Getting Cranking

Well it is now the end of day three since I began cranking my way through the coconut palmed, florescent colourfully homed, roads of Kerala South India on my shiny new hand powered tricycle (Named NED in honor of a sponsors late father). I was sent off in style with local film coverage and a malay placed over my head by a local dignitary. I am not able to say that the cycle I am using was made by me, though I did spend a couple of weeks helping my local Indian fairy God father Thomas work on developing MENDS old design. It still has further work to do on it so I am using a great design from UK which is distributed in Bangalore. MEND has a half price agreement with them so we should be able to supply a few needy people with these from donation money.

I have come fond of my cycle over the last few days during my ride from Kunnamkullam to Cochi and now Allepey. Every 5 minutes a news paper reporter or film crew seem to jump out from the bushes to investigate this strange unidentified 3 wheel object adorned with a New Zealand and Indian flag, streamers, reflectors, a big informative sign in two languages on the back and one on each wheel, one air horn and one rear view mirror. Every 30 seconds I am flagged down by roadside locals wanting to ask questions. Every Few hours I come across a disabled person interested in a cycle so I put them in it for a test ride and take their contact details. With all these distractions I am still managing to stay on schedule and feel confident that 2000 km is an achievable goal that does not have to end in my death. 10 km  per hour is my average speed when I am actually able to move. The road thus far has been fairly flat, not too busy and not too bumpy, though we have stood test to a little of each. Any slight hill does require a good deal of panting and cheek puffing which scares the locals but gets me over the rise. Any real hill requires that I get of and dray the machine by the front wheel which is not such a problem for me who has legs.

I have collected details of about 5 possible tricycle recipients though some people I have met, found it to be unsuitable due to the crank being too high, their upper body strength too weak, or their being obese. I feel that the more effective means of distributing the cycles to those that really need them is to supply them to various rehabilitation centres who's job it is to locate these people and asses them properly. This can be done, though It is still nice to interact with the disabled people I meet, have a personal connection to the project and hopefully help them. I am committed both to sponsors and myself to complete the distance so can't stop for every ingrown toenail but can when I see someone who we have a good chance of being able to help.

So far there have been no big issues. The chain came off a few times but I retentioned it and it seems to be holding. I have a slight sore on my left bottom cheek which your would not think possible looking at the cushy seat, but 7 hours of sitting on a bony bum rocking back and forth is not so ergonomic.

Thomas, the man I was helping to make a cycle with in Kunamkullam has been an amazing help to the project. He phones my every few hours to check up and acted as a support vehicle on his motor bike for the first days ride.  Ill keep you all updated when I can get time and access to Internet. Subscribe to get my posts automatically emails to you.

Thanks again for your donations. Check out the pages on this web site as I have updated the mission, the route and donation instructions.

Lots of Love from my pumping heart and achy throbbing biceps.

Shasa Bolton


Anonymous said...

Amazing! Can't wait to read the next update! And let me know if you go to Delhi at all and I'll hook you up with a bed/couch.

sakkeer hussain said...

I am zakir we meet on the way from kunnamkulam to kodungaloor and called you several time.
Wish you all sucess in your life and this venture...