Undeterred by the wind and rain, a group of Bedfordians raised over £1,000 for Children in Need over the weekend, inspired by the BBC Children in Need’s annual ‘rickshaw challenge’.
The Bedford Rickshaw Challenge took place in Bedford Park, with a team of riders completing 100 laps – the equivalent of 75 miles.
The Children in Need challenge was organised by Howard Darbon, who imported and adapted a genuine rickshaw a few years ago.
“My wife, Hazel, and I visited Bangladesh in 2014 and experienced rides on a genuine person-powered rickshaw,” said Howard.
“We were so impressed and inspired by the BBC’s Children in Need Rickshaw Challenge we decided to have a rickshaw imported.
“We needed to have a larger bicycle fitted as most of the rickshaws in Bangladesh were pedalled by smaller men and it would be nearly impossible for a person over 6′ to ride it properly, and so we only ordered the rear portion.
“This duly arrived, we found a second-hand throw away bicycle at the local tip and had it welded on to the actual rickshaw. A few adjustments and we were ready for action.
“Two years ago we managed our first Children in Need event raising around £3,000. Last year we were away and could not do anything and this year we thought the the lockdown would affect us.”
Once Howard realised the BBC’s Rickshaw Challenge would not be able to go ahead due to lockdown restrictions, he decided at the least minute that he could and should do something and the idea of the Bedford Rickshaw Challenge was born.
“We could not take passengers because of social distancing rules, but it was good exercise and we decided to gather together a few friends to undertake the challenge over the weekend.