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Rickshaw rally in India

August 18, 2007

Those who are not from India seem to have a fascination for India’s rickshaws. Why else would Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie have risked being mobbed when they took a ride in a rick during their visit to India last year? And why else would 72 participants (some reports say 32) from across the world (none from India) come here to participate in a rickshaw rally?

The route was almost 2000 kms long and meant to test the “drivers’ endurance, stamina and patience…as they went through flooded roads, muddy pathways and mountainous terrains…”

We may not enjoy muddy rides as it is a part and parcel of our lives…but the foreigners seemed to have enjoyed every minute of it, going by the looks on their faces as they reached Mumbai (saw it on TV). Inspite of a mishap. Two British women were injured in an accident, but they were not critically injured. The rally ends today.

The rick as the locals refer to it in Mumbai (Delhites call it Auto and its full form is the auto rickshaw) has a kerb weight of 272 kg and its maximum net power is 7.00 HP @ 5000 rpm. It has a single cylinder engine and the unique thing is that the rick is kick-started!
It seats about 3 passengers and acts like a mini-cab and a school bus as well as a transport vehicle for goods. Being cheaper than a cab it becomes the common man’s transport when buses play truant. It is a boon for students and well…generally for everyone. Here are a couple of pictures I took:

A rickshaw stand outside R Mall, in Mumbai:

 

A six-seater (more I think!) rickshaw ferrying passengers on the outskirts of Pune:

 

Rickshaw drivers are notorious for their bad driving and the bane of motorists! In this instance we were gheraoed! (which means surrounded)

 

(The first pic of Pitt & Jolie and the second pic of the rally drivers are from cbsnews and classicrallies respectively. The other three pics are by me)

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10 Comments leave one →
  1. August 18, 2007 8:53 am

    Ha, trust the firangs to fall in love with the unlovables! :-)
    In Bangkok, these tuk-tuks are ubiquitous, and useful, too. Though they are not as flagrant, they are potentially malignant!
    BTW, check out Krish Ashok’s take on Madras autos in his unique style!

  2. August 18, 2007 9:28 am

    There’s more here

    PS: The noun Rick gets converted to a verb : To rick it out.

  3. August 18, 2007 11:00 am

    Thanks for that link! More rickshaw runs for those die-hard enthusiasts!

  4. August 18, 2007 8:24 pm

    lols

    chennai is also known for autos..

    yes we call it autos here and unlike in Mumbai,they are allowed access into all areas,no restriction…

    and the one which seats 6 or so(usually upto 10) is called share auto….where autos take 30 Rs they take about 7…

    i prefer the auto,come back home most of the days…

  5. August 18, 2007 9:42 pm

    Nita, I must admit I am one of those who is not Indian and has fascination for rikshas ;)
    Recently we have also some rikshas in the City of Vienna! – only in a warm time, mostly for tourists. And quite expencive, otherwise I would use it every day rahter than traditional public transport.

  6. August 19, 2007 8:30 am

    Thanks to all who commented here.
    Axinia, richshaws in the city of vienna!! They are something exotic there I guess…thats why they are expensive. I wonder where they are made though…

  7. August 19, 2007 12:20 pm

    The auto rickshaw should rate as one of the top five most evil inventions ever! :-)

    With its near-zero turning radius it is an absolute menace! It is one of the most devious things ever invented.

    I’m sure most of you will find my comments shocking and unpleasant. Just come and live for a few years in Pune and you’ll start agreeing with me! :-)

  8. August 19, 2007 12:30 pm

    Yeah, know exactly what you mean! At times are I call them cockroaches, I get so annoyed. I guess I must be echoing the sentiments of many of our countrymen and women!

  9. August 20, 2007 1:50 pm

    Nita, you can have a look at

    http://www.faxi.at/

    I think it is a very elegant and nice solution :)

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