Saturday, September 18, 2010

Day 4

Day 4

Well I was excited to continue after my lil snafu with the battery. I took off a lil later today as I needed a rest from the previous day being a long one but also a rewarding one in the sense that the local Montana residents and the Cannonballer's helped out a person who was in need. Bill on his helix rode 60 miles round trip to get me a battery. The local people gave me powdered donuts, jelly orange slices and the name of the local scooter shop.
So I was all packed up and ready to go but when I gave my scooter gas it would not go! I go a jump from a local at the gas station but it soon died after…

Same symptoms as yesterday…

When I since have come to find out that the regulator/rectifier was bad and my battery which I had been running down with accessories before the Cannonball put too much recharge on the system so it was not recharging. I had just left the film crew about 30 min previous so I called them. They had an extra space on the trailer so they drove back the 50 miles to give me a lift so I could get the scoot to the end of toys route. I am not the only one who has been getting these mechanical gremlins. We are pushing these scooter to limits that they are not supposed to do and when you do that things WILL break .

So I rode with the film crew for the rest of the day and got the needed rest along the way...

Day 3

Well Cannonball Day 3. The Day started out early as Cynthia and I wanted to get out of the park early to beat the tourist traffic. We witnessed incredible natural beauty which left me breathless! It was by far the coldest morning at about 30 degrees. There was snow on the mountain range amen nd we hit construction after we headed over the pass. I encountered steers on the road, deer trying to figure out which way to go when crossing the road and several toes of flying foul.
On the half way part of the trip my GPS started wigging out. So for some reason it sent me to the previous check point when I should have been going to check point #2. Wen that sent me back an hour so I can kiss the 3rd spot good bye. Then when I was on the dusty, twisty, and challenging dirt road of Evens Riceview I used my extra gas can to to fill my tank and when I went to start the scoot the battery was dead!!! I have been having issues with the battery . So I got a jump and it started again but when I started to take off there wasn't enough power to make the scooter continue. I checked the battery water level and three of the cells were dry! I guess running the battery down with an over excess of accessories in not a good option to do on a scooter.
Soo I called the numbers of who I could think of but all were still on the road. The support truck did not have cell service way out here in the country :(

Well in was a local woman who came to the rescuer. In fact all the people in this area of Montana were extremely helpful! Giving me powdered donuts, Candy orange slices, and the number of the local motorcycle shop that had a new battery for me.
Then the scooter Cannonball riders came to the rescue. Mike on his Helix offered to go back the 30 plus miles to Grand Falls to pick up my battery! Wow!

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Day Two

Day 2 and the weather was better as we started with a crisp morning. I
wore multiple layers under my Corazzo Gear to keep that 40 degree
chill from numbing my body!
Todays route took us out of Canada into Idaho and through Montana. It
was also the most technical part of this journey so far. I fell in
love with the route through Montana! Long sweeping roads mixed with
tight and twisty logging lanes, which were well suited for my S250. I
have to say that the 16 inch wheels mixed with the Heidenau tires made
me feel very stable when pushing hard into the corners. I put had my
feet on the rear pegs and rode it more like a motorcycle than a
Today was also the day I pushed it the hardest as I rode with a gifted
rider, Bodacious, who has no fear! Almost all day I had the throttle
open all the way!
Oh and the scenery was extremely incredible too! Topaz blue lakes,
vibrant green foliage draped the mountain range and tons of wildlife,
which I had to dodge a few times! Everyday has been a new adventure
and I look forward to tomorrows challenge as I am currently in 3rd

Day One

Well I competed the 3 day, 980 mile journey from Salt Lake City to the Start of the Cannonball Run in Vancouver BC. I endured rain, wind, masses of huge truckers, swarms of bugs and long desolate roads!
When I arrived in Canada Wed afternoon I was greeted by the 20 plus riders as the first meeting commenced. Our leader informed us of the rules and regulations as well as putting a big emphasis on safety.
On Thursday morning all the riders met at Vanier Park, some dipped their toes in the the Bay of the Pacific Ocean. I rode my People S250 into the water to baptize my scooter for this incredible journey ahead of us.

