There are times when things never conform to your expectations and the very essence of control you did have suddenly evaporates into chaos. The past two weeks has been just like that and it was inveitable I was going to reach a low point even before starting the World Rickshaw Taxi.
When sponsors back out – things go down the proverbial:
The sponsor who I was confiding into supply me with a nice shiny rickshaw last Wednesday decided to back out – the company in question can be inferred from previous posts.
In the end the agreement was speculative and there was never a guarantee that it was going to happen although my hopes were stuck on this. In the end, the company couldn’t support me in their current situation which I could sympathise with. I’ll admit it was a gamble in the beginning, yet it was frustrating that in my position I was never kept informed.
As you can imagine, this is both a loss financially with the cost of purchasing a rickshaw pedicab having to be made with my own money – with help from my parents. Additionally its the uncomfortable realisation that the sense of control I had on things just went out of the window and although not obvious ignited a sense of panic.
Finding a rickshaw:
I had lost a free rickshaw but I gained some freedom not dictated by the schedule of the sponsor. I am now confident that I can depart on a fixed schedule – currently pivoted around the second week of Term at Howden School – 8-13th September.
The case now was finding a rickshaw that is both economical to buy but will get me around the world.
“It’s not just like walking into a bike shop and picking up a rickshaw
Anyone can cycle around the world on nearly any bike whether its £60 or up to £2000. The huge difficulty I am in is that there are now ‘UK’ manufacturers of rickshaw pedicabs. This is not just ignorance through patriotism.
Rickshaws produced in China are notably heavy, flawed in design and use inexpensive components vunreble to wear. I cannot contest this because I’ve never rode one, but people I’ve met and what I’ve read alongside their specifications imply a lesser condifence in their reliability.
- Tartan Rickshaw’s are ‘maximus’ imitatations manufactured in China and assembled here.
- Maxpros are manufactured in Eastern Europe: confirmed by the quite rude respondant over the end of the phone.
- The new Cycles Maximus’ aren’t yet set up for production and the price is simply out of my league without a sponsor.
- Importing from the US or Europe will be a timely challenge
Finding a second hand rickshaw seems the only option and in preference an older Maximus is in the sights.
Falling into a scam
At the weekend we managed to come across an old maximus for sale at £1000 near Edinburgh. Everything seemed promising and I was quite excitied that I may be finally getting three wheels.
In reality, things were too good to be true. Consulation with a friend on York pointed some things that didn’t seem to add up – it was to new, the location was strange and had damage that wasn’t fixed – which painted a picture of illegitamcy. After putting the phone down, I soon found on a pedicab forums the same advert description. It was a scam
My heart sank. The only comfort is knowing that we escaped such a potential disaster.