I have barely seen any route maps. After going the wrong way a local pointed me in the right direction and gave me a pat on the back and ‘good luck’.


Much of the way from Abcoude, was along a railway line and then onto a long stretch of canal that led directly towards Utrecht. Most of the way was quite exposed. The wind had become a ferocious one from the East – just my luck. Despite, this it was fairly easy going and was fairly enjoyable for most of the way towards Utrecht. Much of the canal is lined with an infinite number of trees leading into the distance. A barge beside me following me at the same pace; it reminded me of cat and mouse.


The last bit into Utrecht was windy. I decided to roll up the canopy. Having checked today the winds were around 20mph. It had become that strong, that it nearly lifted the carpet I had stuck down. Fixed with some duct-tape. Leaving the rickshaw parked, the wind was that strong it was pushing it backwards.


Nevertheless I kept pushing on, despite the many anglers who looked perplexed at the sight of a tired cyclist pushing a rickshaw down the side of them. It was a slow but consistent 6 mph (10kmh). It was slow but it was pleasing to get towards Utrecht.

I had been frustrated that many other cyclists failed to acknowledge me and just sped by; the only one that did, said it was “good training” but I’m not training for anything. The usual flail of the hand or discrete nod, would be appreciated, perhaps this is dutch cycling etiquette?

I arrived in Utrecht. I bought myself a baguette from a Turkish baker – multi-cultarilism. To be fair, it was a darn good crunchy baguette, and haven’t had one like that for ages. He even topped my water bottle up without a sigh.

In the center, it was as pleasant as I rememered it. A contorted mix of canals, bridges and cobbles, filled with bicycles and people basking with their drinks in the sun.



There was a film fesitval but having asked one of their representatives what it was for. As soon as I said I was from the UK he fobbed me off and said enjoy your journey. I finished my dinner and moved to a Mc Donalds. A women hailed me over. She said she me earlier, and said it was a fantastic idea. It came as a big suprise although I will admit I felt rather dispondent and what I said had an essence of that. Nevertheless, I explained what I was doing and I said she could have a ride. I took her briefly around the centre. It was nice to have company.

It’s something that can pick up your spirit. I returned back and said my farewells. She was visiting Utrecht so I had to make up the directions as I went along.

In Mc Donalds, I used their wifi and power literally for free – I didn’t want to pay for a coffee for quite tempremental internet, which retrospectively was slow. I pushed some more updates and decided to get on my way towards Arnhem and find a nice place to camp. I decided to turn down an offer from a Warmshowers host, simply because it wasn’t practical.

The wind was strong but atleast the sun was shining. The further east I went the more trees encroached around the road and eventually the forest engulfed the road. It was fairly spectacular to ride through. I had been this way before, but during early spring when the trees were bare. It was a suprising change.



I was fortunate to find a supermarket that remained open for another 30 minutes – a Sunday. I filled the basket as much of the food was especially cheaper compared to Lidls. Even after a substantial list of items it came to around 6 euros. It would nourish me for the next day.


I carried on a bit longer and found a forested area to settle or the night. I cooked up a storm – tomato, bacon and pasta which suprisingly tasted well without seasoning.


Having filled myself, I’m settling in a small clearing surrounded by many pine trees. For once it’s good to wild camp in fairly spectacular scenery like this!

Day 19: Amsterdam – Not build for the World Rickshaw Taxi

The day started early having woken up with the day light and the increasing noise of traffic from the nearby road. Amsterdam wasn’t too far away but I would be having. It would be a fairly gentle ride, but I had the wind against me. It wasn’t fair but Iad to cope. I had been searching for a place to stay in Amsterdam, but had no luck. Most hostels were fully booked or they were ridiculously expensive.


The journey there had noting in particular to highlight and reaching the Amsterdam sign I managed to feel again slightly excite what may await me. I took an opportunity to go into Lidls and buy some food, I was not guaranteed a place to stay that night and camping seemed an option. I was frustrated that they didn’t accept a mastercard, and having to carry around aot of change in my pocket only enfuriate me when they attempted to rush me through the till.




