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Scoots across America

Most riders will never take a cross-country trip on their own. So instead we get to vicariously live it through others' documentation.

In 1913, Carl Stearns Clancy made the journey as part of the first around-the-world ride on a motorcycle. The book, Motorcycle Adventurer, doesn’t have much content about the U.S. part of the trek. In 1919, C.K. Sheppard left the military, bought a Henderson, and spent several months making the trip. The book, Across America by Motorcycle, documents the trek well.

Most riders also think scooters are whimpy little machines designed to run short errands, be used as a pit bike to play on in a beach town. And that… could not be further from the truth. But you should understand that some scooter owners are more daring than say, the motorcyclist who has yet to cross the country on a motorcycle. Back in 2000 when a Honda Helix owner entered the Iron Butt Rally and rode 10,000 miles in 10 days, people though he’d never finish. He did.

So, when the route for the 2016 Cannonball Run was announced, a group of Seattle area scooter enthusiasts thought it might be awesome to run the entire 3,700 mile route on scooters over the 11 day time allotment. With some precision planning, members of the Soldiers of Destiny scooter club and a small film and support crew left the Pacific Northwest and headed to Florida for the adventure.

First hour, first day – breakdown. You can imagine where this is going.

Hats off to director/cameraman Jesse Morrow who captures multiple facets of the trip including a wide array of scenery from coast to coast, overnight shenanigans, on-board riding scenes over places like the Tail of the Dragon, and much more. It’s hard to believe he was able to capture so much in so little time.

Beyond just the riding, Morrow captures the ‘daily challenges’ which provided special haircuts for the losers, a boxing match, roadside repairs, getting lost, and the final scene where the club members arrive to touch the Pacific Coast in Mukilteo. Morrow does a nice job capturing and building up the camaraderie that can only be found in a goofy little scooter club where ego is low and good times are high priority.

The film won several awards when it was shown at various film festivals including SIFF and the PDX Film Fest. Now, the wait is over for the masses and you can watch it on Amazon Prime. Recommended.

SR!/August 2020

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