Reunited and it feels so good

So where has my scooter been for 6 weeks? Did anything happen to it?
Nope. Something happened to my sanity without having it to ride for 6 weeks, but that’s another story. Today I was reunited with Audre.
As a flashback for y’all, my trip started and ended in Washington D.C. and my family and friends were still in VA. That meant I was still 1,000 miles from Maine, where I moved before the trip.

My partner and the kid met me at the finish line and wanted me to ride home with them. Understood. That and I was exhausted. I felt pretty lucky I just covered 22,683 miles without incident. I didn’t want to push my luck–I started imagining a crappy ending to the whole thing. I was told to ship it home and so I did.

That said, today J showed up at the house, heard the situation and got N to loan me his truck. 3 hours later I was in Boston. They loaded the crate into the truck. 3 hours later we were back home and dove into the crate.

MAD PROPS TO SCOOT RICHMOND. They are heroic. They built a crate to withstand a hurricane. They said I would need a crowbar–but really it took a drill. After popping off one side, there she was–Audre.

And she was nestled in so snug, with brilliant reinforcement at every compromising point. Really, the thought that went into the crate was obvious–topped off with two huge spray painted Peace signs.

On top of it, I find a glove compartment organizer decked out with Peace signs, a surprise from Rob Taylor. THANKS ROB!!!

The four of us realized that even if we tossed the crate out of the truckbed–the contents would be fine. But, of course, we just gingerly slid the back end off, and then drove the truck forward for the remaining part to slide off. Easy Peasey.

20 minutes later, after sawing through the reinforcements and releasing the tires–Audre was free.

I checked the oil, poured in some gas. Tried to start her–no diggity.
I checked the fuel valve and it was undone. Put it together, tightened the clamps. Attempted start again, no luck.

For some reason, after loosening the nut above the fuel valve, she started.

And the back tire spun like a caged Kentucky Derby horse pawing the ground. After a 10 minute warm up–the jacket, gloves, and helmet were on and we were off.

It was a chilly, short and BLISSFUL ride home. So good to finally have all my things in one place. It’s the first time I’ve ridden here in Maine, and I’m glad to have a couple weeks of decent weather left to explore.

N was also a hero today, probably because he rides a motorcycle and can empathize with my withdrawals–he helped unload tonight. Did the majority of it actually.

I think he wants me to teach his lady to ride my scooter so she can get one!!!!
Thanks Scoot Richmond. That was an impressive piece of work!
Look forward to those final posts–I’ve had writers block without the scoot!
Finally, all is good again.

Folks, Peace is on the map.

It occurs to me that I should officially post about the victory group ride and BBQ. Two events which can only represent one thing. I’m here in D.C.

2437549657_e575a7f257_m.jpgPeace has been put on the map.

I’m the first to admit that there is a noticeable gap in the blog-from Chicago to D.C.
Well, stay tuned. I’ll tell you all about finally meeting Philip McCaleb and the whole Genuine/Scooterworks crew, as well as the Fourth Gear rally in Detriot, Lake Eerie antics and a visit with an old friend in Pittsburgh.

I left Pittsburgh at 3:30pm on Wendsday, not sure how far I would go until stopping. D.C. was only 270 miles, but I allowed myself plenty of time, figuring if anything went wrong, it would be in this homestretch.

It was a truly surreal ride.

The Allegheny mountains were an unexpected, beautiful sight to behold. Everything was luscious, green and reminded me of home. My GPS is so wacky, and it led me to an interstate, right where the old turnpike converged with Interstate 68. But I went with it and rolled along for 60 miles, up and down steep mountains. I managed to cross into 3 states, Maryland, West Virginia, and then my home, Virginia.
D.C. only 80 miles away, I stopped for the night, driving  an hour into the evening.

VIRGINIA! How beautiful to return home and see the land for the first time. Never in my 34 years have I tooled around those roads! Simply gorgeous! With GOOD ROADS TO BOOT! A dank, earthy night smell, mixed with honeysuckle, filled my senses,

I could barely unpack my bags. It was late afternoon before I could even get out of bed. I’m whupped, but ecstatic.

I’ve done it! What was a dream 14 months ago is now real! We can all rest well knowing that a 22,000 mile Peace sign is on the map. It looks like a four year old scribbled it there, but the stories are wise. I still have so much to tell you!