I got to the center of Amsterdam, outside the station, it’s a pleasant city with a lot of grandeur, but heaving with pedestrians – mostly tourists anticipating to get their legal high or enjoy the other niceties of this city. I sat and ate some lunch. I was bothered twice by two tourists who asked me for directions. Afterwards I decided to write “I’m British and I’m cycling around the world by rickshaw” to make things clear to everyone thats I’m not local. I was deeply annoyed at how expensive the town ma was and how unhelpful their tourist information representatives were.

I took a tour around the city, but it was especially difficult. Bicycles impatiently passed and required full concentration just so you didn’t crash into them. At a blind crossing I nearly got run over by a tram, which was obscured by traffic – it had to brake sharply. I pulled my hat down in embarassment and pedalled off. Around the city there were other rickshaw taxis – I noticed all of them had the electric assist – it felt like they were cheating, considering how flat Amsterdam is except the odd bridge over the canal.

It was difficult to find anywhere to park and walk around the streets even as a pedestrian. I was getting fed up by hour and I had no interest except for being asked for directions. When I paid for a coffee at Mc Donalds and the Wifi didn’t work, my spirits were increasingly low. I decided to retreat to the Library that I knew had good internet. Having tried to park outside the entrance, I was told to move the rickshaw quite rudely by a guard – although there were no signs and a moped was parked there…

Shortly after I met two really nice Moroccans ho came to ask about my world trip after I let the guy borrow my bicycle pump. They could sympathise why I had been disappointed with the response in Holland, but wished me well – “An open heart and a smile” and you’ll get that in return.

I went inside and enquired about the Wifi and was told it wasn’t free and neither where the computers – a change from two years ago. It was annoying, but luckily someone had forgot to take their voucher reciept so effectively I got free wifi.

I tried to skype my parents but the internet kept cutting out and when it did work I was told I couldn’t use it – as it was considered calling. Pissed off, I uploaded the remainder of my videos for the documentary and got on my way. I simply had enough with this place and just wanted somewhere quiet. I set off quite late into the evening and the signs were sometimes misleading and lead me in the wrong direction.

On my way I bumped into one of the rickshaw drivers who did it part time. He explained how things worked and did it part over summer, but illegal taxis had been making it difficult and sometimes there was alot of hustling between drivers. It was interesting to hear how they operate in cities like this.


I got on my way and went through a variety of areas along the canals. I went through some outer suburbs – large blocks of flats were islands in a large open park area. I was fortunate to meet some children who were really excited to see my rickshaw. They wanted to have a go and they all jumped on, and even a little guy drove it which made me laugh. It was full of smiles and it picked me up after a terrible day. It’s these reactions every now and then what I want to see. I just wish it hadn’t been so late that made me anxious to find a place to sleep.


Eventually I stoped, tired, and found a place next to the railway line. It was tookedaway which I appreciated and could get some reasonable sleep with some ear plugs!

An exciting day spiralled into frustration that led to disappointment. The whole exploration of a rickshaw is meeting people, and so far Holland has proved to be disappointing. I didn’t intend to sightsee but what can you do, when nobody will come up to you and ask questions?

Day 17 and 18: Into Hollland through the dunes

I’m in the back of the rickshaw situated right next to the North Sea. I bore witness to a fairly stunning sunset whose warm colours gently faded into a chilly night. I’m typing on the laptop, my food supply is depleted, excluding a stock of biscuits, and I’m covered head to toe in many layers of clothing embalmbed with a blanket to keep warm. The prospect of the evening is camping on a park bench. Yet, that doesn’t matter. I’ve had a great day in the sun cycling in my rickshaw through one of the best countries to cycle through.

Yesterday was largely uneventful, I woke outside the ferry terminal and quickly went to check-in and get aboard. The border police had many questions – nothing serious, and wished me well on my way around the world and hoped to see me in a years time.





The ferry was pleasant and I arrived into the Hook of Holland around 5:30PM (Local Time). Taking the first steps onto the continent was quite a thrill, and I even recorded the very moment on camera. I met an old scottish hitch-hiker who was on his way to move to Sweden, after considering the prospect in the UK to be terrible. He noted that it took two days to hitch-hike from Sweden to the UK, conversely, one day to get from Grimsby to Harwich. He wished me well and was going in the opposite direction, so unfortunatly my invitation for a lift was unmet.