The scoot has been running excellent since I left Salt Lake. The 336 Mile ride across Canada was amazing with scenic views and super fun roadways. This Cannonball route was made for two wheeled vehicles and I am stoked that my scoot handled extremely well today.
Day two brings 350 miles of more twisty roads…

Monday, September 6, 2010

Leaving Utah

Well reluctantly I am leaving Salt Lake City. I have spent almost 3 weeks here and have met some incredibly cool people, gone on some majestic rides, eaten delish vegan meals, had some wild nights, and have been challenged and overcome many physical and emotional obstacles. I have made excuses to not wanting to leave this area but I know that I will return to experience and share more of the love I have been given!

This chapter will now end only to start another phase in my journey of life. With three days to go I am off to Vancouver BC to the start of the famed Scooter Cannonball where over 20 people will test their physical and mental limits on scooters across North America.

I ready for this challenge and am open to what the future has in store for me...

Well didn't leave Salt Lake City till 4:30 PM. John Southerland helped me put a power source for my GPS. Then we went to have Falafel's and then Kevin and Shannon Hanson came by to partake in John's scooter shop.

I blazed a trai on the Interstate 15 and 84 all the way to Twin Falls. Riding into the sun SUCKS and riding through millions of small bugs at sunset also SUCKS! I did encounter a small confrontation outside of Salt Lake from a stupid Farmer wanting me to hurry up at the gas station..and pushed my gas situation where I made it to the gas station on fumes! Stupid!

8pm arriving at the Days Inn in Twin Falls, ID to get warm, rested and do blog and photo stuff. Hope to leave early tomorrow and put in as many miles as possible. I still have 2 days and 763 miles to get to Vancouver BC by Wed night. No worries I just need to fill the spare gas incase I reach any long stretches wheres theres no gas stations. Todays average speed was 68.4 mph with a top speed of 79.4 mph and I rode 224 miles for 3hr 16 min. Will make the 488 mile trek to Yakima; no problem...Maybe further???

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Scooter Cannonball 2010

Got my KYMCO People S 250, Corazzo 5.0 leather jacket, Heidenau tires, SIP Spare parts, Shad top case, Macbook pro, Cannon 7D and I'm ready to roll on a 7K adventure. This years preparation is much better. I have clocked 7k miles so far on this scoot riding to Amerivespa in San Antonio, Texas then to Salt Lake City and then back to California. I feel comfortable with the scoot as opposed to the 2008 Cannonball where I only had 8 days of prep from getting the scoot to leaving on the 3,700 mile ride across America.

Well like the last Scooter Cannonball adventure this would not be happening without sponsors...KYMCO USA for the killer scooter and major support, Corazzo for the comfortable and safe riding gear, John Bettencourt of Heidenau Tires USA for the insanely handling tires, Scoot Magazine for the love and support and SIP Scootershop for the cool aftermarket parts I need for my scooter.

Not only will you be able to read about my travels on this blog but I will be writing another Cannonball article for SCOOT! magazine and photos can be seen on my Flicker site here.
2008 Cannonball photos can be seen here and the SCOOT! article can be read here.

I will be Starting on my 7K miles, 1.5 month adventure from Salt Lake City where I will ride to Yellowstone National Park then head North/West to the Cannonball starting point of Vancouver, BC. I'll do the 10 day Cannonball journey then head south to the KYMCO Factory. From there I'm off to New Orleans to hang with the New Orleans Scooter Cooperative boys who will be hosting next years Amerivespa! Then it's off to a scooter rally in Austin Texas, For a few Scooters more . While in Texas I'll head to Lubbock, Texas to hang with my special Lubbock family, Eric, Judy, and Lauren. Then it's back to through New Mex and the Four Corners to Salt Lake City to complete this incredible voyage of a lifetime.

The Cannonball route is this and here is my return route. I would love to hook up with other scooter enthusiasts along my travels so feel free to leave a post!

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Cannonball 2008 final thoughts

Well I enjoyed the ride and look forward to the next ride in two years. I saw the US in a different light. I had done lots of traveling abroad and honestly had no desire to see the US. I'm soo glad I did this trip. t opened up my mind immensely. Riding with a 172cc scooter was OK...I'd recommend a 250cc to really enjoy the ride and have the power for the big climbs.

