boon·dog·gle (bōōn’dô’gəl, -dŏg’əl) Pronunciation Key

1. An unnecessary or ridiculous project or activity; a hair-brained scheme.

Related forms: boondoggler, noun.

The drivers of our valiant steed:

Robbie Whelan


Raised on a strict diet of raw beef, bourbon, and grilled endives, Robbie Whelan fears very little in this world. He has arm-wrestled a Cossack to the point of tears. He can grin down a bear. Sometimes, but only sometimes, he can remain without earplugs in a club that plays trance music. Rogier calls Robbie a “Heeb,” but he prefers “‘Brew”. Hailing from Pittsburgh, USA, a city of faded industrial glory, the world champion Pittsburgh Steelers football team, and near-chronic obesity, Robbie vows not to shave, bathe, or ingest anything but biryani, curd, and Kingfisher for the duration of the Rickshaw Run.

Rogier Jacobse


This Flying Dutchman’s sense of direction and travel acumen are matched in intensity only by his unquenchable thirst for tequilla and women. Rogier calls Utrecht, Holland, his home, there he studies Law but the only law Rogier has seen after four years of studying were his fines of “wildplassen”, but he never had to pay his tickets arguing his way out of it. He can almost bench-press 7-stone, eight times, in under a hour.  Rogier is not a Jew, but he lives by the eternal Beastie Boys dictum:
“Sometimes I like to brag, sometimes I’m soft-spoken / When I’m in Holland I eat the pannekoeken.”

Benji Holzman




Growing up by the sunny sands of Bondi Beach in Sydney, this thrill-seeking Aussie always dreamed of seeing Darjeeling, even if from the back seat of a truck towing his totaled rickshaw. Benji may have lived in his parents’ basement drinking Horlicks and slamming Tim-Tams for the last 4 years, but he takes no crap from anyone. He can outrun a dingo, out-swim a platypus, and eat 13 (kosher) hotdogs in twenty minutes. He boldly dares anyone on the Rickshaw Run, be they mad dogs or Englishman, to question the inevitability of an Australian victory in this year’s Ashes.

…seriously, though, we’re all NGO volunteers living in North Bombay. Any extra money we raise goes to our respective causes (Dasra, ATMA-Mumbai, and Mobile Creches).

God help us!!!

“Robbie, your trip [to India] is looking a bit too much like an elder hostel eco-tour. I thought this was supposed to be a boondoggle…”

– David Whelan, Robbie’s older bro