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Man attempts to set new world record on Saturday
by Nancy Grindle Correspondent · October 5th, 2017

You've seen those cute little mini-cars the Shriners drive to turn wheelies and delight everyone in parades and special events. Well, one will be in a particularly special event this Saturday, October 7, at 9 a.m.

Although he won't be doing wheelies, Rob Zimmerly will attempt to drive one on two side wheels for a total of 3.3 miles. He found out that the world record is 2.4 miles. He talked with us in a phone conversation and said, "I have ridden on two side wheels farther than that."

So he decided to try to best the record officially. He approached Captain Kamm from the Hiawatha Police Department, and the two sat down and worked out all the details. Zimmerly said, "The Police Department is 100 percent behind us on this and looking forward to helping."

Zimmerly and his helpers will set up in the front parking lot of the Shrine temple on Stamy Road in Hiawatha early Saturday morning. At 9 a.m. sharp, he will start the record run by exiting the driveway on two wheels and heading north (right) on Stamy Road to Tower Terrace.

He will then turn right, go to the next building (east of the Shrine temple) and negotiate a U-turn in the street, all the while staying on the side two wheels. (This will increase the "difficulty factor.")

After the U-turn, Zimmerly will travel west on Tower Terrace Road at least two and a half miles, crossing over North Center Point Road and over I-380. The police will close the intersection of North Center Point Road and Tower Terrace Road for a brief time while he travels through. They also will verify the distance he travels.

An escort vehicle (with flashing lights) equipped with a video camera will lead the group. Next will be Zimmerly in the mini-car. Another escort vehicle will follow, also equipped with a video cam. The mini-car itself will have a dash cam. According to Zimmerly, "All three videos will be mixed together and placed on YouTube to share with everyone." Police will accompany the car as well.

An observation area in front of the temple will permit everyone to watch as Zimmerly makes his run. At that location, a Shriner with a cell phone live-linked with an escort vehicle will provide updates on the progress when the mini-car gets out of sight and until the end of the race. The entire communication of the record run will also be tape recorded.

After the race, the car will be loaded into the escort pickup and hauled back to the temple. People will be able to look at the mini-car, talk with Zimmerly and his helpers, and take pictures.

The current record of 2.4 miles was set by a Shriner from the Moolah Shrine temple in St. Louis. Zimmerly will try for 3.3 miles but he said he will be happy with anything over 2.5 miles.

The mini-car used in this attempt is one of two that the Vintage Auto Shrine Club operates. Zimmerly is a member of that club. The club also has full-sized vintage cars and mascots.

A main goal of the Shriners is to raise awareness of the Shriners Hospitals for children and the world-renowned health care that is provided at these hospitals. Shriners also like to boost morale within their temples and the surrounding communities. El Kahir has members from Marion, Hiawatha, Robins, Cedar Rapids and many other towns and rural areas nearby.

Zimmerly noted that as Chaplain for El Kahir, he is responsible for moral and spiritual wellness within the temple.

In case of inclement weather, the craft sale will proceed, but the mini-car run will be two weeks later, on Saturday, October 21, at the same time and place.

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