Taking the first pedals onto a cycle path was exciting and was refreshingly easy although getting used to the opposite side of the road needed work, having annoyed a frustrated bus driver when I cycled out of the terminal the wrong way.



I accidentally visited the Hook of Holland beach, after taking a wrong turn. I planned to meet a Warmshowers Hosts – Robin and Els who would let me stay at theirs that night on short notice. I would attempt to get to Den Haag, by 7PM. It was easy going, but the wind was tormenting me.


Shortly after I bumped into two young german cycle tourists who had toured around the UK. It was great to chat with them and have some company for my first footsteps into Holland. Eventually, they decided I was going to slow and sped off into the distance – I couldn’t blame them travelling at 7 mp/h (11 km/h).

I eventually fond my way towawrds the centre. It seemed difficult to find the cycle maps but the signs were good enough to get me to the center. Once arriving outside the central station, I made a quick call to find my hosts home. I was quite fortunate to find it after taking a wrong turn.

It was great to stay with my hosts that evening, and was both nice and interesting company. A couple of weeks ago they had set off on a 5 week cycle tour to Rome on their quite nice tandem bike. We made comparisons between our methods of cycling which was fun. Eventually it started getting late and I had a shower which was comforting after many days of living rough. Shortly later I went to be around 11pm, alot later than planned and I knew I had an early start to get used to the timezone difference.

The next day I sat with Robin, who was free that day and kept talking about various topics in Holland. One topic that was suprising was Immigration. There are many Moroccan and Turkish communities in Holland, who are quite segregated from the rest, having been encouraged to come over the past few decades. The older generation cannot speak little or any dutch generally, and the Turkish in particular are seen to be quite Nationalistic and often promote Turkish as their child’s first language over Dutch. Interestingly the first or only islamic school in Holland closed down a few weeks ago – some teachers couldn’t speak dutch.

I cannot comment on this, other than what I heard but it’s interesting to hear that migration and the establishment of communties is a global issue.

After sorting things out, I said my farewells and headed to the center for a brief stop and then through some pristeen parkland, brimming with trees leaving no voids unoccupied. The cycle paths were easy, but I was feeling groggy in general and felt quite tired without any known reason. I kept going with the ever increasing intensity of the sun on my side.




I reached Leiden, a small historic town interlaced with canals throughout the heart of the town. It was essentially a minute incarnaton of Amsterdam. Canals lined with barges filled with restaurants, broken up by occasional foot bridges, bursting with people and bicycles thoroughly enjoying their afternoon. Contemplating my next actions in Mc Donalds using Skype, I decided to take the long route to Amsterdam along the dunes next to the North Sea coastline.





I had done this before and was remarkably pleasant to cycle on. It was nice that I vaguely remember the same views that I had passed through three years ago. I took time to make many videos and pictures which slowed me down to appreciate the rather alien looking landscape. In the distance, there were rabbits and even a few deer that kept their distance.




I trundled along till around 7:30PM and got fantastic sunset as it encroached on the horizon. My only disappointment was that there is no easy place to camp. Camping on the dunes / beach isn’t allowed, and though that wouldn’t matter, is never a great or practical idea. Sand ingresses everywhere, and most notably in Electronics and only two weeks in I don’t want to take chances. In the end, I found a bench that would make a fairly comfortable bed using a foam mat, pillows and the very warm sleeping bag. Note: I tried sleeping in the rickshaw, but my legs are simply too long for it to be comfortable!




Review of my journey so far

This post is my own critique of the journey so far cycling with a rickshaw. There have been many things positive and negative and because of its nature is on-going experiment.

It’s difficult to find places to sleep

The UK has been particularly difficult to find places to stay. Normal cycle touring is a piece of cake in comparison. You find a field and if there is a fence or a gate you can throw everything over and you can set up camp. A rickshaw is a difficult beast and in built up areas, it requires a lot of hope that there will be no obstacles in the way.

