REAL-TIME TRIP TRACKER | Zero to Epic: Following Alex Simon on Scoot America

Join Alex Simon (Zero to Epic) as he embarks on Scoot America: “combining adventure and eco-activism”, Alex has started his cross-country trip on an elite selection of electric scooters to promote micromobility. Here’s a real-time trip tracker along with weekly updates from Alex on the road (Last updated: 5/28/21).

Alex has encouraged scooter riders from around the country to join him if they can, and we hope you enjoy following his adventure (alongside him on the road or with us on the web). 

Scoot America Live: Weekly Updates

Each week, Alex will join us on ESG Liveshow to share updates on his progress, the scooters, the route, the sights, and the people he meets along the way (energy and wifi permitting). 

Here’s our weekly Scoot America trip tracker, with earliest updates at the top.  

5/25/21 Alex Rides 180 Miles in One Day and Celebrates the End of His Trip on the West Coast with Friends and Family

Day: 29 | Miles traveled: 3665 miles | Location: Las Vegas, NV
Alex touched wheels to the Pacific Ocean on Sunday, May 23rd, in a symbolic end to his cross-country journey on an electric scooter. 

Alex Simon touches scooter to the Pacific Ocean in Newport, Oregon (USA) at end of trip
Alex reaches the Pacific Ocean after 29 days on the road | Credit: Zero to Epic

When we spoke with Alex, he’d just finished driving (a car) 16 hours straight from Newport, OR, the last stop of the trip, to his home in Las Vegas, NV. When asked how he was feeling, Alex said:

[It’s an] amazing feeling, finishing. I can finally say, the trip was hard; I didn’t want to scare my mom and my wife but it was dangerous, it was borderline irresponsible. [But all] the pioneers risk their lives.

ALEX SIMON, ZERO TO EPIC
Alex Simon in side-by-side photos of start point (right) in Boston, Massachusetts (USA) and end point (left) in Newport, Oregon (USA)
Alex’s starting city on the right and ending city on the left | Credit: Zero to Epic

Alex rode an average of 112 miles per day over 29 days on an elite fleet of electric scooters. His shortest day on the road was around 90 miles and his longest near the end of the trip was a very long, 180-mile day. 

Often, Alex braved pothole-filled roads among much faster gas-fueled vehicles. The road conditions were sometimes very poor, and in areas along Route 20 there was no shoulder to ride on. 

Although this is an issue that should be remedied for overall better road conditions, Alex feels satisfied with his mission to promote micromobility. Many media networks picked up Alex’s story, spreading the word that electric scooters are a real form of transportation — especially for short distances. 

Photo of Alex Simon on front page of the Messenger, Ford Dodge, Iowa (USA) on 5/8/2021
One of the many front page news articles on Alex’s trip (The Messenger, Fort Dodge, IA) | Credit: Zero to Epic

Alex’s coast-to-coast trip has created amazing exposure for the micromobility industry, and we’re so happy we got to trek along for the ride. 

Check out a full recap of Alex’s Scoot America trip on Liveshow #90

5/18/21 Alex Shares What It’s Like to Ride a Rion, and How It Felt to See Other Scooter Riders After Thousands of Miles

Day: 25 | Miles traveled: 2661 miles | Location: Boise, ID
We caught up with Alex as he stopped to rest in Boise for the evening. Only a few days away from the end of his coast-to-coast trip, Alex received an exciting delivery near Yellowstone National Park: the Rion Thrust

Driven over 1000 mi from Los Angeles, CA to Montana and hand delivered by the Rion team, Alex was eager to test out what he calls the “Ferrari of electric scooters” as soon as he got his hands on it. 

Riding the Rion Thrust

Alex Simon meeting staff from Rion Motors, Credit: Zero to Epic
Alex thanking Timmy and Kostye for delivering the Rion | Credit: Zero to Epic

As we have yet to test or even touch a Rion, we had lots of questions for Alex, especially how acceleration feels on this elite racing machine. The Rion currently has a production lead-time of 150 days and an insane $8,500 price tag, and Rion Motors is loaning this model to Alex for the tail-end of his trip. 

When Paul asked about the unique curve thumbwheel, Alex said, “It is superb, guys. The first time I went on [it], I wanted to take it out. I thought it was going to be a really fast acceleration like a Wolf King or a Wolf Warrior 11 or even a Zero 11X but it wasn’t. It is just so smooth; you just move that wheel [with] your thumb. The difference is, you just keep accelerating. And it’s so sensitive, it’s just beautiful… I love that wheel throttle.”

Alex Simon riding Rion Thrust scooter in Yellowstone Park, Credit: Zero to Epic
Alex touring Yellowstone National Park on the Rion | Credit: Zero to Epic

The thumbwheel is one of the most intriguing features of this hyperscooter, as operating it puts less strain on the thumb and requires less effort from the rider. Of all throttle styles, we expect this to be the most ergonomic and easiest to modulate — but haven’t gotten to try it yet. 

Not only does it have an exceptional throttle, the Rion is insanely fast. So fast, the ends of Alex’s mustache went from turned down to turnt up, with a GPS-recorded top speed run of 57 mph. 

