Polish man’s record-setting scooter ride temporarily halted by hit-and-run outside Calgary
Published Wednesday, May 17, 2017 5:34PM MDT
Last Updated Wednesday, May 17, 2017 6:49PM MDT
Piotr Glowacki’s effort to circumnavigate the globe on two wheels came to a screeching halt on Sunday night when his scooter was struck by a car on the TransCanada Highway east of Calgary city limits.
The citizen of Poland was airlifted to the Foothills Medical Centre after suffering three breaks to his leg and significant bruising in the ordeal.
Glowacki was in the midst of a trip that had started in May of 2016 in his homeland and saw him cut a path through dozens of nations before arriving in South Korea where he shipped his 50cc bike across the Pacific Ocean to British Columbia.
His first encounter with a Canadian winter brought his trip to a standstill and his attempt to resume his trip in the spring was plagued by bike troubles while in Calgary.
“I found Apocalypse Scooter Club in Calgary,” said Glowacki from his hospital bed at the Foothills Medical Centre “They told me ‘C’mon we can help you. We don’t want any money or anything we just want to help you and you can go straight home on your around-the-world trip.’.”
According to Gary Fisher of Apocalypse Scooter Club, the club bid farewell to Glowacki but their time apart was only temporary.
“We escorted him out of the city and he went off but he broke down in Kincaid, Saskatchewan,” said Fisher. “One of our members hopped in his truck and brought him back. We did a whole bunch more work, basically rebuilt the engine right from the main bearings.”
“I didn’t know anyone in Canada,” said Glowacki. “This Apocalypse Group just towed me and they keep me in their houses. I can use the garage. All the best mechanics, all four of us or five of us, we try and sort it out what might be the problem.”
The club resumed its work on Glowacki’s bike and, on Sunday night, they said goodbye to their visitor for a second time. Glowacki resumed his world record setting trip, which had surpassed the 22,000 kilometre mark, on the TransCanada Highway with plans to reach Prince Edward Island.
An encounter with a car, also travelling eastbound, saw Glowacki returning to Calgary in a STARS Air Ambulance helicopter and his scooter left on the side of the highway in four pieces.
“I (felt) it like a rocket or a grenade or a meteor just punched me from the back straight away,” said Glowacki. “I just fell down, the car had stopped, and I just said ‘Help, help’.” He recalls watching a car drive away for roughly 100 metres before the car stopped. “Bones are sticking out from my body.”
RCMP arrested the hit-and-run suspect a short distance from the scene. The accused, 27-year-old Christopher Ferguson of Airdrie, faces charges in connection with the crash as well as a number of recent armed robberies at liquor stores in cities and towns around Calgary.
Glowacki has undergone emergency surgery and his hospital room has been graced by an endless parade of well-wishers including members of the Apocalypse Scooter Club and the Polish Consul.
In the coming weeks, the injured scooter rider plans to return to Poland to undergo physiotherapy and rehabilitation. Once he’s back on his feet, Glowacki plans to return to Calgary with a new scooter bearing the plastic recovered from his damaged bike.
The Apocalypse Scooter Club created a GoFundMe page to help cover Glowacki’s medical expenses and his return to the road.
“It’s amazing the response,” said Fisher. “We had a target of $5,000. It’s been blown through all ready.”
“All sorts of people from all over the world have contributed to it.”
Glowacki says he’s made lifelong friends with the scooter aficionados. “I am very grateful for all of the help but especially the Apocalypse Club, they’re great. I don’t know how I can thank them.”
According to Glowacki, the current world record for longest trip on a 50cc scooter is approximately 14,000 kilometres. His place in the record books will be confirmed once he submits the required documentation to the Guinness World Record officials.