A ball and chain around your legs

A rickshaw and the luggage, is something that’s not portable at all. It’s very difficult to leave anywhere by itself and I’m often reluctant to leave it by itself for a long time – even taking most of the valuable stuff with me and locking it up. Usually when going into a shop I try and find a place where I can see it through the window. This doesn’t necessarily guarantee that someone will sit on it as someone did eating their dinner in Leicester.

Going uphill is difficult

I’m getting used to each day, and hills are slowly becoming easier. However, I have found that anything above 8% becomes a very tedious game of patience. It requires several stops carrying extra luggage. The steepest so far is 11% and that was horrendously painful in the wind and rain. Planning my route to avoid these at all costs will be quite important. Long hills shallow hills in general are fine, but over time become tiring but would prefer that over a steeper climb. Bare in mind that the laden weight of the rickshaw is around 110 kg not forgetting myself.

The lowest gear is probably not enough and when I get near Turkey, I may have to consider having a ‘granny’ gear or a really low gear (32t) to help get up those steep ones. If I get anotehr sponsors I may have to consider getting some motor assistance or hiring a dog to help pull me up!

Luggage and Storage

Having boxes underneath has provided dry storage, but hasn’t been convenient when trying to walk around and priortise what I take and leave with me. The boxes have cracked already in places and even mighty gaffa tape will not hold them for long. There’s also a hole in one of the boxes, which is beyond repair.

I’m considering getting a suitcase that I can more conveniently carry more stuff and wheel about. It’s just the matter of fitting most thigns and storing it underneath in the seat compartment.

Keeping Dry

The waterproof cape kept me dry apart from sweating underneath, which is impossible to overcome with high humidity. The compartment underneath keeps dry underneath, but in heavy rain starts to trickle down the sides and the back. I also find that the canopy of the roof collects considerable amount of water and is a pain to remove.

Something new I have learnt. Always carry a sponge or cloth. It can remove water from these surfaces easily and can be used to dry the tent.

The tent has kept me very dry even when it has rained hard during the night. The problem is that moisture and dew collects on the inside and condenses and apart from leaving the tent door open seems impossible to stop. This isn’t much of a problem, but it does become frustrating when you leave the tent in the morning.

Even Brits are interested

I knew England would be difficult to get people’s attention and interest in general – London being the most notorious. I have noticed that a lot of people tend to be switched off – they are often looking at the floor, ‘thubbing’ on their phones or as I say just gawp and their eyes are misted over. This is not to generalise, in many areas, especially in smaller towns and villages people have given be smile, waves and even come up to ask me more about the rickshaw and what I’m doing. My branding hasn’t really helped, atleast on the side, but it doesn’t matter when people cannot speak english anyway when outside the UK.

Once people know what I’m doing they are astounded, but I don’t particularly want to give the whole game away since its unsual for a rickshaw to be around in most areas.

Life’s slow going

Most days I have been covering less than 30 miles today. However, that’s fitting into the schedule of things. It does give you time to appreciate things even more than you would on a normal bike, when the conditions are just right. Unlike a bike, it’s something you cannot force, you have to go to the tempo of the rickshaw, otherwise both you and the rickshaw will be knackered.

Rasberry Pi Tracking Unit

Having bought all the pieces and fitting it together, I was never really confident it would work, especailly in testing conditins that came up. The GPS tracker has worked nearly flawlessly on most occasions. The camera time-lapse has also produced some good photos of my journey which when I look back think are quite amazing. It’s had a couple of wobbles but generally has worked well. The current problem I have is the camera refuses to work after a long time – I’m not sure why but there will be a solution somewere.

Things don’t go to plan

I expected this at the beginning and that has happened. Britain has been truly difficult mainly because of the weather but acclimatising to the added strength and endurance needed on a rickshaw. Having little incentive to go to some places (Sheffield, Birmingham, Oxford) I decided not to visit as I would only be passing through. Jumping at the opportunity to go straight to Holland was never planned but would save me a week and that matters when days are getting shorter. It’s now dark at 7PM whereas before I started it was dark at 8PM.

Somethings have worked well and others have been more difficult than anticpated. Much as I discovered after the first day there is usually a remedy for these. It’s all an experiment and when you’re charting your course in something complelty unknown and untried, these challenges will have to be overcome.

