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World record chasers stop through Bowman

Yonatan Belik and Michael Reid pose for a picture at the Nebraska state line on their journey to cover all 48 continental states. Submitted Photo.

What length will someone go to set a world record? Two young men are answering that question by traveling to every state in the continental U.S. using only 50cc scooters.

By Frank Turner

Just last week, the world record chasers, Yonatan Belik and Michael Reid, passed through Bowman while on their journey to set the Guinness World Record for “Greatest distance on a 50cc scooter.”

In total, the two record chasers plan to travel 9,000 miles over 84 days to complete their journey. Belik and Reid started their quest on September 7 in Pennsylvania, and already they have conquered 3,000 miles and 19 states. Ideally, the two hope to complete their expedition by November 28.

According to Reid, their Honda Rocket motorized scooters have a max speed of roughly 35 miles per hour. Reid said the speed limitation of the scooters has helped them to “appreciate the landscapes and the people.”

“That speed forces us to slowdown our thinking, our perspectives and really engage,” said Reid. “These scooters encourage us and almost force us to think about how to squeeze the most meaning out of the journey.”

Both Reid and Belik are traveling under the collective, Wheeling for the World. According to Belik, the collective is made up of “change makers” who seek to inspire and reach change through movement. The collective already has one Guinness World Record for the “Longest journey on a kick-scooter in 24 hours (by a team.)”

“We hope to exemplify the idea of pursuing your passions and dreams with the utmost tenacity and ferocity that one would have – that’s what we want people to take away from this,” said Reid.

Both Reid and Belik acknowledged that their trip comes with inherent risks. To avoid poor weather conditions, the two planned their trip with the intention of traversing the colder, northern states first. Once they reach the west coast states, they plan to travel south to more acclimate weather.

Despite their plans, they have already run into unexpected weather conditions. Already, a mild snow forced the two travelers to stay in Bowman longer than planned.

“Of course we are worried about [the weather], but it’s not consuming,” said Reid. “At the end of the day, there are so many factors we should also worry about like being hit by a car, or a tire blowing out in the road, or getting stung in the face by a bee, or getting attacked by a bear.”

Reid continued, “There are so many reasons we shouldn’t be doing this. There are so many reasons we should be on our couches in a safe space. But with going out and pursing your dreams and living your passion, you have to accept some being uncomfortable – some level of risk, and we embrace that risk.”

Ultimately, Reid said that he plans on reaching his goal no matter the conditions.

“Our motto is, unless we literally have to stop, we will continue on at any cost. We have to keep going,” he said.

Overall, Belik expressed that their unexpected stay in Bowman was exemplary. Thanks to community generosity, Reid and Belik were able wait out the cold weather and snow in a guest apartment above the Arqueros Mexican Restaurant for two days

“Bowman has been amazing,” said Belik. “We really feel like Bowman is home for us, which is absolutely wild to think. But that’s the beauty of this trip: getting to know the people.”

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