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Anonymous's picture

I promised to inform the group of the 200 miler I was attempting last Sunday, 5/23/2004.

Well, I kicked 150, not 200. The attempt on the longest kick scooter ride in USA did not go entirely as I planned and for NOW this ride will be the 3d longest by a USA kicker (the longest two, according John V., belong to Dan Nielsen, 178 miles and 174 miles).

But let me start from the beginning.

A day prior, Saturday, May 22nd was a special day for me. I had a re-union with my old mountaineering/biking friends and their entire families. We celebrated by riding 121 miles on our bikes from Manhattan to Montauk, NY. Bike ride was a pleasure. We averaged 17.8 mph, stopped for food and drink and I sucked the wheel all the way. Up on arrival to Montauk the festivities continued in the summer home of one of the friends (the owner, Judy, drove my car with my Kick bike in it to her Montauk home).

Not to dwell on the issues I will only mention that my good mood promoted huge quantities of strong celebration fluids… This was more than was appropriate for what I set out to do next morning….90 minute late and confused start was the result.

I started at 5:15 am from Judy’s house in light drizzle. My long time friend, John Waff, who for almost 20 years supported me in numerous ultra-marathon races, was right behind driving my car. There can be no more reliable and dedicated person one can wish to depend on!

The plan was to kick 62 miles to East Patchogue, where I could stay on either 50-mile or a 10-mile loop (both where my training grounds in preparation for 1988 Race Across America). Right away I noticed the annoying affect of headwind and wet roads. I seemed unable to warm up and work out sweat. Pace averaged about 11.5 mph (a whole mph below last week’s Montauk Century average). My heart rate monitor was showing surprisingly low numbers.

After getting and fixing a flat, answering numerous calls by nature and still in search of my rhythm I finally arrived at McDonald’s in East Patchogue. By now humid air was getting warmer. It was noon and John was about to be relieved. I requested him to stuff my car cooler with ice and cold drinks before he left. By that point I covered 71.2 miles averaging 11.3 mph. This was an OK pace but almost 1 mph lower than planned.

I was looking forward to a circular path to balance out effects of wind.

Next 50 miles were kicked in complete solitude. Some well-disposed drivers (and occasional pedestrians) would cheer me with thumb up but others (which seemed more numerous as I was getting tired) were honking, yelling and even trying to drive me off the rode. I am amazed at the mind set of these lowly human beings who relish intimidating a lone defenseless kicker ….

At mile 112 all my three water bottles were long empty and I decided to stop at the deli for a cold Gatorade. All was totally normal until I noticed grimace on the face of the owner. He held his fingers at his throat as if trying to choke himself watching me taking 5 seconds to down 32 ozs of ice cold fluid. It was absolutely most delicious 32 ozs I ever consumed !!!

Arriving at my car (122 miles) I re-hydrated, ate and got fresh load of food and fluids on board. At that point I made a rational decision to limit my ride to 150 miles. I called a friend who was supposed to support me in the coming dark hours and relieved him (coincidentally one of his twins got sick and needed him more than I did). At that point I felt that I could force another 78 miles but the “cost of going” seemed high.

My recovery from every 100 mile kick so far this year was agonizingly slow - always followed by cold symptoms and like. Having in mind world championship in Europe coming in one week and not looking forward to kicking another 3 hours in the dark were the two biggest factors in my decision.

After kicking another 3 (incomplete) small laps I finished exactly 150 miles in 13 hours and 23 min

Anonymous's picture
JP (not verified)

Alex B,

You da man.

We’ve never met, but I’ve heard of your Indian Point scooter rides from David M. and Hodges. I know your sis Marina from one of my rides. Great gal. And who the heck was it that told me you showed up and completed in good time a 400K brevet after having only ridden 45 miles that whole year!?! Now this. Alright!!!

Well, now I know one of your secrets – lots of calories, 3900. OK!

Good luck in Europe! Kick butt (pun intended) Keep, me, us posted.


Anonymous's picture
Mordecai Silver (not verified)
Good luck!

Thanks for the report, Alex. Congratulations on your accomplishment on Sunday, and best of luck in the world championships. Now remember, no vodka the night before!

Anonymous's picture
Alfredo Garcia (not verified)
2004 Montauk Photo Finish


Here's a resplendid photo link at Ruschmeyers:

Tell the 5bbc web (Jim Zisfein) who you are and give your account at Montauk.

Congrats again,

Anonymous's picture
alex bekkerman (not verified)

Alfredo, Mordecai and JP!

Thanks! I appreciate your encouragement and interest! I will give my account of 1st world scooter championship when I come back from Europe on July 18.

By the way, my scooter (KICk BIke), after I redesigned it, is probably the lightest and most advanced machine of its type in the world. You can find a very lively word-wide discussion of its features (and see pictures with my comments)on

I am not sure if to view pics you need to become a member but it is easy and you can quit any time

Thanks again,


PS. By the way the secret of ultra-endurance is (yes!) sufficient calories and fine pacing. Being thick in the head also helps.

Anonymous's picture
JP (not verified)

Being thick in the head also helps.


Hahaha. Yes.

I remember about 2 years ago when OLN ran an hour-long documentary on RAAM- the Race Across America, some 3,000+ miles with folks doing it in as little as 7 or 9 days!!

Well, I tune in late and see this “poor” guy slowly, painfully stepping out of a mobile home trailer, dressed in road gear. He is grimacing, grasping the hand rails as 3 others help him down the few stairs. “Oh my”, I say, “DNF. Did Not Finish!!”

Well, the guy has his helmet on, waddles ever so slowly on his cleats over to a bicycle – and gets on. And rides away!!!!!! NO DNF here. His problem is his neck hurts very badly. And 1300 miles to go!!!!!! Well, after a couple hundred more miles, he wants to continue but cannot hold his head up. So, SOOOOOOO, members of his entourage find a nice, thick tree branch, clean it up, cut it down to about 2.5 feet, and duct tape it around the rider’s stomach, around his chest and around his helmet!!!!! This branch is holding his head up!!!!!!! WTF!!!!!! He finished I believe, completing 900 miles with a tree branch up his spine!!!

Thick in the neck!!

Anonymous's picture
alex bekkerman (not verified)

great story!

By the way the neck problem has a medical term - Shermer's neck - a rider from my RAAM times who ""managed the problem first"". There are many improvised devices that different crews use. Surprizingly, Tri-bars help the problem.


Anonymous's picture
Isaac Brumer (not verified)

Bravo Alex!

Anonymous's picture
don montalvo (not verified)

in all the years i've known alex, he's always been a monster! go alex!


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