Michael Reid, right, and Yonatan Belik arrive at Seeds of Peace Camp in Otisfield on Thursday, a stop on a three-month scooter trip through 48 states. Jon Bolduc/Sun Journal

OTISFIELD — A few hours after Michael Reid and Yonatan Belik arrived in Maine, they were flagged down by a trucker.

Which struck them as odd.

Seven states into their world-record attempt to nab the “longest distance traveled on a 50cc scooter” category in the Guinness Book of World Records, they were nowhere near a highway.

They weren’t allowed to be. The scooters reach a top speed of about 30 mph.

“The truck driver stopped right next to us and said, ‘You were the guys I heard about on the radio,'” Reid said. 

Engines roaring and throttles maxed, the pair rolled into the Seeds of Peace Camp in Otisfield on Thursday after having spent the night in Windham. Reid and Belik are alumni of the camp, though they were never there at the same time. Belik, from Israel, went to the camp from 2012 to 2014. Reid, from Philadelphia, worked at the camp as a counselor from 2015 to 2018.

Michael Reid, right, and Yonatan Belik arrive at Seeds of Peace Camp in Otisfield on Thursday. Jon Bolduc/Sun Journal

Reid subsequently visited Israel and connected with Belik. The two spent four days going on, as Belik said, “crazy adventures.”

“We knew we had to keep on doing crazy stuff together,” he said. And so the adventures continued. Last year, Belik and Reid, with a group of 25 people from eight countries, rode 1,600 miles on razor scooters in 25 hours, smashing that world record. 

After that, Belik and Reid formed a group called Wheeling for the World, which, according to the organization’s website, “works together through the power of movement both to explore and inspire.”

We realized that there’s a lot of power in movement — we’re always moving. How do we move? In what direction do we move? If we’re moving toward creating positive change in the world, that’s what we want to be behind,” Belik said. 

Packed onto their scooters, among clothing, food and camping gear, are electronics; MacBooks, Go-Pros and drones. For this trip, the two said they plan to produce a video of every state they travel to, an initiative they call “Create 48.”

They hope to stop and interview interesting characters along the way, meeting people and breaking barriers.

“(The scooters) are just our vehicles,” Belik said. “I think of them more as our passports. Passports through physical and psychological borders in the states. They invite a lot of engagement, like the truck driver. When would we speak to truck drivers? We cannot speak to them because we’re not allowed on the highways.”

The obvious goal of the project is to break the record. But Belik said he hoped to inspire people to adventure, to get out and try new things, and talk to, and empathize with people they normally wouldn’t.

“Personally, I want people who are inspired by what we’re doing and have a little itch to break the norm to drive somewhere, to ride somewhere, to camp out somewhere,” Belik said. 

As they take their 30-mph ride across the country, they hope to personalize the people and places that make it unique.

“We want to showcase the diversity and amplify and humanize the people and the landscapes in this nation, especially in these polarized times,” Belik said. “I know that when we’re able to get to know each other on a human level we can put politics and all these issues aside.”


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