Day 16: Last day in England

I set off from Colchester fairly early in the morning. I was quite fortunate to find a secluded park tooked away near the river that runs adjacent to the town. It was a comfortable but very damp night, with low lying mist present once again that morning. I cooked up sausages and beans again after a warm tea and decided to make most of an easy day and do some filming.


For those that do camp, putting down a soggy tent is not fun, and makes it takes far longer to do aswell. After waking at 7:30Am I left just after 9AM, so quite a long start.



I was soon on my way on the last 17 or so miles towards Harwich. The road was fairly flat with few hills to keep me from falling asleep. The countryside was fairly pristeen with fields lined with wild hedgegroves often fruiting with blackberries and rosehips. I took a good opportunity with break to take a few photos and videos along the way.




There were a few older roads that I could follow alongside the A12, which was far more plesant than I thought it would have been. The sun was shining and the sky was blue. It was thrilling to have an easy day for once in england – a good consolation for the terrible weather it carelessly dished out over the past two weeks.


I wasted a good amount of time recording some video using the tripod in many akward positions – some more sucessful that others. Back the A12 I was around 8 miles to Harwich and shortly after in the distance I saw someone walking down from a white land rover. I didn’t think much initially, but who gets out of their car and walks down the side of the road? The woman came up to me, and fanatically said “Brilliant Job. Unbelievable. Getting something tonight with this”. Momentarrily I asked if she wanted a photo, but said that’s fine. I look at the red note that she gave me. It was £50.


That’s the first time I’ve been one, so I was both shocked and thrilled at the great generosity of an individual without asking questins. Perhaps a rickshaw speaks for itself. Tediously difficult and only the brave and mad will attempt it.

I arrived up in Harwich and met a Canadian couple cycling on a recumberant tandem with a trailer – very unusual and was cycling around Europe. It was my first cycle tourers that I had met on the trip so it was a great pleasure to talk to them. They had travelled in Eastern Europe last November and said that the weather was cold, and they had to finish at 3, but I hope that I will get down to Turkey by then. Another woman was waiting there, who lived in the Middle East and provided I got there would help share some contacts who can help me sort out paperwork.

Later in the small town of Dovecourt next to Harwich, I went to a coffee shop to frantically sort out an affair with a solar panel that had stopped working. I was interrupted from the window by a woman who pointed at the rickshaw and looked at me and nodded. I assumed she wanted a ride. Later she came in and asked if she could take her old mother on it too as it would make her extremly happy.

After closing hour, I went to find them and they were there outside. I took them around Harwich and thought it was an unbelievable and it truly made their day!. They were friendly characters and the old woman kept calling me ‘Chicken’ and emphasised with colourful language that probably made her the most enthusiastic person I have met so far. She made me two cups of coffee and a quick lunch to thank me for making one of her dreams come true. A young lad took it for a ride around the block with passengers and came back shattered – “gave my ticker a good go”, he said. I think from that he showed great admiration for what I was doing and it was interesting to hear abit about Harwich and what it’s like to live there.


As you can imagine, martime towns are on the decline and having ask, finding work is difficult – to work at the local port there is a ten year waiting list. My final ride took them to the nearby shop for a drink and some cigarettes but it made her day. It came to six o’clock and I said my farewells since it would be dark in an hour.

I went up hill and found a fish and chip shop someone recommended earlier. It was owned by an Asian family, their father couldn’t speak english, but his eyes lit up as his daughter translated what I was doing and smiled when our eyes met. They took a few pictures and wished me well on my trip – I just wished they could have made the portion size larger…

I set up camp near the International Port ready for an early start. Inside the tent, I watched an episode of Jungle Gold and sent some emails to Warmshowers hosts to arrange some places to stay when I get to Holland. It’s like camping but with some luxury for once and if I wanted I can sit on the rickshaw! I just wish it had a fold out table and bed then it would be perfect.


A few items that went missing or broke that day. Luckily that should be taken care of and a new solar panel will be shipped to a good friend Michael who lives in Dusseldorf, Germany. In short it had been one of the best days of the trip except for the breakages. Meeting straight on the enthusiasm for what I was doing in Harwich, I soon realised that there is a good chance that a rickshaw around the world may just work, but also be fun!

