Atlas Obscura is a proud sponsor of Team Steppe On It’s attempt to complete the 2010 Mongol Rally, a hair-brained adventure raising money for Mercy Corps. But we’re putting our butts on the line as well- or at least one butt. Seth Teicher will be joining up for the first leg of the adventure, reporting back to us here on the Atlas blog.
On July 24th, I’ll be joining brothers Andrew and Cody Bass, aka “Team Steppe On It”, for the first section of their death-defying journey from London to Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia (in all, about 10,000 miles overland) in the insane overland race known as the Mongol Rally. I will report back here on the preparation for the race in London, the launch in Folkestone and our ride through France, Belgium, and Germany before we arrive in Klenova Castle for the “Czechout” launch party in the southwestern Czech Republic on July 26. Although it will only be with them for part of the ride, I am excited for the chance to meet the fellow racers and take part in even a small part of the journey. The brothers will take it from there, reporting back on the curious places, intriguing people, and harrowing moments they encounter once they leave Prague.
The Mongol Rally idea was hatched by a group known as The Adventurists, out of England. It started with two college buddies who attempted to drive to Mongolia in 2003. Although they failed miserably, they had the adventure of a lifetime. In the years since, it has evolved into a 500 team charity fundraising extravaganza where people from all over the world attempt to conquer the most outlandish drive on Earth using vehicles ranging from dinky little cars, like our own, to ambulances and ice cream trucks, all for a good cause. Aside from the ridiculous driving involved, the real point of the Mongol Rally is to raise money for charity. Steppe On It will be raising money for the incredible non-profit Mercy Corps, whose mission is to alleviate suffering, poverty and oppression by helping people build secure, productive and just communities. The money raised from past rallies has been used to help build schools, house disadvantaged children, and find jobs for women in Mongolia. Please consider making a charitable donation as you enjoy following the adventure.
Steppe On It’s chariot will be a 2001 Nissan Micra Vibe 1.0L. It will undoubtedly be ride of this feeble little car’s life. But the Andrew and Cody are confident that its 998cc engine will have the muster to power over mountain passes and fjord rivers without hesitation. They will travel from Europe to the dirt roads of Siberia through Kazakhstan and across the Gobi desert of Mongolia. They will be forced to navigate using their wits, a compass, and a serious lack of car repair skills. How close they’ll come to Mongolia is anyone’s guess but they are determined to make it there come hell or hitchhiking.