The Cortijo-Drake family are continuing their journey via electric bicycle to the Guinness World Records book. It is one which they began on August 23 in Missoula, Montana and which will not end until they reach their final destination, 6,200 miles later, in Miami, Florida. Besides having a goal of making it into the record books, they have a bigger goal of spreading a “Green Awareness,” and promoting the use of electric bikes as a way to conserve energy.
The Cortijo-Drakes are also affectionately known as the “Camper Clan” family. They picked up that nickname when they traveled for a year on the road from Buenos Aires in South America in June 2013 to the United States, documenting and filming their odyssey along the route at their Camper Clan family adventure travel blog.
They plan to break the world record of distance traveled riding an electric bicycle as a family. According to the online Guinness World Records book, the current record of “The longest journey on a motorized bicycle is 6,721 km (4,176.23 miles) and was achieved by Danny Halmo (Canada) who travelled from English Bay, Vancouver, British Columbia, to Halifax Harbour, Nova Scotia, Canada from 14 July to 4 September 2012.”
If the Cortijo-Drake family are able to make it across the northern states and dip down until they eventually reach Miami, Florida, they will not only break the record of 4,176.23 miles; they will devastate it, as they will have traveled approximately 6,200 miles. However, they are (deliberately) only riding about 100 miles a day, limited, in part, by the battery;s storage capacity on the bicycle. They do have 12 batteries with them, making sure that they are all charged except for the one Tomas is using at the time.
Also, the rate of speed is due to not wanting to get Tomas too exhausted on any given day. Besides the entire family, including Tomas’s wife Dylan, who is driving a support vehicle and their two young children, ages 2 and 4, are sightseeing and documenting the odyssey mile-by-mile. They have so far traveled around 500 miles and are in Malta, Montana.
The family has already traveled through such areas as Glacier National Park and the badlands of eastern Montana. Their route will take them south of the Great Lakes, north to Maine, then south along the east coast to Miami, Florida. The Camper Clan family will be filming a documentary about their e-bike tour, which they hope to fund through a successful Kickstarter campaign.
Tomas choosing to break a record using an electric bicycle, or e-bike, was natural for him. After all, as he explains, “I have been commuting with electric bicycles for years in Buenos Aires and southern California, and built my first hub motor e-bike in 2009. After our children were born, we used them for hauling the little ones around and for errands around town. We love that we can avoid traffic and parking hassles while using a mode of transportation that contributes very little net pollution to the environment.”
According to Dylan Drake, the matriarch of the family, “We feel so strongly that electric bicycles can make a positive impact on the planet and in our everyday lives that we wanted to do something to get the word out.”
Continuing on explaining the family’s itinerary, Dylan said “For six months we will circle the continental U.S. together as a family, with Tomas riding his electric bike while I drive the support vehicle with our two toddlers. We’ll be filming every step of the way so that we can share this adventure with a broader audience and help educate the public about electric bicycles.”
For now, the family is focused on putting in the miles to get through the northern portion of the country before winter snows and freezing temperatures set in. “So far, we have been extremely lucky and have been able to avoid several storms and cold fronts that have moved through Montana,” says Tomas. “We’ve also been making great time with a steady tailwind to our backs. We’re crossing our fingers that our good luck lasts.”
Camper Clan was founded as a way to document the Cortijo-Drake family’s trip driving from Buenos Aires to the United States. Later, the site was used as a hub to raise funds through their Kickstarter Program and to document their Guinness World Record breaking electric bicycle ride. The goal of Camper Clan is to share family adventure stories that have a positive impact on the environment and the world with a broader audience.
Written By Douglas Cobb