A Patriot’s Exhibition Advancing Community and Environmentalism, on a Scooter

In August 2008, the largest Peace sign in history was created. Alix Bryan drove 22,000 miles on a 125cc scooter, her route “tracing” a Peace sign onto the U.S. map. The ride, which started and ended at the White House, took six months to complete and went through over 30 states.

“We must know what the word means before we can acquire it,” Bryan says, “and lasting Peace must always come first from the individual.”

Proving that women can safely travel alone and that little scooters can do big things, a Patriot’s Exhibition Advancing Community and Environmentalism (P.E.A.C.E.) on a Scooter is focused on promoting peace and examining what barriers keep us from it. To illustrate the importance of community, Bryan volunteered with organizations around the country;  serving meals, loading disaster relief supplies and assisting at a recycling center.

In March 2009, U.S. Representative Dennis Kucinich personally acknowledged Bryan for her, “outstanding efforts to bring a message of Peace to our nation.”

You can find press and interviews about P.E.A.C.E SCOOTER by following these links:
KOMO News, Seattle, WA
WKYC, Cleveland, OH

In 2007 I purchased my first scooter, a 49cc Honda Metropolitan. This was logical progression for me, a two-wheel advocate, who had been cycling to get everywhere since 1998. My friend had just bought one, I took it around the neighborhood and decided a scooter was going to save me time without compromising my environmental transportation credo.  One spring day in late May 2007, after what was my longest scooter ride yet, 30 miles, I decided I would take my scooter around the country to promote Peace.

The week before, at an art exhibit, I had seen a John Lennon quote that really affected me. “If a billion people were thinking about Peace, there would be Peace in our world.” I realized that defining Peace was not easy, but very important.
People will say, “Oh, Peace is impossible.”
But before one can draw that conclusion, they must know what it IS to know we can’t have it. Sadly, many people who diss on Peace have no idea what it really is. But then again, how many of us really DO?

So I decided that Peace really needed to be put on the U.S. map. Literally. I announced this idea to my friends and yes, they thought it was just a joke. Within two days I had purchased an atlas and began to piece together the route. The next question was to do this on a 49cc or acquire funding for a bigger scooter?

My research led me to the Genuine Scooter Company.

I decided that the amount of miles in the creation of this Peace sign would require a bigger scooter. Possessing little mechanical knowledge led me to a scooter that had won performance reviews and had a 24-hour roadside assistance package, two-year warranty. I began “training” by riding my Honda 120 miles roundtrip, to Scoot Richmond. I checked out the Buddy125 and knew that was my steed of choice. A letter was penned to the company and within 12 hours of sending it, I had confirmation of Genuine’s assistance. It was a good letter, I guess. (genuine.rtf )

I knew the trip was going to happen, I just did not know how. I had no gear, no money, no dogsitter, no camera-just some bizarre idea-that I believed in with all my might. Thankfully, my friends chipped in with their various talents and within two weeks the buzz began generating. Once this website went up, there was no looking back. Within 40 days of the plan’s conception, I was suddenly packed up and on the road!

There I was, suddenly on an open road with 22,000 miles ahead. My mom was panicking; I had no experience long distance scootering and still no funding. Just a plan to ask hundreds of Americans how they define Peace and how they would teach it to their children. Not the most popular time to do this, it seems, while in the middle of a war. To me, however, it continues to be the most necessary time to do this. The idea, “Point Two fingers, not one,” popped into my head.

Instead of focusing on differences (for us or against us) I decided to focus on how we can make a difference. My focus is personal peace–I’m not asking what you think about the war or the next Presidential candidate. You can, of course, leave comments about that stuff. P.E.A.C.E Scooter is just a genuine act of showing love for what we have here in America, despite all the goofs, while asking you what you think this one word, Peace, actually means.

Truly wanting to do my part in improving the world, P.E.A.C.E Scooter is also a fundraiser. What started as a little plan not even one year ago has changed my life. P.E.A.C.E Scooter is many things: an art project, a demonstration, an endurance test, a documentary hopefully, a fundraiser.  Simply, it is a way to promote peace with every mile.
Thanks for reading, Alix

14 Replies to “About”

  1. Alix, Welcome home from a mission that was actually accomplished and for all the right reasons.

    My definition of peace? hmmmm… Y’know I was a Sociology major and I struggled with this one for a long time. How does any country of good conscience allow violence and repression to exist in another country without using force to repress the violence and get citizen representatives of each gender, race, and creed talking about how to resolve their differences and let every citizen feel they were giving the best of themselves for the betterment of their communities and their culture.

    In the end I came to this definition: peace is acknowledging the sentience of all living things and doing my best to support a climate of welcome and understanding for the place each sentient being holds on our beloved planet. I cannot force my ideas of equality on others, but I can encourage organizations and official representatives to also adopt a spirit of understanding and non-violent resolutions. I practice this idea with my sons and with all I encounter. I like to think/hope that peace is contagious. 🙂

  2. Alix, Hey I forgot to ask you when you were here if you could post a link to our store on your blog and site??? I’d really appreciate it. Hope all is well with you! Site is Vespaportland.com

    Best Regards,
    Justin (Vespa Portland)

  3. Hi Alix
    hope you are having a good trip! I really admire what you are doing, this quick note to let you know we were surprised to see the top case on such a nice cause..peace.
    Please let me know when you are in Miami, come visit us at Shad offices. Anything you may need for your case let me know.
    Angie Maya
    Shad Motorcases
    Miami, FL

  4. Thats not actually the quote from John Lennon… its close but its actually “if everyone demanded peace instead of a new television set there’d be peace”

  5. hey peace is where you find it. be it in your heart or the hearts of others who talk to you and give you hope. we cannot ever have peace till we accept ourselves as who we are and share that with others. we are peace. we are a piece of what we were put here for… now share it and go with peace. normajean

  6. Julie, I saw that quote in a certain context, as the Instant Karma art exhibit. I’ve searched for it too and can’t find it. I know P.E.A.C.E SCOOTER was inspired by what I read at that art exhibit.

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