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Traveling across the country by electric scooter
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Traveling across the country by electric scooter

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Three men recently came through Farmington on their way across the country as part of a fundraising event.

Graham Pollard is crossing America on electric scooters to raise money for a camp he is associated with. Brandon Bedford is filming the event to make a documentary at the end of the trip.

“We are partnering with a summer camp out of New Hampshire called William Lawrence Camp,” he said. “We are helping them raise money for coronavirus relief effort. This is their first summer in over 100 years they have never been able to open their doors because of how strict the guidelines are from the government. They were open during the Spanish Flu, the Great Depression, World War I, all that kind of stuff, they never had to close their doors. We are trying to help them raise some money for next year and the years to come they will be able to open their doors.

“We are following the TransAmerica Bike Trail that runs from Yorktown, Virginia to Florence, Oregon. It’s just over 4,000 miles, a total of 10 states and it will take us about 60 days.”

Pollard went to the camp and later worked there for eight years.

The third man is Christian Boyle, who is the van driver and logistics coordinator. On the way through the area, they camped overnight at the Gruner Ford Access at the St. Francis River. Bedford said that the group often camps out at night.

“We have a 1990 VW Vanagon Westfalia camper van,” he said. “There’s bunk beds in the van, and we have a tent for the third person.”

Bedford noted that the group averages 80-100 miles per day depending on stops.

“It’s 5-6 hours to 8-9 hours, it depends on how much we stop,” he said. “If we encounter rain — we were sponsored by Segway, they were the ones that gave us the scooters to do this trip — and per our contract, we are not able to ride through any kind of rain.”

Segway Ninebot Max is the model of scooter that Pollard is using. Bedford said that Segway gave them six for the trip.

“We cycle through them throughout the week so that none of them gets any more wear than the others,” he said. “We usually use four of them a day. They get from 25-30 miles before they die and we have to switch out to the next one.

“When we first started, we were going through Virginia on the Blue Ridge Parkway, it was very hilly, and we were getting like 20-23 miles, then we came out to Illinois and we did 80 miles on three scooters.”

The scooters can plug into a regular residential outlet for recharging.

“We sometimes stay with people and charge them there,” said Bedford. “We have stayed at some campgrounds that have electricity, and if we camp out, we brought a generator we use to charge them every night.”

For more information follow them at https://www.facebook.com/TheScooterCrossingUSA/

Mark Marberry is a reporter for the Farmington Press and Daily Journal. He can be reached at 573-518-3629, or at mmarberry@farmingtonpressonline.com

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