Posted by: dalefaio | December 25, 2011

The Number Three

Hat tricks are fun.   Score three goals in a hockey game and every over served guy with enough arm will chuck his ball cap, tea cozy, Yarmulke, cowboy hat, etc. over the boards in your direction.

Baseball games are divisible by three.   Three strikes, three outs, nine men in the batting order, nine innings, three bases, three outfielders.  Baseball loves the three.

“The third time’s the charm.”

There’s this sort of loosely followed practice of bands placing what they view as their most prominent song as the third track of an album (“Alive” on “Ten,” “With or Without You,” “Come As You Are”…. don’t look at me like that, it’s a way better song than “Teen Spirit”)

The third scoop or ice cream or a third patty of beef is when the fun really begins.

But, let’s just stop there and think about the motorized vehicle for a second.   What is the real benefit of three wheels?  Did the original manufacturer of three wheelers want to make their product more affordable for prospective buyers so they lopped the cost of materials by ditching the fourth wheel as well as an axle to fasten it to its partner wheel?  Yeah, that makes perfect sense.  Leave a little more cash in the buyer’s pocketbook so that they’ll have a something in reserve for things like, oh I don’t know, crash helmets and hospital bills after the thing rolls over.

Oh wait, there’s more to the sales pitch?  The smaller, lighter vehicle necessitated by less wheel base to support it will also allow for a smaller engine which will lead to lower costs at the pump and a slower moving auto.  Perfect, so when you hit a little baby pot hole taking a corner, you’ll gently roll out of the slow moving tripod and won’t hit the deck with enough force to knock you out cold thus allowing you to stay fully conscious and feel every tiny fragment of asphalt, sand, gravel, and dignity being ground into your hands, knees, and face, and sucked out of your soul.

I loved my trike when I was a kid but I loved my Big Wheel even more.  Why?  Because there was a BIG WHEEL and my five year old butt was about three inches off the ground.  There was no way that I was ever going to tip over unless I drove off of the side of the Grand Canyon, and so, I wasn’t scared.  I swear I could get that Big Wheel up to 40 MPH (adjusted for a five  year old that works out to be about 9 MPH), and yet I was never scared.  The little tuk tuk that I’m about to joy ride across the southern reaches of the sub continent is going to get up to 30 MPH, possibly even 35 MPH, and yeah I’m a little scared…. terrified.

But if we make it through, I’m already eye balling my next adventure.  I’m going to just keep eliminating wheels one adventure at a time.  Maybe Team Tuk and Roll will sign up to Segway across Siberia.  Or, Unicycle Uganda.

My comments here are mostly in jest, of course.  I am very excited to participate in this quirky little road rally in funny little three wheelers across a landscape that I have never seen before and very likely will never see again.  The task of getting from point A to point B will bring challenges in the form of equipment failure, navigation issues, and of course nerve wracking traffic but we’ll get through it.  We’ll get through all of the difficult parts, and we’ll excessively celebrate all of the highlights as a team.  The team to me is the best part of this adventure.  Seeing India for the first time will be a fascinating experience.  Taking it all in with Bose, Jeremy, and Udayan makes this whole thing a slam dunk of a “must-do” trip.

Team Tuk and Roll hits the road in six days.

Merry Christmas!




  1. Woo hoo! Go Dave Go!

  2. This is going to be amazing; thanks for letting us experience it vicariously!

  3. So excited for all of you. Have a ball but be safe.

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