On the Road With P.E.A.C.E. Scooter

Hi! I’m Shaun… from Tucson! I met Alix a few days ago and decided to join her for a portion of the P.E.A.C.E. Scooter ride around the country. I started in Tucson, and I’ll be riding to San Francisco with Alix. I will then do the trip home, along a different route, alone.

Along the way, I’m going to try to blog regularly about my thoughts and experiences. I guess I should start by saying I’m new – very new – to scooting. Prior to joining this ride, I’d logged roughly 600 miles on my very first scooter, a Buddy International, St. Tropez. 4 days into the trip, I find myself in San Diego, with about 1,300 miles on the odometer.

So what is a brand new rider doing out on the open road, riding a 150cc scooter on a large leg of a cross country trip? Is this a healthy idea? Well, yes and no, I believe.

Strictly from a riding perspective, a trip such as this one would definately NOT be something I’d suggest or recommend to a rider of my experience level. I knew going in that I was submitting myself to a baptism by fire, taking varied and non-trivial risks by placing myself into situations that were beyond my skill level. A disclaimer is definately warranted: DON’T try this at home! 🙂

That said, I’ve always been someone who likes to push the edge of the envelope. So, being cognizant of the considerable risks that a new scooterist would be exposed to on a trip like this, and weighing those risks against the reasons why I wanted to be here, I elected to accept them.

Back to my original question though, why exactly am I here? In a word, I’m here to learn.

Clearly I will become a much better scooterist during this process. I already have in many ways, but I still have a long way to go. More importantly though, I hope to arrive back home with a pleathera of knowledge and perspective on a topic that I’ve not been exposed to very much;the peace movement. I also hope to meet many fellow Americans on this journey, gathering perspective on what it means, and what it IS, in a broad sense, to be an American citizen in 2008, through the eyes of others.

Education is of such fundamental importance. I don’t think we should ever allow ourselves to cease learning and become apathetic. When we stop learning, we stop living.

I hope that the people I meet on this journey will learn a few things from me as well. One thing which is exemplified by this trip is that transportation really can be sustainable. I really think the best way to teach is by example, and I hope that by seeing scooters on the open road, people will come to see them as less of a toy or RV, and more of a sustainable, affordable method of transit.
So that’s a bit about me and what I’m doing out here on the road with Alix. I hope you enjoy my posts, and I’ll try to write a few more along the journey. Please feel free to leave me comments. I love to read them, and I’ll probably be pretty active with you in the comments section of my articles!

5 Replies to “On the Road With P.E.A.C.E. Scooter”

  1. Alix & Shaun,

    It was great meeting both of you last night. I have the highest respect for what you are doing.

    Many of us dreamed of doing such brave things when we were younger only to be sidetracked by things which society said we should be doing. I’m living vicariously through your long journey, Alex, and envying you. Also, thanks for showing Marco the nuances of the scooter.

    Shaun-way cool you’ll get to be portion of it. It was good to share a refreshment with you and hear about your life.

    George

  2. Shaun, the main thing to remember on the open road is, watch your mirrors. Don’t fixate, just be aware of what’s behind you, and be looking for a place to pull off the road quickly if you have to. I had to cross the Cascades when I went to Tri-Cities last year, and to my surprise the easiest part of the trip was crossing Chinook Pass (5030 feet); I thought that would be the hard part…

  3. Hi George,

    It was great meeting you as well! Hope you’ll keep in touch!

    Heya Orin,

    Thanks for the tip! I indeed make it a habit to keep my eyes bouncing between the road ahead and the mirrors constantly. I don’t like to be surprised when someone passes etc.

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