But, wow, stop and think about it! 22,600 miles later, traveling roads that aren’t fit for a scooter, I’ve done it, carved a huge Peace sign onto the map!

IMG_2595Right now I’m at Union Station. Daphne is coming into town, with Lil C. I had a quiet moment alone at the White House, arriving at 5pm. Just the same as July 15, 2007. At this moment in my life, the White House is only symbol. The fate of our nation depends on the desires in our hearts and the demands we voice. I started here in D.C. as a declaration that our fate depends on us, not just those in charge.

Tomorrow will be a much louder day. At noon, a group will leave from Vespa Arlington, to join me in a victory lap. On Saturday, I will be in my hometown, Richmond. Scoot Richmond is hosting a victory BBQ and celebration.

There is a Mom to deal with, who has crossed her fingers anxiously for the past 195 days. After that, I’m off to Maine. Philip McCaleb was the first person I called today, once I reached the White House. He told me to step away from the scooter and let him ship it home. Sounds good to me, and a lot cheaper than riding the remaining 800 miles home.

On Saturday, I will film the final raffle drawing. That will go up by Sunday. I want to thank everyone for the tremendous support and encouragement which has kept me going. No one has done this before. Not on a 125cc scooter.

I could have gone around the world by now. Truly, while it makes me laugh to think of all the odds I’ve faced and overcome-I’m humbled. Humbled thinking about the people who are a part of this historical event-who’ve simeoultaneusly taught me and opened their minds.

picture-2.pngThe collective conscious is a powerful thing. Just yesterday I found out that a Japanese man is riding his bicycle around the U.S. He started, with a partner, on April 19, 2008. His goal? To write the word PEACE onto the U.S. map. If you understand Japanese, please, tell me what is happening in his blog!

It’s clear. Peace isn’t just back by popular demand, it never left, but it deserves the spotlight now more than ever.

Really, stay tuned. I’ll recap some spectacular events. The blog will be up for a long time. After all, I started the whole trip to find out how Americans define Peace-and I want to host a million definitions here.

Much Love to you

Vespa Arlington, ride leaves around 12pm on 08/08/08

3206 10th St N
Arlington, VA 22201
(703) 243-7700

BBQ and shenanigans, Scoot Richmond, 08/09/08 at 5pm  

217 W 7th St
Richmond, VA 23224
(804) 230-1000

Birthday present

Jennie is cool. She mowed her lawn into a Peace sign, knowing I wouldn’t be able to make it out there to see her. Which is a bummer, but let’s focus on how great that Peace sign is!  Thanks for the Birthday present Jennie!

The peace sign turned 50 years old this year. Happy Birthday to it too!

That makes my day!  Can we get 5 more today? Or am I being greedy? Nah. Maybe 1 a day until 08/08/08.102_09812.JPG

Be the Jones you wish to see in the world


When I was in Austin, Scott and Liz came up to meet me. Scott said he likes to meet people who are following their dreams. He made a dream come true for me-by mowing his lawn into a Peace sign. See how great it looks! Your lawn could look like that-if you want-I’ll even mow it for you! Imagine  starting an awesome trend in your neighborhood!


A peace piece, by D.

I am very humbled and overjoyed by two major events yesterday.
map ping
A gentleman named Heinz, a customer at my coffeeshop, donated a generous sum of money to the gas fund. His donation of $250 covers a large portion of petrol. I placed his name on the Peace map. The Peace map is how I will fundraise money, the majority of it going to 3 chosen organizations. A small part goes to food, gas, lodging for me. The more free food and couches to stay on-the more money raised goes to nonprofits. You get to sponsor a part of the Peace sign, and are free to donate as much or as little as you like.

I also humbly offer you this piece that Daphne submitted to One Million Peace Signs (OMPS). If you haven’t visited them yet, please “run FAST” to see one of my favorite websites. On the 1st of this year, the creator behind OMPS had a flash of brilliance. Why not host a website where people can submit their Peace photos and make it really easy using flickr and facebook?

