(…while wearing a powder blue tux!)
He calls it Scooter Insanity 1000 and you might just think he's insane, but he's not. Paul Pelland, 46, of Londonderry set out Friday, May 2nd, to ride a 250cc Piaggio scooter from Boston to Chicago in twenty-four hours. That's 1,000 miles -- on a scooter! Oh yeah, he also wore a powder blue tuxedo.
"I think the tuxedo is the thing I worry about the most...that will be the interesting part," Pelland said before embarking on his journey.
Pelland has multiple sclerosis (MS). His symptoms include fatigue, weakness, and memory loss. He's no stranger to extreme rides on his motorcycle, but this was the first time he had attempted one on a scooter... but it was the tux that worried him the most???
"Yeah, especially during late night gas station stops," Pelland said.
Pelland did get looks, and comments, and questions. “One guy at a rest stop asked me if I was on my honeymoon. I said, ‘Yes, of course!’”
Pelland was an avid motorcycle rider before his diagnosis in 2005. His wife, Elin encouraged him to continue. "He's happiest when he's on the motorcycle," she said. "He told me once, it's like breathing."
Pelland wore his riding gear underneath the blue tux, still there wasn't much room on the bike for supplies. "When I packed (the bike), I had to unpack three pairs of (riding) gloves, and leave them at home."
There's one other thing he left behind. "I have no room for MS symptoms, so I left them at home."
Free from any excess baggage, Paul completed his journey in less than twenty-four hours. He pulled up to his hotel at 4:30 Saturday morning – just sixteen and a half hours after he had left Boston!
He said he was, “tired, but delighted, and proud of my supporters!”
Pelland has pledged to ride one million miles for MS. He’s already logged 55,000 miles, and raised $53,000 for the National MS Society to fund research and services.
Definitely NOT insane!