The Scooter Cannonball only happens every two years. I hope to be more prepared next time instead of having two weeks to prep an unknown scooter. The SYM HD200 did me well! So check out my photos of the ride on flickr. Thanks to all who helped me make this happen and see ya in two years!

Feel free to ask me any question regarding...whatever you like.
Ciao, Pistol Pete

Tuesday, September 16, 2008


Hey ya-all, I decided to focus on posting some of the thousands of photos I have taken so far. Still soo many more to come...


We left Saledia around 8am with the temp being in the high 20’s. Thank God I had my scooter skirt cause it was frick’n cold! The temp stayed cool throughout the whole ride through Colorado. Gradually the terrain went from sculptured mountain range with wildlife and carving rivers to flat terrain that stretched out like a flat blanket corn.

I could feel and see the change it the environment and people. No more lush vastness, runners and bicyclists on the side of the road but rather the sound of big diesel trucks, the smell, many people smoking and the sights of economically strapped America.

The temp changes once I passed into Kansas. Much warmer and LOTS-O- BUGS. This is where there are lots of farms hence the insects. I stopped to walk in the path of the Santa Fe wagon trail ruts and was attacked by grasshoppers.

So tomorrow is a short riding day and its nothing but flat open riding…

Sunday, September 14, 2008


Well my face feels like an old catchers glove. I should put on some sunscreen…
Anyhow we left the sublime beauty of Utah. Sob, sob, and head out for our next big adventure though the state of Colorado. I wasn’t too cold when we left Utah but as we ascended to the San Juan Skyway the temp dropped to 30 degrees and the wind chill did not help any.
Well the scenery trumped any aches and pains I had. Sublime beauty, which left me speechless. No words could explain how I felt!

So in a nutshell the ride was challenging, beautiful we had no major breakdowns, my SYM scooter ran flawlessly, I got to go head to head with Patrick fer a spell and now I go to sleep fer another amazing view into Americas ventana.

But wait Pete; where are the pics….

Saturday, September 13, 2008


Ritch found that the variator rollers were soaked in oil so he’ll clean it and be good to go for the start of the race.

Man Utah "Life Elevated" is insanely beautiful! Cudos to Patrick for choosing this route. We experienced picturesque rides through the Colorado Plateau region. It was very hard to not stop and soak in the vast natural beauty.

We took off from fiery red hilled Cedar around 8 am and it was colder than a witch’s tit! So the first of many riders down today was Mark from New York slid his scoot into the embankment going too hot onto a lefthander. He salvaged some parts from joel’s scoot and continued on his way. At this point while all the top riders stopped to help. This was my opportunity to race the master! Patrick. And so it was head to head competition which only lasted a short stint do to some of the most beautiful terrain EVER!

To there were many mishaps on todays rides but I will keep you in suspense. Or if you cant wait then check out the other blogs…

Friday, September 12, 2008


Well my day started out with getting up before dawn to catch the sun rise over Mono Lake. I hiked a mile to the waters edge to capture the beauty of the Tufa formations. WOW!

When I returned everyone was taking off on today’s journey across Nevada to Utah. I was one of the last people to leave. About 10 miles out of Lee Vining I came across Joel Hamilton and his demolished GTS. Something happened when he was going around a fast left hander. Jess saw it happen and described it as a ginger breadman being thrown across the terrain. Joel escaped with a bruised back and sore hand but the bike is totaled.

So the trooper he is he took some advil, jumped on Bobo GTV and continued on with the journey. We stuck together along with he support truck and enjoyed the ride instead of racing the clock.

The ride through Nevada was long VERY STRAIT! I was still tired from the past few days and if it wasn’t fer the energy drinks well…The highlight was stopping at Area 51, the town of Rachel and getting some Alien swag.

Todays 420 miles was a challenge fer my tired body. When we reached Utah the terrain brightened up and so did my energy. As we neared Cedar City UT the hills looked like they were on fire! The red rock lit up by the sunset looked soo insane. We all congregated at the hotel and shared storied of the days mishaps from speeding tickets to Joels’ accident to asking “Where’s the manual scooters?” 9pm and K-dog rolled into town. The other two Vespas were still in Caliente Nevada at 9:30 about 1hr 45min away.

Ritch is doing OK but feels there is oil on his variator belt soo he'll replace it in the morning. Rolfie has a bad cold and is not stoked about it.

