Yes, I'd do it again! Despite the long hours of preparation, huge expenses, frustration and exhaustion, I'd make the trip again. There's something about seeing a cross section of the country on a Vespa that you couldn't get from a car. That combined with the challenge of riding a scooter that wasn't designed for long trips and the competitive aspect of a "cannonball run" made for an incredible experience.
The Other Riders I can't say enough good things about the other riders in the group. We were a diverse group that ranged in age from early 20's to 70. 32 men and 3 women from all over the US (and one from Canada). We all got along very well with very few exceptions. It was just a great group of people that would do a lot for each other. Congratulations to the winners Stan, Patrick Owen and Ashrat!
How the Scooter Held Up The little Vespa LX 150 ran really well. With exception of the after-market variator and Kevlar Belt that I replaced, everything worked flawlessly. The stock Pirelli rear-tire wore out in the first 1300 miles but the replacement Michelins are still in good shape. The Tour-Tank auxilary gas tank worked well and saved me lots of time and kept me from being stranded.
Sure a Vespa GTS 250 would have been an easier and faster bike to ride across the country but it also would have been less of a challenge. I'm happy with my choice of the ride.
How I Held Up Two things: a bike racing past and long hours in the car for work. Both of these helped me with the long hours in the saddle. First of all, the wider scooter seat is much more comfortable than the hard bike seat that, for all I know has made me sterile. Driving a car 45,000 miles a year prepared me for the long boring parts of the ride. I didn't eat or drink much during the riding part. This was after all a competition. That helped me with my placing but I lost about 6 pounds a result. I
Big Thanks! I can't thank everyone involved in organizing the Cannonball enough. Their hard work allowed me to have this incredible experience. Also, I owe a big thank you to the support vehicle drivers, Libby, Heather, Devon and Jim.
A huge thank you is owed to Doug Day and everyone at Vespa Hartford/Scooter Centrale for all of their help and sponsorship of my Cannonball Run. They are the best scooter shop in New England period.
Also, thanks for Scott and everyone at Vespa Des Moines for helping getting me back on the road when I needed a part in a hurry.
Thanks to everyone who sent encouraging words along the way!
Watch for updates on the 2008 Cannonball.