What is in a name? Well obviously-they are still a long from the goal-but it’s all about the journey-not just the destination! As of Saturday, March 29, 2008 they have 6,447 photos from 2,335 members in 88 days. Right on! When I can, I help blog on their website. It’s the most fun ever, I’m so happy to help out…and look at all those cool photos from around the world. In addition to hosting amazing photos, they moderate discussion, post Peace events and showcase Peace Hero articles. OMPS asked Daphne to write something about me. (blushing here but honored) Honestly, after I read it, I was so happy that my intent does shine out to some people. And it definitely gave me that surge of energy I need whilst making all these preparations. BECAUSE REALLY, THIS IS ABOUT US. Not about me, I was a little bashful ’bout the whole thing. The current Peace hero over there is Eric Burdon from the group, The Animals. This particular statement of his jumped out at me:

….I asked, “Where can Peace be found?
He replied, “In the eyes of a well-nurtured child or animal that’s not under threat, usually from a human. Do you think I know peace? Personally, at the moment I do…but do I live in a peaceful world? I do not. So it’s within.” I followed that question with, “How can a person help Peace manifest in their life?” He said, “Do the right thing, breathe, and do it again.”

If you have some photos to post at OMPS…it’s really easy. Just join the OMPS FLICKR group,

Alix Bryan (a.k.a P.E.A.C.E Scooter, a.k.a Scooter Girl) of Charlottesville, VA is my Peace Hero. Last year, she quit her job, put herself into debt and climbed on her scooter to “put Peace on the map.” What that meant to Alix was an 11,000 mile ride (originally estimated at 9,000 ) over the span of 13 weeks (originally estimated at 8 ) on 1o inch tires, riding 4 inches from the ground to ask people all over the US “How do you define Peace? How do you teach it to your children?”
She was inspired while visiting an art exhibit where she saw a quote by a John Lennon which read, “If a billion people were thinking about peace, there would be peace in our world.” About 40 days later, she hit the road to find the truth in that statement. She set out to make a documentary, and wound up making a bunch of friends and a big difference.

Alix called the ride P.E.A.C.E Scooter (A Patriot’s Exhibition Advancing Community and Environmentalism, on a Scooter) She didn’t take a political message with her, or a predetermined notion of what the “right” answers to her questions were. She did take genuine curiosity, minimal gear, and the least detrimental form of motorized transportation to put both of those to work– at about 55miles an hour and 90miles(!) per gallon.

Her route started on July 15th at the White House and traced the inside of a peace sign on the US map. When it ended on October 13th at the Bush ranch in Crawford Texas, with a warm welcome from the Crawford Peace House (and CNN) Alix said, “but it doesn’t end here.” And she meant it—she ‘s hitting the road again this year to ride 9,000 more miles (count ’em up folks, that’s 20,000 miles in all), put the perimeter on the peace sign, and ask people to join her in defining peace. She says, “Defining Peace is how I believe we can create a wave of awareness in our world…I believe more Peace will occur when people define it, become it, and teach it.”

Alix maintained a blog and a Flickr account during her ride and continues to share her journey at This year she hopes to meet up and work with other peacemakers and mow a lawn into a peace sign in every state! She will also be helping to raise funds for Peace organizations. She says, “This ride is a tribute to those working for Peace and an invitation to everyone to think about Peace with me.” She will continue blogging-this year with video blogs too. Her website recently got a makeover and some neat new features, including an interactive map which lets people sponsor sections of the peace sign. The majority of every dollar raised will be given to peace organizations such as the Peace Alliance.

Yes, but is she a Republican or a Democrat? It doesn’t matter. In fact, I had hundreds of conversations online and on the phone with her between hearing of her trip last June and finally meeting her in August, and even after spending the first day with her, I still didn’t know the answer. She recently said (in the trailer for her documentary) “It doesn’t matter if we have differences in opinion, I want to know how we can make a difference. It is up to us to co-create a better future because if Peace doesn’t matter today, how does tomorrow even matter?”

It isn’t only because of what she believes, or what she writes that Alix is my Peace hero; it is because she is DOING something about it. She is taking to the streets (literally) and deciding not only to speak her Peace, but to live her truth and to make Peace a priority.

And the haiku part of this assignment:

A Peace Hero Named Alix

Because she lives Peace,
Sunrise to sunset, breathes it
She is my hero.

Respectfully submitted by:
Daphne Comeau Lewiston, Maine

Happy Anniversary Peace Sign


While the passing of the war anniversary was not a happy moment, I can share better news with you. The Peace sign is 50 years old this weekend. My initial research showed muddled dates, but that was because it was actually USED for the first time in a Nuclear Disarmament march, that occurred on Easter Weekend in 1958. (a leap year at that)

The march took place across the Atlantic, in Britain. Yes, the Peace sign was birthed a good decade before its famous adoption by Vietnam War protestors. Gerald Holtom, a commercial artist, suggested that the those marching to the atomic weapons research plant in Aldermaston carry signs painted with a neat, tidy and powerful symbol.


