RICKSHAW RACES are insane rallies across India using motorized tuk-tuks or rickshaws. Proceeds from the race go to local charities. As filmmaker Mike Dewey recounts, “It would be easy to look at this as just ‘Philly White Kids On A Rickshaw Race Through India.'” But as his team included his brother-in-law, who had never been outside the US, the trip took on a much bigger story.
“I tried to show his thought process through the journey,” Dewey explained. “The first couple days he was kind of quiet and out of his comfort zone. But by the third and fourth days he was completely opened up to the idea of traveling. He told me in the hotel room on the fourth night, ‘Holy shit dude, I totally get why you travel. I had no interest in doing this before, but this one week trip has literally opened my eyes. I’ve had more firsts this week than I’ve had in the last 10 years.'”
While the event pulls people in through the spectacle and excitement of the race, the idea is that it’s not really about racing. Dewey recounts, “They told us on the first day, ‘You guys are doing this on rickshaws, and we pick those because they break down a lot. This is an opportunity for you guys to explore a country in a new way. You’ll inevitably break down, potentially 10-15 times a day. You’re gonna get lost, and you’ll have the chance to connect with people in a much different way than if you’d flown into Delhi and gone straight to the Taj Mahal.'”
In this episode 4, the team finally gets into the flow of Indian roads. In an emotional moment, they also stop by a local school where they meet with some of the kids who will benefit from race proceeds.
The team concludes the race with “nothing but admiration for the Indian people and the countless times they stopped whatever it was they were doing to help us.”