Monday, July 31, 2006

Indian Autorickshaw Challenge: Three-wheeler Madness!

What vehicle would you choose if you had to race through 1,000km in southern India. Not an autorickshaw certainly…? :-))

They are calling it the Indian Auto Rickshaw Challenge, and it’s going to kick off on the 21st of August, from Chennai. The organizers claim that teams from over 15 countries worldwide are going to take part in this week-long endurance rally, and yes, the autorickshaw riding (driving?) participants will traverse nearly 1,000km through Tamil Nadu, with the event ending in Kanyakumari on the 28th of August.

Being held for the first time in India, the route for this rather unique rally is via Mamallapuram, Pondicherry, Thanjavur, Madurai, Tuticorin, Courtallam and finally Kanyakumari. The longest distance covered on any one single day will be during the third leg – Pondicherry to Thanjavur – which is 177km. The fourth and fifth legs will be 163km and 148km long, which will also test the endurance of both man and machine. Covering such distances in cars or motorcycles may be a cinch, but doing the same in seriously underpowered autorickshaws, with their rubbish ride quality, will be tough! Unpredictable road and weather conditions, unfamiliar food, and heavy traffic in places will add to the challenge, especially for foreign participants.

For those taking part, teams can comprise of a maximum of three people per autorickshaw. And if three-wheelers are not for you, you can also take part on the Enfield 350 or 500 Bullet motorcycle, with our without a sidecar! For more information, go to

If you're not from India, you've probably never seen one of our autorickshaws. So here, go for a ride in one, through the streets of Mumbai...

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