Around 5,000 marchers were in attendance for the unveiling of the Peace sign that Easter weekend. An impressive number given the recent anniversary of our 5th year in Iraq and the small turnout for such a precipitous occasion.

Those of you who read this website know that my mission is to discover how individuals and communities define and work towards Peace. The actual significance behind the tidy, little symbol, that anyone can scribble, is pretty complex.


Gerard utilized and compacted the semaphore letters for N(uclear) and D(isarmament). Semaphore is a method of Naval signaling using two flags held in position by the signaler. Of course, its meaning was specific to the marchers cause. I’m sure that still, some protestors were boggled by it, probably picturing a dove or something more universal at the time. It is now engraved in our minds as a Universal Symbol, one that travels across borders and belief systems and serves many civil rights movements.

It did have a deeper meaning to its creator. PhotobucketYears later, Gerard discussed its internal, personal symbolism with Peace News, saying, “I was in despair. Deep despair. I drew myself, the representative of an individual in despair, with hands palm outstretched outwards and downwards in the manner of Goya’s peasant before the firing squad. I formalised the drawing into a line and put a circle round it.” This was a commentary 50 years ago on the power paradigms that people faced-war weary generations newly introduced to the atom bomb.

While we might not have Peace in our world, and the bomb factory in Aldermaston is still open, the symbol itself has tenure. Generation after generation are inspired by it and continue to display it, some with purpose and passion, some purely commercial. My theory is that we must decode its personal meaning, obtain inner peace, before Peace is known globally, forever.

I am very excited that my journey to create a 20,000 mile Peace sign will finish in this year that marks a major anniversary of its creation. While I will be taking some big hills, again through the Rockies, the Peace symbol is far from over the hill…..

It is a infinite brand that belongs to no corporation, although it has been heavily commercialized, and it was meant to be freely used by the people. I ask that you all think beyond the simple scribble, delve deep into your hearts, and leave your definition on the Wall of Beliefs.

National Geographic will soon release a book called Peace: The Biography of A Symbol. I recommend it to everyone.

*Thanks to Crystal Waters and Pete Selkowe because they forwarded some resources to me.*

Martinsville, VA-Route 58

Peace Makers All Over

I made it to Asheville, North Carolina! Along the route 58 I noticed this sign, turned right around and took a picture. Then I waked right up to the door and said, “thank you, ” to the lovely lady who made this sign.

Crunch Time

I have been sorting through a bunch of last minute details-some sneaky ones popped up. One of my sub-leasers backed out after seeing the Doberman next door, who is harmless, old and couldn’t outrun a fast turtle. So, the Craigslist post has gone back up and the house is open once again for interviews. Really, most everything I am doing is a “last-minute” detail since I only decided to do this May 23, and at the point I had absolutely no plan-other than to quit my job and make a peace sign on the U.S. map.

It’s nice to celebrate the steady progress. Yesterday the postcards came in, right on schedule and they look magnificent!
1,000 definitions

Some of you hardcore scooterists might recognize PJ Chmiel’s bad-ass stylistics. Thats because he stepped in to help with my time sensitive project. Thanks for the late night design endeavors PJ! This week everything else arrives, the topcase, REVPACK saddle packs, and stickers. By tomorrow, Friday I should be able to put up some gear pictures and detail my strategy for 2 months+ of scooter living. The bike won’t be as personally customized as I like, but I look forward to breaking her in and putting some sass on her.

