Self car shuttle with scooter???

Has anyone ever tried doing a self car shuttle with a moped/scooter or small motorcycle?

I do a lot of solo paddling, sometimes far from home and friends, and would like to expand beyond doing “up and back down” river trips. I was considering getting a hitch mounted carrier and a used moped or scooter. Then drop the canoe and gear at the put-in, drive to the take-out, scoot back the the put-in, lock the scooter to something and paddle away, and hopefully remembering to pick up the scooter on the way home.

What are your experiences? What about leaving the gear unattended for the shuttle time?

Thanks in advance,


Not with a scooter
but I have done essentially the same thing many times with a bicycle.

I was generally doing runs in the southern Appalachians in wooded areas so it was easy to stash the bike in the woods and secure it to a tree with a cable and padlock.

Similarly, I would stash my boat, paddle(s) and gear in the woods out of site of the river or road. Never had a problem with this.

ditto on the bicycle

– Last Updated: Feb-25-11 12:10 PM EST –

I use common sense and lock up the bike at the bottom of the trail, take the least gear I can manage, and cram it into a backpack for the ride back to the put-in. Everything that doesn't fit in the backpack gets left with the boat, and I usually lock the boat to a tree.
The trick is remembering the key for the bike lock for the bottom of the trail (and the key for the car for when you get back to the top - I've left both behind!).

I’ve biked to the start and walked back home when I take out, but I am sure you could just as easily take out at a vehicle. If you have a canoe, and live near a river, you can also consider using a portage cart and towing your canoe with the bike, then packing cart and bike in the boat for the ride back down.

Any Liveries Near You?

– Last Updated: Feb-25-11 1:23 PM EST –

Interesting idea. I have read of it done with a bicycle.

Not sure if you thought of another idea but if there are any canoe/kayak rental places (liveries) near you most will do "private boat transport" for a fee and will shuttle you to destinations the same way as those who rent.

I do this all the time with a bicycle. If I am in a wild area, I just hide whatever I am leaving behind (deep in the woods, can cover with camo, that has worked very well… to date. In urban areas, I lock the boat, rig a pack so paddles, life vest, lunch etc stays with me when i ride, then lock the bike. I would recommend a beater bike.

Other than that you take a chance… try to lock stuff up and hope for the best. Or talk to someone living near by and ask if you can store it for a short period.

Paddle and peddle
I have been doing this for 20+ years on probably 300 individual solo trips all across the country and only problem was ONE time when my bike was stolen (forgot the lock).

Foldin’ bike…
chuck it in me canoo an’ go.


Guess the answer is, no

– Last Updated: Feb-25-11 7:55 PM EST –

No one yet reporting use of scooter or moped. I've thought of the same thing -- getting too old and lazy to pedal -- so I was hoping for some positive answers.

Whatever you stash, you may consider stashing it upstream from the put-in or downstream from the take-out. This could reduce the probability that someone will spot your stash from the land or water.

XC Hang Gliding…
…friends used to carry a little moped-thing on a rack that they would lock up at the “Loser’s LZ” so that if they sunk out, they could drive back up the mountain to retrieve their rig. If they went long and had to hitch hike back they only had to get a ride to the moped (at the Loser’s LZ) and then ride up the mountain to retrieve their rig.

Another friend of mine (who always launched first but seldom too soon) locked the motorbike at the Loser’s LZ and stashed a bunch of cheap bicycles, that he had bought at Goodwill, out along his intended routes where he might sink out (think alternate take outs).

I think it’s a relevant conversation and maybe my example hasn’t been lost.


Road Legal…

– Last Updated: Feb-26-11 7:06 PM EST –

If I could find a cheap and small one that is still road legal I'd probably use one. But on a small passenger car I probably do not want to hang anything too heavy on the back and I don't know if a small 50cc moped can be stashed there on a hitch and no trailer...

In the suburbs near the Potomac where I could use such a shuttle device, a small scooter may work as well and that can go in the trunk. But it's slow and I guess most are not road legal (though IMO it's no different than the bicycles obnoxiously slowing traffic on these same roads and not using the bike lane next to the road...)

Or may be something like this: this is street legal, foldable (some), and with range 15-20 miles + pedals for when you run out of juice -;) That might fit into a trunk and at 100lb not impossible to take out of there and put back in with some effort...

Vehicle does not matter
People (including me) have done shuttling in WW kayaking for years. I have never had a problem at either end. Just the opposite. Sure, there is always some risk, but my experience is that it is small to non-existent. You are more likely to find people are more than willing to help you out and return gear you lost or misplaced. So stop worrying.

I heard of it
I wish I could remember more details. There is a gentleman in Wisconsin who has paddled a huge number of rivers using a folding scooter for shuttles. His scooter fits in his canoe so he doesn’t have to lock it up.

I’ve been mulling over a scooter too. I’ve covered all the easy to access rivers in my area, now I want to paddle the remote ones. But riding 30 miles on a bike to paddle 10 miles on a river and still have time left in the day for four hours of driving to get to and return from the river is quite tiring.

One of the guys I work with uses a scooter when he canoes. He has a canoe trailer that the scooter mounts onto. So he leaves the scooter at the take out and then drives back to get the car and trailer when done. Leaves the canoe chained up to a tree. Has a small basket (milk crate) attached to the scooter to hold gear and paddle.