The Touring Trotters


Claire, Jodie and Erica all live in Peckham. As the area has inspired our rickshaw’s paintjob, our team name and most importantly, our choice of charity, we thought we’d better let you in on the not-so-secret secrets of SE15.

Peckhamania: out on the town in London’s newest hotspot

Cool never stays in one place for long. By its very nature, it’s always looking for the next place to hang out, to drink, to try not to dance too zealously to the freshest tunes. It’s an amorphous beast, permanently on the run from high-street mediocrity, always looking for a new place to bed down and do its thing before the mainstream knows what it looks like. Cool is a nomadic idea, a culture that can never rest for too long.

In London it seems that, over the past year or so, cool waved goodbye to Kingsland High Street, once the clatter of stilettos and kebab-shop brawls began to arrive from Old Street roundabout, and quietly slipped on to the East London Line, heading south towards the new promised land — Peckham.

Peckham has always had a bit of a reputation. For Londoners it was associated with brutal high-rises, gun crime and the murder of Damilola Taylor. In the words of long-term resident Mickey Smith, founder of the Bussey Building (Peckham’s answer to the Hacienda), the common perception was that visitors would be ‘stabbed or robbed, which wasn’t true, but was the impression the media gave out’. For the rest of the country, it was Only Fools and Horses. However, the secret among the bohemians taking advantage of its off-the-radar status was that Peckham was actually quite laid-back, with an incredible community spirit and cheap Victorian houses.

So, things have changed. Rye Lane and its nearby streets in particular have become inundated with classy cocktail joints such as Bar Story, Evie Wyld’s Review bookshop, the Sterling Prize-winning Peckham Library, galleries such as Hannah Barry’s, and the Dye House, a multi-use gallery space and filming location run by Nicky Chambers and Guy Forrester. There’s also a slew of decent eateries and low-key club nights such as The South London Soul Train (at the Bussey) and Rhythm Section at Canavan’s. Like it or not, Peckham is on a fearsome ascent.

Excerpt taken from a London Evening Standard Article, ‘Peckhamania: out on the town in London’s newest hotspot’.

A brief (video) guide to the Rickshaw Run

Ever wondered what’s involved with driving a 7 horsepower, three-wheeled rickshaw beast across the entire Indian sub-continent? Look no further than this video produced by the Adventurists. Horror-inducing and inspirational in equal measure.

Thank you to our dinner and dancing guests

This is to say a huge and heartfelt thank you to all our coming along to the Rickshaw Run Dinner & Dancing back in July.

I hope you had fun…we certainly did!

We are really very grateful for all you support. We’re pleased to reveal that we raised an incredible £450 for Cool Earth, the official charity of the Rickshaw Run. We’ve paid our own ‘race’ entry fee, so ALL the money raised will be going directly support Cool Earth’s work with local communities to protect rainforest from being cut down acre by acre. A round of applause for a fabulous and worthwhile evening all round!!

We still have another £500 left to raise for our chosen charity, St Christopher’s Hospice. If you would like to donate, please click on the JustGiving link.

The rickshaw

According to the Adventurists:

‘With a pounding heart of 145.45cc pushing 7hp of raw power to three tiny wheels, the humble auto-Rickshaw is a feat of non-engineerance.

Loud, uncomfortable, prone to breaking down a lot and completely useless at protecting you from the elements, rickshaws are undoubtedly the ultimate long distance, off-road machine. Despite being designed for short distances, on roads. Possibly the least suitable vehicle on the planet for covering the entire subcontinent in two weeks. Perfect.

Engine: 2 stroke, single cylinder, forced air cooled
Engine Size: 145.45cc
Power: 7 HP at 5000 rpm  (equiv. 1 family dog)
Transmission: 4 forward, 1 reverse
Top Speed: 55kmph (We’ve seen faster, especially downhill)
Fuel Capacity: 8 ltr + 1.4 reserve
System Voltage: 12V , DC

We’ve never driven a rickshaw before. Apparently it’s a little like driving a Vespa, only it breaks down more. We’ve never driven a Vespa either. Helpful.

The Adventurists have provided the guide below to help out novices like us..!

rickshaw controls

  1.     Make sure the ignition is switched on.
  2.     Make sure you’re in neutral (much harder than it sounds).
  3.     Pull the starting lever (normally more than once).
  4.     Apply the clutch and put into gear.
  5.     Release the clutch slowly whilst giving it some juice.
  6.     That’s too much juice.
  7.     Push the rickshaw out of the river.
  8.     Try again from point one, but try and keep it on the road.
  9.     That’s it, now move up the gears.
  10.    Try to drive it 3500kms without crashing. Easy.