Riding a rickshaw into record books
Wheel meet again: Lianna Hulbert and Simon Etkind are making plans for a long journey — and an October wedding
Two young fundraisers are planning a world record pedal-rickshaw ride in aid of grassroots development in India.
Simon Etkind and Lianna Hulbert, both 24, will be taking a circuitous 932-mile route from Lands End to Lowestoft to meet the Guinness Book of Records’ requirement of a minimum 1,500 kilometres distance. They aim to complete their summer adventure in 24 days, using Shabbat for recuperation.
“One person will pedal while the other will map-read,” explained Ms Hulbert, daughter of Liberal rabbi David Hulbert and a member of his Bet Tikvah congregation in Barkingside, Essex. “We’ll swap every hour or so.”
Added her partner, who is graduating as a doctor and attends the Liberal Synagogue Elstree: “Rickshaws are not too hard to pedal on the flat, but going uphill is really tough. They are a common sight in north India but we expect our EcoChariot rickshaw will cause quite a stir in the English countryside.”
They will spend their evenings camping but are hoping for offers of home hospitality. “After a hard day’s rickshawing, it would be lovely to sleep in a proper bed,” Ms Hulbert said.
She was inspired by visiting a project funded jointly by Action Village India and Jewish development charity Tzedek, for which she is a regular volunteer. “We met women who, because of the generosity of Tzedek and AVI supporters, were learning to read, starting small businesses and gaining a degree of financial independence.”
The challenge also precedes a longer partnership as the couple — who met through the Association of Jewish Sixth-Formers — plan to marry in October.
“Marriage is all about teamwork so supporting each other to complete our journey will be excellent preparation,” Mr Etkind said.