Alex plans to open her up and really max out the speed when he returns home (Las Vegas, NV). 

First time spotting people riding scooters 

For most of the trip, Alex was a bit disappointed that he hadn’t encountered any scooter riders that weren’t already familiar with his Scoot America mission. 

When he hit Idaho Falls, ID, over 2000 mi into his journey, Alex finally saw lots of people riding Bird scooters along a waterfront trail, and was super excited to see and join them. 

Someone riding an ebike with his cat on the handlebars met Alex and threw the furry fellow (dubbed Thor) 6 ft across the bike path, telling Alex that Thor would ride with him. 

Thor riding Alex riding an electric scooter | Credit: Zero to Epic

Sure enough, Thor sat happily atop Alex’s shoulders (excuse the lack of helmet) while his owner filmed them riding together. 

Although we’re sad to see Alex’s adventure come to a close, his trip has already brought more visibility, awareness, and understanding of the impact that electric scooter adoption can make, if people choose to commute a little differently. 

Alex Simon riding an electric scooter on Route 20, Credit: Zero to Epic
Alex riding on old Route 20 (left), with cars on new Route 20 (right) | Credit: Zero to Epic

Next week, we’ll catch up with Alex after he finishes the trip in Portland, OR! 

5/12/21 Alex Talks About How Wind Resistance Affects Range and Becoming a Local Legend

Day: 18 | Miles traveled: 1931 miles | Location: Lusk, WY

This week on Liveshow #86 we learned that Alex has passed the halfway point of his cross-country adventure. 

He was excited to share who he met, what he’d learned, and how he’s continuing to spread the word of his micromobility mission. 

Unexpected sightings on Route 20

Riding through Fort Robinson State Park, Alex recalled an amazing encounter with wildlife.

Alex Simon with wild horses in Fort Robinson Park
Alex ran with wild horses in Fort Robinson State Park | Credit: Zero to Epic

“I’m in the middle of this park,” Alex says, “and there are [these] wild horses [all] over the place. And as I’m riding through they start running towards me and I’m a little frightened like, ‘What’s happening? Are they coming to attack me?’ And they were just so friendly [and] playing around, [and] it was the wildest thing. There are also wild bison all over the place; it’s been adventurous, it’s been awesome, really.”

Alex Simon with two men from Walk the Walk (veterans)
These veterans had seen Alex on the news and vice versa | Credit: Zero to Epic

Horses weren’t Alex’s only unexpected companions on Route 20. He was humbled and delighted to meet a group of Medal of Honor veterans, who are taking turns crossing Nebraska on foot for Walk the Walk

Along with letting us know which scooters are still in operation and which aren’t, Alex explained something surprising he learned from riding everyday. 

How wind resistance affects range

When it comes to range, wind resistance has a huge impact on just how far you can go.

Alex Simon riding on Route 20
The weather dramatically affects range | Credit: Zero to Epic

Alex noticed that he would only get around 15 to 20 mi of range when riding against a headwind in cold weather. Alex said that he got 45 mi or over double the range when he rode the same scooter with a tailwind (still in cold weather).

We’re a bit familiar with this concept. In our performance testing, we take multiple passes and ride in opposite directions, to help even out any differences caused by wind resistance. 

Alex ran into some issues with flats on a few of his scooters, but got help from a Zero to Epic fan and follower. 

Meeting scooterheads, enjoying the sights, and spreading the word

ESG community member, Brian Patrick Rice (aka Scoota Gang) met up with Alex and Route 20 expert, Bryan, in Dubuque, IA and recorded his stint with the Zero to Epic team. 

He’ll be releasing a series of videos that Alex called must-watch TV, so follow Brian’s channel for more. In addition to filming, Brian was able to help fix a few flats and join Alex for some riding through Iowa. 

Brian shared part of their time together in this nicely produced video (above), which included one of Alex’s many interviews with the media, promoting his cause of spreading the word of micromobility.  

Here’s some Scoot America media coverage from just last week:

Stick with us to follow along on the ride, and get insider details from Alex’s epic journey!

5/5/21 On Day 11, Alex Talks About Riding in the Rain, Being on the News, and Which Electric Scooters Are Retired on Liveshow #85

Day: 11 | Miles traveled: 1161 miles | Location: Dubuque, IA
We caught up with Alex near the end of a rather grueling week on the road. He contended with all-day rain, a flat tire, and motor failure, but still had a smile to share with the scooter community on ESG Liveshow #85

Alex mentioned spending 9 hr riding in the rain on at least one day in the past week, and he does not recommend it. Although none of the scooters show signs of water damage, riding in wet gear from head to toe, changing clothes periodically, and suffering through a downpour and windchill was not Alex’s favorite part of the trip. 

Alex Simon riding electric scooter in the rain, long shot
Alex Simon braving the rain on an electric scooter | Credit: Zero to Epic

Day 10 happened to be a particularly sad day for the scooters, as not one but two were forced into retirement. The Kaabo Wolf Warrior X had to be shelved after getting a flat that tire sealant couldn’t repair, and the Zero 11X suddenly lost power during a ride. However, he still has an impressive corral of other scooters to choose from, and is getting some help to fix these two from talented community members along the way. 

