“These are polarized times. These scooters are inviting conversations, and people start talking to us. We want to bring people together,” said Yonatan Belik, one of the two-person team making a video recording of the cultures of the 48 contiguous states. “With these bikes, we are always looking for stops to engage and immerse the local culture and people — people of all kinds and backgrounds. We want to amplify that people are inherently good.”
While videoing the wide varieties of cultures they meet every day, Belik and Michael Reid are also attempting to break a Guinness World Record, of traveling the longest distance on motor scooters. Their organization, Wheeling for the World (W4W) is a “collective of change-makers working together through the power of movement both to explore and inspire.”
The two started on Sept. 7, and must be back to Lansdale, PA, by Nov. 28. The trip is 84 days and 9,000 miles, with Sept. 30 being day 24 and 2,800 miles, said Michael Reid, the other team member.
“Our team name is Project Create48. Our two riders, Mike and Belik, are riding well over 9,000 miles through all 48 continental U.S. states in three months, and are producing video stories on each state, showcasing the unseen United States of America,” said Gus Anderson, marketing manager for the world record attempt. “While they pass through the state, they are exploring the rich native culture present in South Dakota.”
The two scooter-riders entered South Dakota from Omaha, NE. They then traveled through Standing Rock. After Pierre, they are heading to McIntosh. Then they are going to Marmarth and Cannon Ball, ND, during this leg of their counterclockwise circle touching all 48 contiguous states.
The new 2019 50cc scooters started out with only .07 miles on their odometers. Each scooter gets about 100 miles per gallon and each has a 1.1 gallon tank.
“Mostly good weather so far, but we are very aware that the weather will most likely change. It’s all part of the experience,” said Reid.
“Haven’t met enough reservations yet. Obviously there is more to it. What are their goals for their communities working in the government structure,” asked Reid. “What you recognize is massive challenges. We are saying ‘Do now! Do not waste time. Now is the time’.”
So far, Mike and Belik have enjoyed their time in South Dakota. The duo made stops at both the Yankton and Crow Creek Reservations on their way northward through the state. “The locals we spoke with at Yankton and Crow Creek opened our eyes to the cultural diversity found in South Dakota. We want to explore that more,” said Belik. The two plan to give presentations and host events in several select cities as they zigzag across the United States.
“People have often asked us why we are choosing to travel on 50cc Honda Ruckuses that have a max speed of 30 miles per hour,” said Belik. Due to this slow speed, what would take a standard motorcycle a few leisurely weeks, will take them almost three months. Reid added, “We recognize how our fast paced lives cause us to focus on the destination rather than the journey, so we’re choosing to slow down, investing the time to immerse ourselves in our surroundings … and avoid any chance of getting a speeding ticket.”