Shown: Scott with Brooke Groves-Anderson and Asa Piyaka crossing into Colorado from Kansas.
Scott’s adventures began with his uncle Lucas. They met when Scott was about five years old on St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands in 1982. Lucas was 6’2 and very strong, having played division 1 college basketball at Boston University. When Scott was very young, Lucas built a tree house at his Cassi Hill residence. He also taught Scott how to swim and how to steer a car.
Lucas would rappel off his balcony onto the reef below, scuba dive to spear a fish, and return to his house to grill it. On a dare, Lucas swam from St. Thomas to St. John in one day to benefit a charity. The distance is about five miles across choppy water. The current between the islands is strong as it is right where the Caribbean Sea meets the Atlantic Ocean. Lucas conquered the distance with ease. The feat inspired Scott.
“35 years later, Lucas continues to inspire me with his athleticism and sense of humor. I hope I am still as adventurous when I reach his age.”
Habitat Bike Challenge
Almost fifteen years later, Julian Austin, a college friend, approached Scott about a bike trip for the New Haven chapter of Habitat for Humanity. Each rider had to raise $2,500 for which they got a free Cannondale touring bike and a spot on the 1996 Habitat Bicycle Challenge. The ride begun in Washington, DC and crossed Virginia, Kentucky, Illinois, Missouri, Kansas, Colorado, Utah, Nevada, and finally California (almost 4,000 miles).
Seeing America by bicycle is memorable; the pace is so slow that one can take in every detail of each small town and natural attraction (e.g., Arches National Park, Bryce Canyon) – a mixed blessing since even the most slight incline requires extra effort.
Scott still remembers the soreness after the first day in the Appalachian Mountains. The pain from the bike seat was unexpected and extremely uncomfortable. It took three weeks with a gel seat cover to get used to the feeling of sitting on a narrow strip of leather and metal for seven hours per day (between 60-100 miles per day). At each stop, the Habiriders slept on pews or the floor of a church that welcomed the Team with water, showers, and food. In exchange, the Team offered a slideshow from the previous year’s trip and the testimony of two riders who talked about the day’s ride. A narrated slideshow of photos from the Habitat Bicycle Challenge can be viewed below.
Scott participated in other bike rides as well: 330 miles from North Carolina to Washington, DC in 2001 with Brother to Brother Sister to Sister United; 280 miles from Ground Zero to the Pentagon in 2002 to commemorate 9/11 with WorldTeam Sports; 505 miles from Amsterdam, The Netherlands to Paris, France to raise money for research for an AIDS vaccine in 2002; and three half-Ironman triathlons in 2003-2004.
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Shown: Scott with the flag of the U.S. Virgin Islands.
Scott’s hardest challenge was a trek up the Machame route on Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania, Africa. Mount Kilimanjaro stands out on the East African savanna; it is not part of a mountain range. The only other mountain in sight is Mount Meru.
The trek was 4.5 days of climbing and 1.5 days of descending. On August 19, 2001, Scott went to sleep at about 8:30 pm and was awakened three hours later. In three layers of clothing and the thickest jacket available, Scott began the push for the summit with his guide, Robert Mbuya.
Robert, or “Robati,” kept saying “Polee, polee” which is Kiswahili for “Slowly, slowly.” Finally, the sun rose and Scott and Robati made it to what Scott thought was the top only to find out that he had about 200 meters more to reach the true summit and take a photograph. At around 6:30 am, Scott reached Uhuru Peak, the highest point on Africa (19,341 feet). On the descent, he stopped to take the photo below with the flag of the U.S. Virgin Islands.
Scott lives in Washington, DC.
"I told someone that I biked from Washington, DC to San Francisco, the first thing they asked was 'what type of motorcycle I rode.' He could believe that anyone pedaled 4,000 miles.”