The World Rickshaw Launch – Only a week away!

There is just short of a week left before I depart and doesn’t time fly. It’s quite exciting to think that I will be setting off on my world wide journey, yet, it’s still difficult to feel like I am leaving. There has been much preparation over the past two weeks – with many little jobs that needed doing. The only such benefit of being pre-occupied is making the days easier to pass.

Luke with the Rickshaw

Most importantly we can confirm the launch day of the World Rickshaw Taxi. I will be departing from Howden School at 1PM on September 10th 2013.

Throughout my past adventures, I’ve unfortunate to usually depart alone, or with my parents at my side. This makes a nice change. There should hopefully be a cohort or a few students waving me farewell.

The school’s organising some things throughout the week to just let the students know who I am and what I’m doing so I don’t get some blank stares. It’ll be interesting to see the reaction from the students, whatever it may be.

Keeping updated on the go

Last week was topped of with another gadget to aid my adventure. A laptop. It’s something I knew I needed to remain productive in keep everyone update whilst on the go. A tablet hasn’t really delivered it’s promised charm and it seemed more obtrusive way of getting work done – I definitely couldn’t imagine myself writing a blog entry with one, especially with my stubby fingers.

This took a good two days to set up correctly for my trip, in particular reducing the power consumption when on a battery. It’s quite difficult to believe how power efficient laptops have become at idle I was measuring 8 Watts. To gauge, my previous laptop I bought around six years ago and struggled to last four hours and was severely impeded by how slow it was.

Where do I keep my stuff

The little things I’ve been working on is finishing of figuring out the most effective way of storing all those items I will need to survive on for the next year. For a rickshaw this is more difficult than it looks. Contrary to what you’d expect, weight isn’t a problem (atleast when not going uphill) but space is. Like anything new, experimenting is the way.

Underneath the seating area gives around 70-80L of storage space. Obviously there is space on the seats but I aim to keep this tidy so passengers can easily sit down without having to move anything. Towards the end of the day, I intend to buy most of my groceries and keep these on the seat.

For the storage space underneath, I am using two plastic bed boxes to provide more convenient and waterproof all my equipment and keep everything organised. These are quite convenient to stack and carry separately when needed.

I found that my four season or winter sleeping bag occupied too much space underneath. We came up with a clever solution to make a long cushion and stuff the sleeping bag inside to provide extra insulated comfort for the passenger and most importantly save me space.

The cushions and sleeping bag cushion were made from the same canvas fabric used on the canopy. This fabric is completely waterproof – water runs straight off unbelievably. Apparently its similar stuff to what’s used on sides of trucks. Anyway things will be very dry and a big thanks to mum who used her sewing skills to put these together.

Also, the the cushions allow me to stow-away some clothing un-suspected. Further storage space is provided in a rucksack which is tied on the front bar with the addition of velcro to secure the straps in place.

Solar Panel Attachment

After some thought trying to make an adapter for the solar panel, we found the best idea was to make a fabric backing and attach it to the canopy with buttons. The solar panel is inclined at angle using a triangular cushion made again by my mum. This will hopefully optimise the very little sun I do get during Winter to keep me powered on the go.

Other little updates

To conclude little updates to the website and also improved the tracking system. The remainder of the time was writing the majority for a fairly substantial report that was required for the University grant that was received. This needs to be handed in at the end of November which is when I’m on the rickshaw. Getting the majority of this done will make things alot easier on the road to write the rest of the report.

The rest of the week will be spent drumming up a bit of publicity and making some enquiries with the press.