Day 15: The World Rickshaw Taxi goes to Essex

After staying in Wetherspoons and enjoying the luxury of free wifi – enabling me to communciate with my parents via skype I finished for the evening, later than planned. I camped a short stroll aarlier. eway in the adjacent park situated along a small river. Setting up a tent in the dark is becoming second nature now and leaves little difficulty other than picking a suitable spot. I pretty much dozed away quite quickly. That day was a particular struggle and I had to sleep carefully so I didn’t abruptly wake to the agony of leg cramps – this has happened on a few occasions in the past.

I woke at 5AM, to the sound of heavy traffic along a busy road at the side of me. I was reliefed when I looked at the time as I wasn’t prepared to wake up and just put the ear plugs in and snoozed for another two and half hours. I woke to a mist that left tent damp, but made nature glisten with dew that morning.


Breakfast was served. Muesli with digestive biscuits and a bit of broken chocolate topped of with water. A lovely rickshawers diet!


Having packed up my stuff, I took some more video footage and set off – eventually.

Much of the morning was quite un-eventful. It was a fairly straighforward ride alongside a dual-carriage way – there was a pavement at the side. Essex is suprisingly more hilly than what it appears but was becoming far easier. I was going to plot the elevation data but I’ve discovered that the sensor has stopped working…

Although it appeared I was going fast, it didn’t seem like I was getting anywhere. I eventually found that the added stability of three wheels has one great advantage. It provides the opportunity for easy reading whilst on the go. I was given a book to read along the way, and I just propped myself over the handlebars and started reading. I wasn’t even feeling sick and it made the monotomy of that A-road become less apparent.


I arrived in Colchester. The approach to the high street features a very steep hill – I sighed when it came into sight. I got some looks and even some cheering as I struggled up this hill. It was a relief to get to the top.

I spent most of the afternoon taking it easier and just having a bit of a walk around, as I had infact made good time from travelling quite early that morning.









I also went to the bicycle shop in Colchester. I said that the pedal was creaking and I thought it could be the bottom-bracket. Luckily their hunch about the pedal was correct. It was loose – to my greatest suprise; as they tightened it, the pedal came loose. All it needed was tightening up, the particularly annoying creak disappeared instantly!

Colchester is a plaesant place and the people were more friendly than I experienced going through London. I met a few guys parked outside the castle who whished me well on my travels – if they read this “Thankyou!”. I had a bit of time to get in some shopping and chill on the back seat reading my book.


I got interrupted and some students asked me if they could have a ride. I took them for a quick trip around the town and they couldn’t believe I was doing such an insane trip!

I later stopped off at a pub and met two nice women who bought me a sausage roll and a pint and were really interested in my adventure. It’s always nice to be able to explain what you’re doing without having to rush with everyone’s busy lifestyles.

Tonight will be an interesting finding a camping spot. It’s dark now and I’ve been told a few places to camp about half a mile away. Should be interesting, although I’ll stay in the pub for now.

Weekend and Day 14 – Greenwich to Chelmsford, Essex

I spent much of the weekend with my cousin Richard who lives in Greenwich. He welcomed me in with a strong hearty meal – two steaks and some roast vegetables; particularly good after a long wet day through London. It was pleasant to relax a bit under a roof and get back into a slightly normal routine.

The next day I met their daughter, who was a charmingly a cheeky girl with her smile. For breakfast I managed to eat six weetabix, which seemed like no hard task. After fixing a few things on the website, I went into London (as a tourist) just to relax a bit and comprehend my next actions whilst absorbing a few sites.





Suprisingy the last two weeks have not been phyiscally tough but also great difficulty to deal mentally. Attempting to concentrate for hours on end when the elements are against you becomes draining and over the course of several days it can make a huge impact on overal morale and attitude, as I witnessed last Thursday. Sometimes you just need that break to get you back on track.

