Prior moped experience:
I first started traveling by moped in 1975. I traveled about
6000 miles that summer and the next, all over southern and northern Ontario. In
1977 I spent the entire summer traveling by moped in the eastern provinces of Canada (Quebec, New
Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Newfoundland, Prince Edward Island).
Altogether I put about 21,000 miles (33,600 km) on my first
moped. It was the same brand and model that I took on the 1978 trip to Yukon,
Alaska and NWT.
Those three summers of traveling by moped gave me the practice
and knowledge I needed to make the 1978 trip. I learned how to repair the moped,
what parts were most likely to break down or cause trouble, and what tools I
Prior camping and traveling experience:
In 1973 I spent most of the summer on a work project in a Native
Indian community in northern Ontario. I slept outside most of the summer.
I had made several long distance bicycle trips around Ontario
prior to 1978 (in addition to the numerous moped trips).
In 1974, when I was 17 years old, I bicycled 800 miles up to
northern Ontario. From there I hitchhiked for 4 months: west to British Columbia
(Vancouver, Prince Rupert), Yukon and Alaska, and back across Canada to Nova
Scotia, and then back to Ontario in October. I also gained a lot of hitchhiking
experience on later trips.
In 1976 I started to travel a little by car as well. But the
moped remained my preferred method. And I still preferred to camp.
As well, by 1978 I had made numerous backpacking and
canoeing trips in Ontario's
Overall, I loved being outdoors and on the road, and I loved the
sense of uncertainty and adventure that comes with that. It was when I was
traveling outdoors in the wild areas that I felt most alive. I also enjoyed
the simplicity that came with traveling light, with a minimum of belongings.
So all in all, by 1978 I was no stranger to camping, traveling,
and being outdoors!
Prior to leaving on the 1978 trip I dismantled the old moped and
labeled and catalogued all the parts. The parts that I didn't take as spares I
left behind at home, ready to be shipped to me as needed wherever I was on the road. I also
asked a couple of friends to be willing to buy new parts and ship
them to me if needed.
The local moped dealer where I lived was very helpful. They got
me the specialized tools I needed to be able to be fully independent and service
every part of the moped myself (in the remote areas
where I was headed there would certainly be no Mobylette moped dealers!). They
also got me a parts and repair manual for the bike. The trip would not have been
possible without these items (ie, I could not have been fully independent).
I received no sponsorship from Mobylette or their distributor in
Canada. I asked for a discount on the new moped I purchased for the trip and was
declined. But I did the trip just fine without that!