Peace and the art of scooter maintenance

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Peace and the art of scooter maintenance

On July 15, Alix Bryan will be puttering south out of Washington, D.C., on a scooter. Almost two months and more than 9,000 miles later, she hopes to be pulling up to Dubya’s “Western White House” in Crawford, Texas. It’s what she’s doing in between that she wants the world to know about.


Alix Bryan may be on a peace mission to Crawford, Texas, but this Mudhouse barista is no Cindy Sheehan. Bryan’s 9,000-mile scooter voyage is a hunt for an American definition of peace.

Bryan, a Mudhouse barista, is going to be making stops in 15 states over the course of her trip, which will take her on a route in the shape of a giant peace sign across the lower 48 (or at least as close to a peace sign as you can get with such an unwieldy shape). Her project is called A P.E.A.C.E. Scooter, or “A Patriot’s Exhibition Advancing Community and Environmentalism, on a Scooter,” and the idea is to visit communities across the country to get at a working, American definition of peace. Bryan, who stresses that her mission is apolitical and not to be confused with an anti-war protest, plans to document her travels and the hundreds of definitions of peace she expects to encounter on video.

“It’s a personal journey and a traveling art show, but it’s also a proactive demonstration for peace,” Bryan explains. “The goal is to have Americans define peace with me.” Bryan came up with the idea half-jokingly, but in late May, she wrote an e-mail to scooter supplier Genuine Scooters about her plan. Eight hours later, she was on the phone with their president. Genuine Scooters is supplying Bryan with the scooter she’ll be riding and free tune-ups during her trip.

Through her website, www.peacescooter.com, Bryan’s been able to make contact with the libraries and coffeehouses where she intends to do much of her work, and for that lonely nearly 700-mile stretch between Salina, Kansas, and Fargo, North Dakota, Bryan hopes to take advantage of couchsurfing.com for places to sleep.

When asked about the uncertainties that remain in all this, Bryan quotes Martin Luther King, Jr.: “Faith is taking the first step even when you don’t see the whole staircase.”

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