It was quite strange to see other rickshaws / pedicabs in London. I saw more of them out in the sun and just wondered why someone would want to go on something that looked like it came from a junk yard…

I met up with good friend James, whom I lived with three years whilst at University. It was nice to meet up and I took him for a short ride whilst in the center of London. On Friday I later met up with him at went back with him to Worcester Park, near Epsom, to go to a scout meeting. I have never been to one, or the opportunity, so I thought it would be interesting to see this. Forty children under one roof is a lot of energy and it was pleasing to see that it this was channelled into some simple games. It’s suprising how much team work made a difference in these small games, unfortunatly I’m in a one man team. Afterwards we went for a quick one at the pub with the scout leaders and heading back home.

Despite its shortness it was good to see him. I left and went towards Epsom on the train, to see a bit of the Tour of Britain. I waited about half an hour for them to pass through. It was interesting to see the crowd build up along the road. However, the fraction of time (twenty seconds) of seeing some cyclists whizzing by didn’t particularly amaze me. I think I agree that the build-up and the atmosphere retained afterwards is what makes it interesting rather than the race itself.


I later met up with my cousin and his wife and just had a browse around the area ater an unusually late brunch. Later in the evening, we returned and played some pool.

Sunday was a rather lazy day. I met up with my other cousin from London and walked around Greenwich Park and was fairly pleasant just walking rather than exciting. My legs started to feel fresher compared to Friday where they suprisingly were quite stiff after a 40 mile day through London on Thursday.

It was nice to meet up with family, my cousin haven’t remembered meeting him apart from when I was four, was great to learn about each other and what we’ve been up to. People ask why I am cycling around the world on a rickshaw: it’s a discovery of the world and one-self and how we fit into it.

Day 14:
We move on today – nearly two weeks formally in. Having sent my farewells, I set of for Woolwich. I was hoping to meet up with my sponsor, but nothing had been formally arranged and having not got through to anyone decided that it would put me under great pressure to travel a further 20 miles back and not get out of London that day. I also got a ferry booked for Thursday and I wanted to arrive in good time. The pedal keeps on creaking and I am pretty sure the bottom bracket is on its way out. I hope to get this looked at over the next day or two before departing for Holland.

I set of for Woolwich for a ferry crossing along the River Thames – suprisingly unlike most things nowadays it’s free. It’s worth a go for a laugh. The crew laughed and joked as I entered and was nice start as they pushed me to the front of the queue.



The day was gray but was exceedingly humid, making work sweaty. I continue after crossing towards Romford.

The only thing that I had to do was set up a Bank Account with Metro Bank. My last opportunity since they are only based in London. They can set up an account instantly and provide you a card within an hour. The greatest advantage is that they have free commisions payments abroad – only one other Building Society offers this in the UK and if you are in London, I would definitely suggest you set one up for the future, just in case you go on Holiday. They pride themselves on service and I can see why – their clerks are friendly and offer nice conversation. The banking process is simple and requires no ridiculous processes.

I moved on towards Chelmsford. I travelled along a dual carriage way accidentally – and couldn’t get off. Trucks whirled by quite close, but the shoulder provided enough space to safely get through and even have a picnic break later on. I finally was out of London and a short while after, I stopped at a rest station to pump up the tyres with a hand pump, which took about five minutes as one side had started to become flat over the past to weeks.


I moved onto a small quiter road through some nice villages towards Chelmsford and although Essex is supposibly flat, was still relatively hilly in places, but provided some nice views.


arrived in Chelmsford and just toured around. People kept asking me if I was starting a business here. “No”, I replied and just insisted I was passing through on my world journey which they couldn’t believe. After leaving London, people have once again become more receptive and a bit more curious.



Placed myself quite perfectly tonight. An open public park right next to a Wetherspoons with Free WIFI. winner winner! chicken dinner!

I also forgot to mention a big thank you to everyone’s strong support! This rickshaw is ofcourse people powered!

Documentary Video Part 1

I am attempting to record a documentary video along the way. I couldnt really organise anything for the first few days because of how busy everything was, but hopefully everyone saw the news report on BBC Look North at the time.

Hopefully the footage gives a better insight of how things have been – more difficult than they sound. I am still getting used to the camera and there is still a fair bit of shaking, but I hope to get better with that as time goes along as I continue to experiment with the tripod I’m dragging along.

