An interview with a Scooter Affair

Scooterist and podcaster Justin Giuffre managed to put me in the hot seat for an interview. As a journalist, being interviewed is really painful. I like asking the questions. I definitely always leave an interview wishing I had said something completely different than the first thing that popped out of my mouth. I guess that is sometimes how people who I interview feel. Payback!

But if you are here because you listened to his podcast … well, thanks for the visit. Welcome to my crappy website that is in desperate need of an update. Seriously, pardon the broken picture links (here is a photo album) and terrible taxonomy. You can read the travelogues from 2007 and 2008 to get a feel for this zany trip I started over 13 years ago. It changed my life for the better. In many ways I think I found the peace I didn’t know I needed at the time.

And I couldn’t have done that without the help of so many incredible people, like activists, scooterists and just plain curious people who welcomed me to their part of the U.S. or cheered me on through the internet. There were so many who made the trip possible.

I don’t know if I got that point across in my interview with Justin. I hope I did. If not, maybe it’s just time for me to write the book and tell you all about what it’s like to travel mostly alone for 22,000 miles on a scooter and depend solely on the kindness of strangers.

You can check out his podcast here, in case you missed it. I also wrote up an article this summer for Scooter Zine, which you can read here.

The P.E.A.C.E Scooter ride started 13 years ago!

This article was written in June 2020 for Scooter Zine. The publisher reached out to me for an interview, found out I was a journalist and asked me to write it myself.

Thirteen years ago, I wrangled gear onto a small motor scooter, started up the engine and vroomed off to create the largest peace sign in history.

My scooter, named Audre in honor of activist Audre Lorde, is a 125 cubic centimeter engine Genuine Buddy capable of steady travel around 55 mph – though I hit top speed at 72 mph. 

Thirty miles was the longest distance I had traveled prior to this journey, and I was only bitten by the two-wheel travel bug two months earlier when I bought a 50 cc Honda Metropolitan. The route ahead would stretch coast to coast and north to south, through the backroads and byways of 32 U.S. states.

It took 189 days and approximately $1,000 in gasoline, but at the end my route traced a 22,000 mile peace sign onto the map. I was inspired by a quote I saw at the traveling art exhibit “Come Together” of Beatle John Lennon: “If a billion people were thinking about peace, there would be peace in the world.” I set out to ask people how they define peace, feeling that it must be more than merely the opposite of “war.”

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