For most of us, our scooter is a daily mode of transport. It’s the workhorse of the transportation world and as such is ridiculed by many other motorcycle riders as not being a “real” bike. As someone who’s ridden everything from Triumphs to Harleys to Vespas, I of course would disagree.
But, that’s not to deny that they are made for a particular environment. It’s why I myself chose the Kymco Agility 125. It’s a durable, reliable if not boring looking scooter. It does the job of commuter better than nearly anything on the road for it’s price and it doesn’t look like a Chinese POS (which is very important in the scooter world ). And it does the daily chores expected of such a scooter with ease (such as the weekly bottled water runs seen below)
Or even grabbing a pizza:
But, when you talk about cross country trips, THEN people really start looking at you like you’re nuts, and perhaps you may be just a little. But, that’s half of the joy: Taking something designed for one purpose on an adventure doing something completely out of the ordinary. When we think about Amerivespa, it means taking our daily riders and subjecting them to several THOUSAND miles of asphalt, gravel, dirt roads and NO roads in two different countries. That means that both the bikes and the riders are going to have to prepare for things they never had to do before (for most).
In the following entries, I’ll highlight my experiences with cross country riding, and how it’s going to be far different on a scooter. I may do it with this Agility I have. And why not? It’s known for being bulletproof reliable, simple to work on and made to be abused. I also may do it on a Stella or a vintage P-series that has the same reputation from 30 years ago. Either way, the choice of bikes is critical. Also, there is the physical training of taking your body and wrestling a single cylinder small bike across Northern Mexico and the Southwest US. It will be anything but easy, and probably more physically grueling on the rider than doing it on a fancy BMW or Kawasaki Adventure bike with 1200cc’s of power and custom made off road suspension. Then of course there is the financial and mental preparation. Any motorcycle adventure succeeds or fails on proper planning when it comes to logistics and financing. Do we need carnes? What about Passports? What is the exchange rate? What if we break down and needs parts? What if we need a tow? HOW do we tow it home if needed? All of these are critical.
So, stay tuned and you will see how we as city commuters start to attack the daunting task this next summer. I think the difference in perspectives will shed some light on an awesome subgroup of riders most motorcyclist overlook… even when they are your own kind!
So, you’ve contemplated riding to Amerivespa this year and found it too pedestrian. You’ve thought “Alaska? Eh, there’s still asphalt”. Even the cartels and unstable political forces in Mexico don’t pique that sense of adventure when you’re looking for a *true* long distance haul. What’s an adventurous scooterist to do?
Yep. There is a company currently still going full tilt into offering scooter tours in the form of a trans-Egypt challenge. Nevermind the factors such as a brand new government where even it’s own people aren’t sure who is effectively in charge and a flashpoint for Christian, Muslim and other indigenous peoples and faiths. This is one of the oldest nation-states on Earth, and while they may not of had the best of press in the past year, the sense of wonder and adventure are REALLY tempting!
The tour is set for October 12-20 2012, and details can be found at http://www.crossegyptchallenge.com/. The details (as copied from the website):
Cross Egypt Challenge is not a commercial event, therefore the following rates / fees cover part of the actual cost of participating in such a unique event while we look to cover the additional cost through our loyal sponsors.
Registration fees for the 2012 season of Cross Egypt Challenge are: LE 9,600 or USD 1,600 (the fees are subject to 10 to 20% deduction in the case enough sponsors come on board)
All fees are to be paid at the time we confirm your participation spot f the Cross Egypt Challenge 2012 season. All banking details will be forwarded to you at the time of notification.
THESE FEES INCLUDE:
– Securing a scooter for the participant during the challenge
– Securing a brand new helmet for the participant’s use during the challenge
– Securing a brand new gloves for the participant’s use during the challenge
– 2 branded polo shirts + 4 branded long sleeve t-shirts for each participant to wear during the challenge
– Refueling during the entire challenge
– Oil changes during the challenge
– Scooter maintenance during the challenge
– Road tolls (where applicable)
– Cost of army/military and special permits for the entire route
– Accommodation for 7 nights in hotels
– Camping in the desert for 1 night (with all camp gear provided)
– Desert camping activities
– All meals during the challenge including welcome and farewell dinners.
– Return flight from Luxor to Cairo
THESE FEES DO NOT INCLUDE:
– Flights from/to Egypt (for international participants)
– Visa charges
– Extra accommodation prior or after the above schedule
– Extra food and beverage beyond 3 meals a day
– Any personal extras or any expense not mentioned above
If I had any spare cash and didn’t have a driving push to finish my two degrees, I would be TOTALLY down for this! Mrs. Trotsky (would that make her Ms. Frida Kahlo technically? Eh, only the art geeks got that one…) thinks of course I am insane.
I’ve grown accustomed to such things.
I won’t clutter this crap up with useless drivel, so I will let this video kick it off. The man’s name is Peter Waterman. His achivement? Taking a Genuine Scooter Company Rattler 110 scooter 16,000 miles through Canada and the US to the Artic Circle. This is simply a time lapse of the entire trip, but on his vimeo channel you can see the entire event unfold before your eyes in episodic glory.
Behold! Proof that scooter riders really have no sense of self-preservation and an extra gland that exudes more awesome than most humans will ever handle (It’s behind the lymph nodes I think…)
16k Miles on a Scooter! from Peter Waterman on Vimeo.