There should be more to come for England and I will try and record something whilst in London when I set off Tomorrow. Enjoy!

Continue reading

Day 10: Towards London

Once again the day started off earlier. I was told ideally I should leave before 7:30 to not make any agrievances. A caretaker came up and we had a good chat I was doing and just informed me of the route that lie ahead on the old London road.

Eventually I was on my way from Tring towards London although at a very slow pace. My knees were aching for some reason and were becoming noticeably painful. I couldn’t work out why, since it had been generally fine for such a long time. I decided to raise the seat up a bit, to try and see if it would help. Fortunately it seemed to be working although it took a while for the pain to dissipate.

I wasn’t in the greatest of moods that morning and morale was exceedingly low. I couldn’t work out why but it just felt like I wasn’t enjoying this trip at all. I kept going at slow pace despite the route going mostly downhill near Berkhamstead.

The morning was largely uneventful. The road wasn’t as flat as I thought it maybe. Eventually I was on the A41 – a dual carriage way. I had been this before and it looked vaguely familiar. Despite it being a dual carriage way, there was barely any traffic to be seen. However, it must have been an unusual sight for the drivers. The rain started once again which never helps in such times.


Eventually I passed Watford and I came down a very steep hill with a gradient of 1:12. Just imagine all the weight coming down a hill, and you can imagine how fast I would be going – my speedometer clocked 28mph and I doubt that I would be able to stop quickly if needed.

The road into London was straight and dull. Much of the road was lined with restaurants from all nationalities, along with small ‘international’ markets that offered their various wares to cater for the particular community needs. There were many different languages on their signage. I guess that’s multi-cultural Britain nowadays. It’s something I’m not accustomed to.

The road eventually had a bus lane, which I stayed in almost exclusively. The traffic didn’t seem to have much of a problem with that but you always had to keep your wits about. Many cars would weave through, and pedestrians would aimlessly walk through as if they wanted to commit suicide.

I reached Westminster – or in particular Oxford Street. The rain was spluttering down and the streets were still busy with shoppers and tourists who hid underneath shop entrances or braved the conditions with their umbrellas. It was very unusual sight to see other pedicabs / rickshaws on the streets.


The rickshaws themselves looked tacky and unsafe. I wouldn’t have wanted to be a passenger in one of those. The drivers wore shabby coats and used umbrellas for rain cover. The World Rickshaw Taxi had that high level of professionalism.

I sorted myself out and put on the rain cover and I headed towards Westminster. Suddenly I was hailed over and a guy wanted a lift down the street. It was the most unusual of timings, as I was meeting my cousing at Charing Cross.

It was his first time on one, but likened the idea of not getting wet. I said it was free and he couldn’t believe it. I was a bit annoyed that he spent his time on his phone and didn’t provide any conversation. I dropped him off and he said thanks and wished me well on my journey around the world.

I met up with my cousin Richard at Charing Cross, near Trafalgar Square. It was plesant to see him, and after a sip of coffee my spirit was already lifted substantially.


It was nice that he would be able to offer me a place to stay and he even printed me directions to get there, although it was around 5-6 miles towards Greenwich.

I set off and by chance my friend James, who I lived with at University rang me and said had finished. He was just down the road near 10 Downing Street, so I’d meet him there. It was nice to meet him again. I think he was surprised at the rickshaw itself, but it was good to catch up with him. I took him for a little ride along the enbankment and dropped him off. I would catch him later on Friday.


It was plesant to see the familiar and also new sights of London , but it was even more marvellous to go across the Tower Bridge – am I the first?



I cycled on towards Greenwich. It wasn’t too bad despite the rush-hour traffic, however, I was most concerned about other cyclists other carelessly rushed through and overtook on both sides. I didn’t feel comfortable riding through because of that. One cyclist nearly splatted into the back of me, thinking he could undertake me. The mentality of rushing about it is an unplesant one. Unlike other cyclist meccas, such as Copenhagen, I would be reluctant to take my family on bicycles.

I reached Greenwich, very tired after a long day – having done a staggering 40 miles.

I think I agree with Boris Johnson on this. Rickshaw aren’t really meant for London – the roads cannot really handle them and I agree that some form of licensing and management is needed.