Transcripts

From A To B: Inside An Epic Road Trip

MS. REBECCA SHEIR

00:00:03
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

00:00:33
Transportation reporter, Martin DiCaro, caught up with this hard pedaling pair during a stop in our neck of the woods.

MR. MARTIN DI CARO

00:00:40
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

00:00:58
In the last six days, we've gone about 250, 300 miles.

CARO

00:01:03
You have around 3700 more miles to go.

MORDKOVICH

00:01:07
We try to take it one day at a time.

CARO

00:01:09
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.

MORDKOVICH

00:01:22
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.

CARO

00:01:31
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.

MORDKOVICH

00:01:41
Seeing that just makes you realize that things that may seem impossible at first or really farfetched are actually not that impossible after all.

CARO

00:01:51
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

00:02:05
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.

CARO

00:02:17
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.

MORDKOVICH

00:02:30
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.

CARO

00:02:38
How handy is the GPS?

MORDKOVICH

00:02:41
It works great when it works, but when the battery dies, that's a problem.

CARO

00:02:47
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.

MORDKOVICH

00:03:01
Such as tools, such as spare tubes.

MOSTOVETSKY

00:03:06
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...

CARO

00:03:27
Any granola bars in there?

MOSTOVETSKY

00:03:30
It's funny you ask because Boris has collection of Cliff Bars that his brother donated to us for (unintelligible) .

MORDKOVICH

00:03:41
One 12 pack, two 12 packs.

CARO

00:03:41
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.

MORDKOVICH

00:03:55
The best stories are the ones where while they're happening, you're thinking why in the world did I decide to do this?

CARO

00:04:03
Any of those yet?

MORDKOVICH

00:04:04
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.

MOSTOVETSKY

00:04:13
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.

CARO

00:04:22
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.

MORDKOVICH

00:04:36
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.

MOSTOVETSKY

00:04:48
We'll have some stories for the grandkids that's for sure.

CARO

00:04:50
And the legs of Olympic bicyclists. I'm Martin Di Caro.
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