Tuk-tuk rides in India can be chaotic and will get your adrenaline pumping. The drivers of these three-wheeled taxis turn corners at break-neck speeds and will cut across several lanes of busy traffic.
American Ric Gazarian and Canadian Keith King enter a race called The Mumbai Express which is a 12-day race across India. Their mode of transport is a tuk-tuk that is just big enough to fit these two grown men and generates all of seven horsepower. They filmed the experience creating a documentary called Hit The Road: India.
The race starts from Mumbai driving south through Goa then cutting east and finishing in Chennai, covering nearly 2000km.
After spending 5 months living in India one of the many lessons I learned was if something needs to get done it will be twice as hard as it would be in the west. From the start Ric and Keith’s first challenge is to navigate through the chaotic traffic and leave Mumbai without getting lost. Throughout the journey their vehicle is plagued with problems, it burns through petrol quickly and the gear box fails. The weather doesn’t make things any easier. Not only do they have to wait in the monsoon rain for mechanical assistance on several occasions but they also have to drive in these dangerous conditions.
We see glimpses of the ever-changing landscape as they arrive in each new location but I would gladly watch another 15 minutes if it included more scenes showing beauty that encapsulates India. There’s a camera on the inside of the tuk-tuk, one on the outside and another attached to a ‘follow’ vehicle providing additional footage. You feel the bumps as they drive through the crater sized pot holes and you feel the cold as they are soaked to the bone from the lashing rains.
As with most adventure races it’s not about winning or losing, it’s about seeing how far you can push yourself. It’s about surviving unexpected situations. I hope you enjoy watching Ric and Keith’s crazy adventure as much as I did.
A friend of mine completed the Mongol Rally a few years ago, in an Ambulance, which is a race which starts in London and finished in Ulan Bator, Mongolia. So after hearing his tales and watching Hit The Road: India, I wouldn’t rule out something similar for myself in the future.