Tomorrow’s a shorter but more scenic and technical ride. I should post some pics from the past two days at the rides end. I am doing fine and the SYM scooter is performing well, I just need to get some sleeeeeeeep.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Day One

Welcome to the end of day one of Cannonball. Wow what a crazy day it has been also what a long strange trip it has been to get to this point!!!. Any things that can go wrong…will go wrong.
I have had my gremlins from non-working cameras to electrical problems on the scoot to a top case filled with gas! Yea is was soo bad it smelled up Jess’s room…man was he pissed ☹
At the moment we have three riders on the west side of Yosemite that at staying the night and will catch up inn the morning.
The journe began with a great reception at Ocean Beach. Many of the scooter girld were present along with others fron SF. We rode to Alice’s restaurant off highway 35, had some grub then participants left on their own accord. This is when my favorite camers decided to take a shit and the power to the GPS was non-existent.
So luckily I know how to get to Mount Hamilton and I read the paper directions. I got as far as highway 5 and was feeling the effects of a few hours of sleep from the past few days trying to get the scooter Cannonball ready. I was soo tiered!!! Just 40 winks…
At Patterson I got some gas, several energy drinks and decided to call my buddy VCLG Ritch because I knew he had had some issues with the Franken-scoot. Well I figured if he answered the phone then that would not be a good sign.

He answered!

Not good. He was across the road getting some food and trying to figure out what was wrong with his scoot. Oil leaks, unstable performance at high speeds and loss of confidence because if the gremlins that attacked him. Well he put his mindset and scoot in cruise control and focused on getting to the end so he could diagnose and work on it at end at Li Vineing

When we finally reach the end I had soo many crazy experiences with my scoot, crazy swiss people who locked their keys in their 70’s disco van, to robot loosing his spare tires and rain gear, to riding in natures finest scenery that I could seriously write a novel about today’s ride!

So the internet REALLY sucks here and I am sooooooooo tired. Stay tuned till the next episode of SCOOTER CANNONBALL 2008!

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Got the scoot

8 Days to go...Well I picked up the Sym HD200 that I'm riding across country. I test rode it last Sunday and was very impressed with the handling and ease of riding. I am heading to Curts' to put a GPS on the scoot. I will need to get a rear tire and variator belt belt, oil change and spark plug replaced before I leave in order to feel secure about the 3,356 mile journey...

Most of the riders participating in this event have been prepping their scooters for over a year and have had ample time to be ready for this Endurance Challenge! I have had only a couple of weeks but have had great support from my close circle of friends in the scooter community in order to make it safely. Maybe by not having months or years to plan will give me a clearer mind. Ya know "Just do it" attitude!?

This journey will be a test of endurance, scooter stamina, mental ability, judgment, and DESIRE! Mentaly I am ready. Mechanically I feel safe riding a modern "Twist and Go" scooter. I am sharing a room with Glasseye and Rolfie and have a gas card. Food and water, no worries. Health, getting rid of a small cold but overall am feeing good! No time for winers on this trip. I have to admit that I have never really had a desire to travel across the US. I have done countless trips across Western Europe but the US has never really had a strong appeal to me. But traveling across the US with 25 thats a story to tell the grandchildren huh!

My sponsors

Firstly SCOOT magazine for stepping up to the plate and letting me use their
SYM HD200 and a list of goodies
Saigon Trooper Scooter Club
Curt Fargo

Also worth mentioning
Patrick "Opps thunk klunk" for his hours of dedication to this event
Ritch "glasseye" for his Cannonball knowledge
Rolf for riding the support truck

Friday, August 29, 2008

Welcome to the Cannonball 2008

The Scooter Cannonball Run is a coast to coast endurance event for scooters up to 252cc. It is a test of both rider and machine that covers over 3000 miles and takes in some of the best motorcycle roads in the country. It will be run as a time/distance/regularity rally where points are awarded based on miles completed and the ability to maintain the standard pace.
Your reasons are your reasons. Some ride for charity, some to prove they can do it, some to "win" and others just to see the country.
For 2008 the scooter cannonball will travel highway 50 (the loneliest road in america) from San Francisco California to Ocean City Maryland.
start Thursday 11th September 2008
finish Saturday 20th September 2008