the right side

She (Audre, I think) is pretty rigged out with back/front racks, bug-in-teeth protection (windshield) and a sweet cowl protector with foot pegs. She’s pimped with some chrome, people and we’ve been getting some long looks! It’s really a landmark moment-my first brand new motorized vehicle-only 12 miles when I got her! My last scooter, Margot the Metropolitan, had 323 miles on her, and was two years old at that point. Before that was the Chevy Nova (wrecked), Ford Ranger, Freakjuice-the 84 Ford Econoline Conversion Van, and my *sigh* Jetta. A side note-I loved that Jetta, but I decided to become a bicyclist, sell the car and survive without out. I am really happy with my decision to upgrade from bicycling, I have a fullblown love affair with scooters. After selling Margot, it took about 2 weeks for the Buddy125 to arrive-in which time I became reacquainted with my quads-biking in a mountain town makes you appreciate scooters even more. The ride home from Scoot Richmond was pure bliss-the bike rocks, the view is great and there were some interesting things to look at. Route 250 stretches the full distance from RVA to C-ville and this time I didn’t have to pull over to let farm trucker speed demons pass me. Halfway out of RVA I stopped to see my Moms before the big trip and we had the long “safety” talk. Safety is important, for sure, and I keep hearing a bunch of “horror stories” that I would rather not hear. Mostly, they involve carelessness-drinking, no helmet, inexperienced riding. I plan on posting some “Scooter Rulez,” when I get some time, I think it’s a good idea with all the scoots out on the roads. I’ve learned to ride defensively from my nine years of cycling and tried to reassure the Moms. Anyhow, she wouldn’t get on the bike, so I said my goodbyes and kept onward. The trip was just perfect for the first cruise, not too fast-not too slow. I didn’t want to totally open up the throttle for the whole ride, not without my full face helmet (dang bugs) and since she’s new. But, oh yes, I opened it for a bit, to see what I am working with. On a completely flat road I was at 72 (generous speedometer probably)-and the jump from 45 to 72 was remarkably smooth. I know this bike was the perfect choice for all the terrain I will cover. She didn’t loose any speed as I approached the Blue Ridge Mountains that envelop C-ville. Weighing in at only a buck+15, I won’t have to worry about any speed loss once I get her packed up. Although I can’t wait to see how she handles those West Coast climbers!

Gas Tank Aside from the speed and roomy seat I have been most surprised by the suspension. I’d gotten really used to teeth jarring, head bobbing, nerve racking moments on my Metro. But, I’m thinking that on the Buddy, bridges, bumps and dirt roads wont’ impede my journey.

Well, I have to head out to take care of all these loose strings: packing up the house, camcorder problems and hard drive, journal and sock buying. I will be in D.C. to kick off the PEACE Tour on Sunday July 15 and July 16. I am trying to meet the CODE PINK ladies, who have contacted me back, to participate in some of their daily activism and I would like to make a big human Peace sign in front of the White House. Peace-Alix

Putting Peace on the Map

Hey Lookers!

This summer Peace will be put on the map.

Yep, literally. I will drive a route that creates a Peace sign around the U.S.

The route starts at the White House and ends in Crawford, TX.
What’s in Crawford, TX?
Well, that’s George W. Bush’s other home.

The way I see it, don’t exclude. Include. He’s a world leader and he’s also a citizen. First off, this ain’t an anti-war demonstration. It’s a pro-active Peace Demonstration. I am asking all Americans to define Peace with me this summer, Mr. President included. It’s important that our world leaders have a working definition of Peace, and help us to achieve it. You know that quote, “Be the change you want to see in world?”

Well, I think change occurs when we have a working definition of what we want. And accountability to incorporate the changes. So, the focus this summer is INCLUSION. And diversity. I bet there are a lot of responses to the question, “How do you define Peace?”

Regardless, let’s not define what we are by what we are not. Let’s transcend.

Sure, its hard to rise above lies, suffering, injustice, but that’s what I am trying to do. This summer, let’s point TWO fingers, not one. (that makes a peace sign)

The trip is estimated to be 9,000+miles and will take over 2 months.
It is a creative campaign to hasten Peace in our country, in our world and works with these themes:

  • The seeds of our beliefs. What does Peace mean to you?
  • Environmentally friendlier forms of travel!
  • Community: demonstrating our interconnectivity!
  • And yes. I want to see this war end.

I am asking the public to offer me your definition of Peace. I will be filming the dialog I have with people, and other events also.

I have a memorial planned to honor dead U.S. soldiers when my odometer marks that number. (unfortunately)

Peace isn’t just a revelation reserved for hippies, anti-war protesters, and the “left.”
It’s how we take care of our bodies, our children, our communities, our neighbors-global and local, and our environment.

Everyone of us has a future and is responsible for the co-creation of it with others.

What does it look like to you?

Remember: Point two fingers, not one!


“Mankind must put an end to war, or war will put an end to mankind…War will exist until that distant day when the conscientious objector enjoys the same reputation and prestige that the warrior does today.”
— John F. Kennedy