Guinness World Record Attempt Pit Stops in Missoula
Two men are attempting to break the Guinness World Record for the longest journey on a 50cc scooter and they recently stopped in Missoula. Expedition athlete Michael Reid and video producer Yonatan Belik are riding 9,000 miles through all 48 continental US states in three months. According to Belik, they have spent more nights in Montana than any other state so far and they even slept on the banks of the Yellowstone River.
“We kept going and we were taken care of by the community of Red Lodge, right outside of Yellowstone National Park,” Belik said. “People fed us in restaurants and invited us to restaurants. It was amazing hospitality. It was really empowering to get that local support. Then we drove through the snow to get into Yellowstone and out of Yellowstone through Gardiner. We went to Townsend where we were invited by a local to stay in his motorhome to avoid the freezing cold outside.”
Belik says they eventually made their way to Missoula and are having a great time so far.
“We have friends here who worked with us back in Maine,” Belik said. “They are putting us up in their home and giving us shelter. They invited us into the Missoula Haunted House. They are tediously working on that at the fairgrounds. We went behind the scenes yesterday to check that out and we took some videos. Now we are going to check out the public library because we need to cram out some work. We need to make seven videos about the past seven states we traveled through.”
“People have often asked us why we are choosing to travel on 50cc Honda Ruckuses that have a max speed of 30mph,” Belik said. "Due to this slow speed, what would take a standard motorcycle a few leisurely weeks, will take them almost 3 months."
"We recognize how our fast paced lives cause us to focus on the destination rather than the journey so we're choosing to slow down, investing the time to immerse ourselves in our surroundings and avoid any chance of getting a speeding ticket," Reid said.
Reid is from Philadelphia and he says people are nervous about approaching other people because the media culture in the US has created stereotypes.
“We haven’t had a negative experience yet,” Reid said. “Everybody told us we were going to, something is going to happen, you’re going to get hit by a car, you’re going to get attacked by a bear, you’re going to get stabbed on a reservation, all this crazy stuff and nothing has happened. It has been the exact opposite. For me it is really about understanding the stereotypes that I believed were true, actually taking time to deconstruct those and replacing them with a new understanding of how I interact with the world.”
Reid says folks often ask them if they’re getting paid to do this.
“The answer is absolutely not,” Reid said. “We are just your average person, but we are massively focused and dedicated. We are willing to persevere to almost an inhuman extent sometimes. You don’t have to have a lot of money, a lot of resources, or a lot of connections to do things like this. Everyone wants to pursue their dreams to the fullest extent. I think this is a factor of everyone’s life and we are doing it through raw perseverance. We hope people can see that through our trip.”
Wheeling for the World is a collective of change-makers working together through the power of movement both to explore and inspire. Project Create48 will be their second Guinness World Record.