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Scooter Cannonball riders going from Maine to California

Published: Jul. 12, 2021 at 5:30 PM EDT
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BAR HARBOR, Maine (WABI) - The Scooter Cannonball is a bi-annual event in which participants ride scooters from one side of the country to the other.

The starting line for this year’s Cannonball was in Bar Harbor, where nearly 90 people headed out on their scooters Monday morning to make the 10-day, 4,500-mile trek to Eureka, California.

Maine to California in 10 days is a lot of miles in a short period of time on a machine that wasn’t built for long-haul comfort...

“Custom seat on my scooter. That’ll hopefully take care of the sore bum issue,” said Cletha Vaillancourt, Tupelo, Mississippi.

...or speed.

“Sixty-five on a good day, downhill with a tailwind,” Vaillancourt said,

“It’s persistency. You gotta just keep on going. It’s not about how fast you go, it’s about keep on moving,” Binh Cheung, 2014 Scooter Cannonball winner.

The folks taking part in this year’s Cannonball Run say to be on something like a scooter for that amount of time and distance, you have to be a little more than just an enthusiast.

“You have to be a little bit insane to do this. You gotta be a little bit crazy to get out there and try it,” said Tim Jackson, Atlanta.

“I got an email saying, ‘Hey, here’s a stupid idea,’ and everybody said, ‘Yeah, that’s a stupid idea.’ Except, it sounded like interesting and stupid to me, so it’s a little nuts, but it also looks like an immense amount of fun and a real once-in-a-lifetimer,” said Lewis Weigle, Cleveland, Ohio.

Technically an endurance race, this event is really about community and the shared experience of taking on an enormous challenge while also seeing the country in a unique way.

“That’s kind of the beauty and joy for me is those small roads and what you’ll see that you wouldn’t if you were going down the slab,” Vaillancourt said.

“What I really wanted was to meet a lot of great people and make some lifelong friends, and these guys are amazing. The scooter culture is very close knit,” Jackson said.

For many of the riders, their approach to Cannonball 2021 isn’t any different than their approach to everyday life.

“I’m gonna ride until I can’t anymore. Just gonna get out there and let it go,” Jackson said.

The first leg of the Scooter Cannonball finishes up in Manchester, Vermont, about 377 miles from Bar Harbor.

For more information about Scooter Cannonball 2021, visit follow.scootercannonball.com.

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