MS. REBECCA SHEIR
So as we mentioned at the start of today's show, it's getting to be the time of year when we have vacation on the brain and there are all sorts of getaways you can take. You can hop a plane, a boat, a car or in the case of the two people we'll meet next, an electric bicycle. It's our weekly transportation segment, "From A to B."
MS. REBECCA SHEIR
Transportation reporter, Martin DiCaro, caught up with this hard pedaling pair during a stop in our neck of the woods.
MR. MARTIN DI CARO
Boris Mordkovich and Anna Mostovetsky don't strike me as transcontinental bicyclists when I meet them in a Maryland suburb. He's 26 years old, tall, skinny and bespectacled. She's 25 and slight in build with wavy black hair and deep blue eyes. But they both must have legs of iron or soon will.
MR. BORIS MORDKOVICH
In the last six days, we've gone about 250, 300 miles.
You have around 3700 more miles to go.
We try to take it one day at a time.
This tour will take two and a half months and cover 4,000 miles. They started in New York and will their electric bikes along city and country roads, winding and weaving across the U.S.A. until they get to San Francisco.
For us, it was an interesting opportunity to see a lot of the different cities in our country and understand what are the transportation challenges in each one.
Boris is a director at Evelo, a startup electric bicycle company in New York. He used to work for a company that organized 7,500 mile bike trips across Africa.
Seeing that just makes you realize that things that may seem impossible at first or really farfetched are actually not that impossible after all.
Anna's been on one career adventure after another. She has degree in environmental science, has worked for the US Forest Service in California, done salmon restoration in Washington State and for fun took a four month hiking trip in South America.
MS. ANNE MOSTOVETSKY
I figured that as long as I have time now to do these kinds of things when opportunities like this arise, I should, by all means, take them and go for it because, you know, who knows what will happen in five years.
So this may sound like a wonderful way to see the country, but it's still 4,000 miles. Even on electric bicycles, that's a lot of pedaling and it's not like they can just jump on the Interstate and ride straight toward the setting sun.
For the tour, we have actually installed a small GPS on the bike just so that we know where we are and where we need to be going.
How handy is the GPS?
It works great when it works, but when the battery dies, that's a problem.
They might run into other problems, like nasty weather, flat tires, mechanical breakdowns. So they've hooked up trailers to their electric bikes each weighing around 70 pounds carrying the stuff they'll need to survive 75 days on the road.
Such as tools, such as spare tubes.
So this is our kind of electrical box and this is where we keep all our chargers and other electrical gadgets for, you know, charging batteries. And then this box, which actually came in really handy today, is just kind of emergency tools. This includes our first aid kits, some bungee cords, a Ziploc bag full of spare tubes...
Any granola bars in there?
It's funny you ask because Boris has collection of Cliff Bars that his brother donated to us for (unintelligible) .
One 12 pack, two 12 packs.
Our coast to coasters are roughing it, but not really roughing it. They're arranging to stay with local hosts every night, booking their lodging online with people who rent out rooms or couches to travelers. They won't be sleeping under the stars in the middle of Nebraska.
The best stories are the ones where while they're happening, you're thinking why in the world did I decide to do this?
Any of those yet?
Nothing major so far. There are a couple of hiccups here and there where, for example, you end up on an Interstate just because the GPS sent you in the wrong direction.
There's been a lot of head turning. I think a lot of people are curious about what we're doing. A lot of people that see us don't realize that we're riding on electric bicycles.
Boris and Anna we're left with a good impression about greater Washington's potential for bicycle community, but even if they don't convince many people to quit, $4 gasoline and the internal combustion engine in favor of a two-wheeler. They plan to enjoy every minute pedaling on the road together.
Even though it means a break from your everyday life and even though it does involve sometimes putting your professional life on hold, it adds experience to your life that will take you far.
We'll have some stories for the grandkids that's for sure.
And the legs of Olympic bicyclists. I'm Martin Di Caro.
Transcripts of WAMU programs are available for personal use. Transcripts are provided "As Is" without warranties of any kind, either express or implied. WAMU does not warrant that the transcript is error-free. For all WAMU programs, the broadcast audio should be considered the authoritative version. Transcripts are owned by WAMU 88.5 FM American University Radio and are protected by laws in both the United States and international law. You may not sell or modify transcripts or reproduce, display, distribute, or otherwise use the transcript, in whole or in part, in any way for any public or commercial purpose without the express written permission of WAMU. All requests for uses beyond personal and noncommercial use should be referred to (202) 885-1200.