Tracey wanted to post this one, I’m intervening. Hey! I’m the performance guy, I’m the car guy, I’m the driver guy, I’m the guy who’s day job is cars – the fast ones no less…….
What the heck happened here? One minute Joe Figel and I are talking about the Mongolian rally and I’m showing him the website. Oops, clicked the Rickshaw Run button instead – Hey that looks kinda’ groovy. Call Tracey: “Hey – Wanna go back to India and drive a tuk-tuk (the slang term) across India?”. “Sure!” 48 hours later and we’re paid up and going.
Hmmm, maybe better look into things a bit further. 7 Horsepower! What? My car has 500! What about top speed? 40 km/hr! What? My car can do 300! 149cc of screaming and barking engine? My blender has a bigger motor………There’s that “What were you thinking?” moment again.
So I guess we can scratch off the “I’m the performance guy, I’m the car guy, I’m the driver guy” It looks like it may be “I’m the guy on the side of the road shaking my head” instead.
The first time a kid passes us on a bicycle, I’m going to poke a stick into the spokes.
I guess I’ll let Tracey speak now, I’ll rant again later.
When the Rickshaw Run kicks off on April 6, we’ll once again be heading off on three wheels to explore our world – the very same three wheels pictured above. That’s right, this time our trusty Ural sidecar rig is remaining at home and our transport is of a different sort – an auto rickshaw.
These vehicles are totally different from anything else we have driven. Although the auto rickshaw is known for being difficult to steer and unsteady to drive, these are trials we’re accustomed to with our Ural. Both vehicles are also notoriously unreliable. Although we’ve never actually had any mechanical problems with our trusty Ural after taking it across 20 countries, this isn’t likely to be the case with the auto rickshaw. Daily breakdowns are expected. And the cushy padding and loads of legroom that we so desperately need? They won’t be found in this little three-seat contraption.
Built to tackle short jaunts at slow speeds, an auto rickshaw is not-at-all suited to driving the 3,000+ km we’re expecting to cover and certainly not-at-all suited to the speed that will be required for us to cover that distance in under two weeks. These vehicles are also designed for city driving and were never meant to see the diverse and difficult terrain that we’ll face as we cross desert, jungle and mountains.
We are set for a grueling and uncomfortable journey across the Indian subcontinent. But the sights, sounds and smells of the open air are certain to be worth it. The lure of the open road is calling and we’re up for a challenge.
A huge thanks to Mark Cromwell at Color Club Design for the fabulous artwork on our auto rickshaw. You’ve made it look almost as frightened as I am!