While scooters are gaining popularity in the U.S., few people are bold enough to attempt to take one farther than driving around the city. But for those who are brave enough, the Scooter Land Speed Federation (yes, there is such a thing) is sponsoring a cross-country scooter dash. Yup.
In a partnership with the Lake Erie Loop society, which sponsors a 650-mile race around Lake Erie, the SLSF will put on a 2,926 mile race from the Red Ball Garage in New York to the Portofino Hotel in Redondo Beach, California. There will be five classes based on engine size to keep things competitive.
Now maybe it is just me, but this sounds…really kind of cool. While most races are all about speed, driving a scooter across the U.S. will require a fair amount of strategy and planning too. With small gas tanks, do you drive a route with plenty of oppertunities to fill up, or do you carry spare fuel? What about extra wheels or spare parts? Finding scooter parts in the middle of Wyoming might be difficult. Motorcycles with up to 850 cc of displacement are also welcome, with their own distinct class…but that still isn’t a whole lot of motor to play with.
Even so, the Real Cannonball Sea-to-Shining-Sea Memorial Dash as it is officially called is also a very accessible race. Even a “high performance” scooter is infinitely cheaper than a race-prepped car of almost any kind. “The Real Cannonball” will draw vintage and modern scooters of all types.
Best of all, this is a competition that will benefit several different charities. I think racing for a cause is the only way to go. It sure is a tempting distraction…but I’m not sure I have the chutzpah to chug across the country on a scooter with less displacement than a bottle of Mountain Dew. Could you do it? Would you want to?