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Cola’s 2023 Scooter Cannonball cross country rider

John Furr — aka Rider #272 JohnnyPow — is buzzing across the southern US on his 2010 Vespa GTS 300 scooter that will end on Hilton Head Island on June 25.

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John Furr — aka JohnnyPow — stands with his gear on a recent trail ride in Utah. | Photo via John Furr

Local man John Furr — aka Rider #272 JohnnyPow — shipped his 2010 Vespa GTS 300 scooter to San Clemente, CA last week. On Sunday, he loaded the scooter up and took off on an eight-day journey across the southern US that ends at Hilton Head Island on June 25.

The Scooter Cannonball competition takes place every two years where riders pilot 24-horsepower scooters along America’s back roads. Some are paved, some are not, but the heat-scorched exhausting journey is not for the faint of heart.

Riders plan ahead to build a winning strategy to avoid breakdowns, accurately plan for fuel, and make sure they don’t take a wrong turn at Albuquerque while exploring America’s back roads.

How do you win?

Riders are given points for stopping at checkpoints and win bonuses for scenic photo opportunities taken along the way. Winning requires eight perfect days of riding made possible through perfect planning + focused execution. In 2021, 185 riders registered and only 42 finished all 10 days (4,500 miles) of riding.

Watching the weather

The weather looks to play a huge factor in the race. Right now, the riders are hunched over handlebars, cruising through sunny skies and temperatures exceeding 100 degrees, but it’s looks like they’ll run into some southeastern storms. In 2021, riders faced crashes, broken bones, heavy rains, downed trees, and plenty of potholes.

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JohnnyPow has a plan to win the Scooter Cannonball as a rookie contestant. | Screenshot via Scooter Cannonball

Tracking the riders

We’re tracking John’s journey. On Monday, he skipped a checkpoint and cut a corner to make it quicker to a Bonus checkpoint.

Follow along via the live tracker as John shares photos and videos along the way. The closest he’ll come to Columbia is on day eight when the riders follow a path along the Savannah River to their final destination.

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