Alex Simon standing in front of horse and buggy
A horse and buggy was the first vehicle Alex saw in Amish country | Credit: Zero to Epic

Some of Alex’s favorite moments on this leg of the trip included a visit through Indiana Dunes National Park, riding through Amish country and meeting and riding with Scoot America supporters. 

Alex Simon interview in Rockford, IL with news anchor
Alex discussing micromobility with WIFR (Rockford, IL) | Credit: Zero to Epic

As he mostly rides during daylight, Alex also had time to do a couple of interviews, including this interview with an NBC affiliate (WIFR) in Rockford, IL, about his mission to promote micromobility.

Lots of Scoot America followers have helped Alex find shelter and food along the way. In fact, the Scooter Club of Winfield (SCOW) in Winfield, IL treated Alex and his wife, who came to visit him for one night in Chicago, to a delightful dinner at Gibson Steakhouse.   

Please note Alex also shared an updated schedule.

Check-in next week to find out where he is and see how Alex’s adventure is going!

4/28/21 Alex Started his Journey Westward, and We Caught Up With him in Buffalo, NY

Day: 4 | Miles traveled: 426 miles | Location: Buffalo, NY
Alex started his journey on Saturday, April 24th in Boston, MA, and had made his way to Buffalo, NY, when we caught up with him on Liveshow #84. 

He and his confidant/driver/foodie/Route 20 expert, Bryan, were lucky enough to stay overnight at the Eugene V. Debs Hall, which is a 1914 saloon that has been closed for 20 years and will reopen Labor Day 2021. 

On the first three days, Alex was able to cover an average of 120 mi per day, at an average speed of 25 mph. On Day 4, Alex was joined by a couple of ESG Facebook group members and limited his speed to enjoy the ride, so only did about 80 mi before stopping for the day. 

Day 3: Bryan, RJ (from Bella’s) and Alex at Bella’s Ristorante, Geneva, NY | Credit: Zero to Epic

When recapping how the first few days went, Alex explained that frigid temperatures on Day 3 were much harder to contend with than the all-day drizzle he experienced on Day 2. The windchill and 30°F weather made riding rather miserable, as his hands were freezing and his body cold, even wearing gloves and a riding suit.

Alex also said that driving through the busier parts of Boston was nerve wracking, as bike lanes and lane shoulders were nonexistent along the way, and he had a much nicer ride when he hit the Finger Lakes. 

Entering Skaneateles, NY | Credit: Zero to Epic 

After dealing with rainy weather, Alex was happy to report that none of the 5 scooters that he used on Day 2 showed any signs of water damage, and all performed well in wet conditions. Alex noted that he was able to maintain traction on the road and on the scooters’ decks. 

Of the scooters he rode on Day 2, only the Apollo Phantom has an official water resistance rating.

We’re excited to catch up with Alex each week as he finds historical gems and meets ESG members along the way, and happy to be part of the journey in any way we can. 

4/20/21 Alex Packs and Leaves Las Vegas, NV Bound for the East Coast

Liveshow #83 | Credit: ESG

Day: 0 (pre-trip) | Distance: (~507 mi) | Location: Breckenridge, CO
We caught up with Alex as he started driving to the East Coast. He and his driver/teammate, Bryan, left Nevada yesterday and are driving through Colorado. They hit a major snowstorm, so had to spend the night in Breckenridge, CO. They’re back on the road, hoping to make it to Des Moine, IA for the night.

Bryan is Alex’s sole teammate for the entirety of the trip, and although he knows nothing about scooters, he knows everything about historic Route 20 as the man in charge of tourism development. 

Scooter riders posing for a photo, 6 men
Alex with other riders at Sevur (Las Vegas, NV) | Credit: Zero to Epic

Before Alex packed up and left his home in Las Vegas, NV, he went on a group ride with some fellow riders, meeting up at a local scooter shop, Sevur.

He’ll start the scooter-riding part of his trip on April 24th when he reaches Boston, MA, and make his way westward on an impressive selection of electric scooters, including the following in alphabetical order:

We’ve got experience with quite a few of those scooters, and you can check out our full written reviews of each by following the links above. 

Scoot America Schedule

Here’s the overall Scoot America schedule. 

Scoot America schedule, updated 5/6/21
Scoot America schedule | Credit: Zero to Epic

This is tentative and based on how quickly Alex is able to make his way, how weather and road conditions behave, and barring any other technical difficulties. 

Support Scoot America

To support Alex’s cross-country adventure, donate to his GoFundMe. Most of the donations will go toward lodging, gas for the support vehicle, and food for Alex and his team along the way. 

Find out more on Zero to Epic, and follow Alex on Facebook and Instagram for daily updates. 

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About the Author

Trina

With over a decade of writing experience, Trina is Assistant Writer at ESG. She crafts the scripts for videos and ESG Liveshow, writes the monthly eNewsletter, and is responsible for much of the content on the website.

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