Outside Edge: All hail cabbies the world over

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The Independent Online

It's not usual for taxi drivers to take the long way round, but next weekend "The Knowledge" will be put sorely to the test as The Adventurists embark on one of their mad schemes: driving rickshaws over the Andes from one end of Peru to the other.

They will race more than 1,000 miles as the crow flies – and much further by land – at heights of 4,000m aboard 125cc motorbikes with small sofas attached to them, which are powered by single-cylinder air-cooled four-stroke engines.

Meanwhile, in New York, investment banker John Belisky and English professor Dan Wuebben have completed a 2,448-mile road trip in a taxi from New York to California which took six days – including a stopover in Las Vegas, where they won $2,000 in the casinos. It's estimated the journey would cost $17,000 (£10,300) if the meter was running but they agreed a price of $5,000 with cabbie Mohammad Alam.

Fare enough, but it's rank stupidity.

27

Number of times that Manchester City's Mario Balotelli has allegedly had his car impounded since his arrival in the UK last August. He also averages three parking tickets a day.

"The valet the club uses empties the glove box of tickets every time he cleans it." But he won't end up on skid row just yet.

High hops for a rare bit of success

The Edge has clearly lost its edge after missing out on the perfect Easter story. From the city of Jena in eastern Germany comes news of a burgeoning sport called kaninhop – or rabbit showjumping – with 22 clubs set up this year.

Yabo from Denmark holds the world-record height of 99.5cm while Tosen, another Dane, managed 3m for the long jump according to sources in Sweden, where the sport originated in the 1980s. Owners keep their twitchy beasts on leashes because, as Claudia Fehlen said, "We want to avoid uncontrolled reproduction. It has happened before".

This comes as no surprise after hearing that 15-year-old Regina Mayer of Laufen in southern Germany put a saddle on a cow called Luna and taught her to jump over fences when her parents refused to buy her a pony. Nasa are said to be investigating the possibilities of a moon mission.

Good week

Steve Davis, the snooker player, will stand in for Jarvis Cocker as DJ on BBC6 Music while the singer is on tour with Blur this summer after Cocker named him in his "dream list" of presenters...

Barney Gibson becomes the youngest-ever first-class cricketer after he turned out for Yorkshire aged 15 years 27 days, beating Charles Young (15 years and 131 days) in 1867...

Baerke van der Meij "signs" a contract at Dutch football club VVV Venlo aged 18 months after his father Jorg posted film of his skills on YouTube.

Bad week

Steve Wakefield, whose wedding has had to be postponed so that his fiancée Suzanne Dono, an avid Stoke City fan, can watch the Potters playing in the FA Cup final on 14 May...

Josh Walker of Watford FC was stopped by police because the tinted windows on his car were too dark, letting in six per cent of light, not the statutory 70 per cent...

Darron Gibson of Manchester United had to close down his Twitter account after 97 minutes because of a torrent of abuse from United supporters.

Bumper season for dodging lawmakers

Red faces to go with the redcoats after Butlins holiday camps in Bognor Regis, Minehead and Skegness announced that they have banned bumper cars from bumping into each other. Drivers will henceforth have to avoid collisions while proceeding in an orderly fashion in the same direction, like some kind of endless roundabout.

This latest mental health and safety drive comes hot on the heels (not too close!) of a survey of 653 schools by the Association of Teachers and Lecturers which claims that conkers have been banned from 14 per cent of playgrounds because they could injure a child or trigger nut allergies – even though they aren't nuts – while leap-frog has been outlawed in nine per cent of schools and British bulldog in 29 per cent.

A sport that's just for adults is knob-throwing, which holds its annual event in Cattistock, Dorset, today, along with a Guess the Weight of the Big Knob contest. Don't worry, a knob is a hard biscuit. But they're all crackers.

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