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Zero emissions, epic adventure

Las Vegas man traveling all 3,365 miles of Historic U.S. Route 20 by electric scooter

-Photo courtesy of Historic U.S. Route 20 Association
Alex Simon, of Las Vegas, stopped in Duncombe on Thursday while he continued on his 3,365-mile journey riding an electric scooter across the length of Historic U.S. Route 20.

Alex Simon is on a mission.

With a 3,356-mile cross-country road trip, the Las Vegas man aims to bring more awareness to the use of electric “micromobiles” and “micromobility.”

Through “Scoot America,” Simon brings attention to the fact that about half of all car trips range 3 miles or less and micromobiles like electric scooters, ebikes and eskateboards can help alleviate excessive traffic and reduce carbon emissions.

“I wanted to do something impactful,” he said. “I didn’t want to just start recycling. I wanted to do something that had meaning.”

Simon is using this project to continue the legacy of his father, a prominent agronomist, who died in November 2020. This cross-country scooter trip is a way to honor Simon’s father by combining adventure and eco-activism.

-Messenger photo by Kelby Wingert
Alex Simon, of Las Vegas, is traveling all 3,365 miles of Historic U.S. Route 20 on electric scooters. The road trip is to raise awareness of "micromobility" and encourage the use of small electric vehicles to travel short distances.

Simon is traveling with Bryan Farr, the president and founder of the Historic U.S. Route 20 Association. The two are traveling the full length of the original 1926 alignments of U.S. Route 20 between Boston and Newport, Oregon. They left Boston on April 24 and are on track to reach Newport on May 23.

Simon and Farr stopped in Fort Dodge on Thursday evening to rest up for Friday’s full day on the road. On Friday morning, they set off for the next leg of their trip, which would take them to Sioux City.

Each day, Simon spends about eight hours standing on his electric scooters, making his way down Historic Route 20. Each of his nine scooters has a range of about 20 or 25 miles, he said, so he stops with Farr, who is driving the support vehicle and pulling the trailer with the extra scooters, about every hour to switch out to a fully-charged scooter. In total, he travels about 90 to 120 miles each day.

Simon actually had to hit the gym and do physical training to prepare for the stress standing on a scooter for eight hours a day for a month was going to put on his body.

Though he is only halfway through his cross-country scooter trip, Simon said he’s gotten to see many parts of America that are new to him. He said the Finger Lakes region of New York was beautiful and he enjoyed his time scooting through Amish country in Indiana. He’s also enjoyed his time crossing the state of Iowa.

-Photo courtesy of Historic U.S. Route 20 Association
Alex Simon, of Las Vegas, is traveling all 3,365 miles of Historic U.S. Route 20 between Boston and Newport, Oregon, on electric scooters.

“Iowa is beautiful in its own way,” Simon said. “It has the best weather.”

This is Farr’s fourth time traveling the entire span of Historic Route 20. He said he likes that this project is helping raise the profile of the small towns that lie along the route.

“Every town has a story,” he said.

Simon has been amazed by the support he’s received from people he’s met throughout his travels. When he stops in these small towns that the highway runs through, people come up to him to ask about what he’s doing and his cause.

Though Simon is only about 1,500 miles into his trip, he knows a lot of the last 1,800 miles is going to be uphill with the Rockies and the Cascade Mountains in his path to the west coast. But, for now, he’s not that worried about it.

“I take one day at a time,” Simon said.

Readers can follow Simon’s progress on his trip at Facebook.com/ZerotoEpic, or on Instagram at @zerotoepic, or at zerotoepic.com.

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