“What are you going to do?” she asked in disbelief.
“I’m going to ride my stand up electric scooter 21,000 miles from Colorado north to Alaska and then all the way south down to Antarctica.
Her eyebrows raised. “Why are you going to do this?”
“Because ever since COVID hit…
[ see post: “Hello (new) World ” ]
“How are you planning to accomplish this… adventure?” she continued. A faint smile framed her question.
“I’m glad you asked. If you’ve got a few minutes, ” I teased, “I’ll tell you exactly what I plan to do and exactly how I plan to do it.”
Her eyes and smile widened…
” I’ve done several long-distance bicycle tours — a 1,200 mile trip in 1991; a 1,400 mile trip in 2001; and a 3,500 mile trip in 2011/12 — so my first thoughts were that I would do the electric scooter trip just like I did the bicycle tours. But I soon realized that this thinking wasn’t going to work.
One thing that I began to think seriously about was the fact that as of April 2022, no one on the planet had ever ridden a single electric scooter for more than 2,000 miles on a point-to-point, day-after-day journey: much less a 520-day, 21,000 mile Expedition traversing TWO continents in TWO hemispheres.
To my knowledge, the idea has never even occurred to anyone else before, much less been attempted, so I’ve had to imagine the challenges, problems and solutions myself. Not a few sleepless nights have turned to dawn with my brain still reeling with ideas. This trip was definitely NOT going to be just another bicycle tour.
Perhaps it can’t be done, but since I don’t know that for sure I think I’ll take sides with William Pitt as he tells his friend, William Wilberforce, in the movie, Amazing Grace, “… we are too young to know that certain things are impossible so we will do them anyway!”
I’m 62. I figure that’s young enough to do something else that’s impossible. Who knows, just making the attempt might be enough to encourage someone else to reach a little higher, dream a little bigger, or just give something that seems overwhelming one more shot. I enjoy encouraging people, especially when it seems to make a positive difference. It also hurts a lot when the effort appears fruitless. Sometimes I have to give up, but not often.
One reason why I’m looking forward to this seemingly impossible journey is because I expect, as was the case on my bicycle trips, that I will encounter quite a few people who will encourage me AND who I will be able to encourage as well. It’s a wonderful and “completing” experience when the encouraging is mutual. I’ve been around the block a few times and I’ve paid attention. Everyone on the planet knows and deeply appreciates genuine encouragement. I’m so thankful that this is the case.
But I digress… Back to your question: how do I plan to accomplish this first-ever feat.
I’ve modified a Kaabo Wolf King GT electric scooter in such a way that I think it will go the ultra-distance with normal maintenance. I’m also hoping that my experiences will help all personal electric vehicle manufacturers to take their products more seriously and design, build, and support their products with greater care. If this happens, it will be a fantastic benefit for EVERYONE.
I’ve stockpiled some common spare parts (tires, brakes, minor electrical parts, common nuts and bolts, etc.) and I’ve assembled an essential tool kit to deal with common repairs. As with a car or full-size electric vehicle, major repairs will require specialized equipment and facilities. I’ll have to deal with such events as they arise in whatever circumstances they occur. As I’ve told numerous people over the years especially during my previous bike tours, “I don’t make the weather. I just deal with it. ” (Isn’t it amazing how much time and energy people put into worrying about things they can’t change just because it may cause them a bit of discomfort? It’s a small life whose chief aim is primarily to avoid pain.)
I’ve also modified a single-wheel, Burley COHO off-road bicycle trailer to tow behind the scooter. The trailer, with suspension, Ortlieb panniers, a 3″-wide motorcycle-grade tire and various attachments weighs just under 30 pounds. It will carry 70 pounds of gear including: two, 100 watt Xtar solar panels with cables, two, 20 amp MPPT solar controllers, one universal voltage 2-10 amp charger with an EV Charging Station adapter, a gourmet cook kit (I love to share good food with friends and family!), a modified Amok Dramr 5.0 Hammock sleep/shelter system, a bear-proof canister with 2-3 days of food and hygiene products, a tool kit, first-aid kit, rain covers for the scooter and trailer, Eastman MAX carbon fiber utility poles, Barricade ground cloth, treking poles, video equipment, camp stove fuel, a First Alert fire extinguisher, and a few other odds and ends.
The Scooter also has a customized rear luggage rack and two front packs, plus two 24-ounce stainless steel vacuum bottles for beverage storage mounted low on the front forks using Topeak water bottle cages. These three packs carry a total of 15 pounds of gear and supplies bringing the total scooter weight to 148 pounds. The trailer’s “tongue weight” adds 23 pounds more.
I’ll also be wearing a 2 pound Osprey backpack loaded with 18 to 28 pounds of clothes, miscellaneous supplies. and various consumables (snacks, water, etc.). Maximum total weight on the scooter at the start of the Expedition is a 220 pound rider + 30 pound backpack + 15 pound packs + 4 pounds front beverage bottles + 23 pound tongue weight = 292 pounds. (The scooter is design-rated to carry 330 pounds, but nothing is stated regarding towing capability or capacity.)
So, how do I plan to successfully accomplish this potentially impossible adventure? The answer is obvious: EVERY day I must do EVERYTHING in the very BEST way possible, because ONLY the VERY BEST WAY is the most economical way, the quickest way, and the absolute easiest way to accomplish ANYTHING.
And I know myself.
If I couldn’t hope to successfully accomplish this unknown, extreme and unpredictable challenge in the shortest time and least expensive manner possible, and in the easiest way imaginable, then I wouldn’t even bother thinking about it in the first place.
That said, allow me to ask how YOU intend to successfully face YOUR tomorrow? “
She smiled again, and chuckled.
If you would like to add a bit of unpredictable, impossible adventure to your life, consider coming along with us (eventually) on YouTube and Patreon.
Thank you for your interest.
Hopefully, your participation will prove encouraging and obviously beneficial to everyone’s future!
You are always so inspiring!
Thank you, Sal. Best wishes for your new adventure!