Mardi Gras

Friday, February 4, 2005 - Sunday, February 6, 2005

In the movie, Wyatt and Billy wanted to go to New Orleans for Mardi Gras. When they filmed it, they missed Mardi Gras by a month, altough they had shot the Mardi Gras scenes first. They called up friends from the area and recreated Mardi Gras for the filming.

We missed Mardi Gras by more than a month, when we came to New Orleans. But most of us came together in 2005 in New Orleans for Mardi Gras. I couldn't make it, but those who were there had the heck of a good time there. Here's Andy's story:

"The 'end' of the Easy Rider Trip officially took place 2 weeks ago at Mardis Gras....if you have seen the movie Easy Rider, you know that Wyatt and Billy end up in New Orleans in time for Mardis Gras. And so to complete the Easy Rider experience a few remnants of the 2004 SOHC Easy Rider trip came to New Orleans to experience Mardis Gras 2005.


Mark and Fabrizio flew in on the overnight flight from LA while I took a more civilized flight leaving cold snowy Boston at 8am. Mark and Fabrizio arrived before me and met Bud, our gracious host in New Orleans...they started drinking before I did with Mark apparently getting an early start at 4am! I met Bud at 11.15am and when we got to his truck in airport parking he handed me a cold beer from his cooler...this set the theme for the coming weekend!

Arrived at Buds place and Fabrizio and Mark were already into Buds beer collection (courtesy of an old 7-Up machine in his downstairs garage)...Mark had also discovered Buds absinthe and was well on his way to his own personal Mardis Gras :-) We decided to get Buds collection of bikes on the road so we could drive out for lunch...this meant a trip to Wal mart to pick up a battery as not all running bikes had one. Buds collection is great including a CL350 (ran for me for 2 or 3 miles but when Mark took it for a spin straight after me, he broke down at the top of Buds road due to the carburetor falling off!)...I think we all agreed it had nothing to do with the absinthe :-) At the top of Buds collection is his little race 400F which was great fun and we all rode it screaming up and down his street much to the bemusement of his neighbors who must have wondered what had hit them....

...after getting the bikes roadworthy we set off...Bud on the race bike - 400F (technically not street legal!), Fabrizio on the pristine gold CB750K2 complete with matching gold helmet and black shades (see photo in gallery), Mark on a very stock looking CB350 again with half- helmet and black shades (see pic) and me on `ol rusty - a beat up CB550 that had seen better days and had a baffle-less exhaust and would cut out every so often unless revved very I should mention Buds house is surrounded by parade routes (which were happening all the time) and so traffic was heavy and so was police presence....with non-legal bikes, funky headgear and dangerous shades we set off down the road....we cut up traffic, screamed/revved past police and arrived at Frankie and Johnnys restaurant just in time for the race 400F bike to cut all power....time for some local New Orleans food and beer :-) Mark was instantly taken by the aging buxom waitress but despite his best chat-up lines he didn't get any favors.

After lunch Bud tinkered with the 400F got it going and we repeated the screaming/revving ride back to Buds for more liquid refreshment and bike talk. At about 4pm someone said - "lets go outside" (or words to that effect) and we went to see a real Mardis Gras parade....we filled the cooler with beer, got our trolley cart full of beads and set off for the St Charles street parade route, first stopping at a bemused Professors house (Buds work colleague) where Mark charmed all the guests with his LA wit and neck full of beads :-) The parade was very good and we caught a lot of beads in between the bottles of beer and jar of homemade absinthe (which Mark had newly bought of a friend of Buds) 7pm were were ready to go home and think about going to the French Quarter....however upon our return that heavy-drinker with loads of stamina...ok perhaps I mean Mark....had overdone the homemade absinith..and promptly crashed out at 8pm! Good night Mark....while the rest of us hit the French Quarter guided expertly by Buds friend Robert....we touched Bourbon street and the seething drunken masses before finding a local bar for more beer...early night at 12am....but not too bad considering we had all been constantly drinking for 12+ hours :-)


The next morning we awoke to the smell of bacon..Bud was cooking breakfast! After breakfast and about 10.30am Bud (followed shortly by the rest of us) cracked open the first beer of the we discussed SOHC bikes, SOHC bikes and SOHC parts....the rest of the day was a constant flow of beer and then we all went to the French quarter....once again finding a local bar (same as last night)where chance would have it we met some very seductive ladies (see photos) had long black hair, come-to-bed-eyes and a smile that could do more that just look good....while the other had long brown hair, large wide eyes and a tight dancers body, and her bald art- student boyfriend who didn't say much...but had it all!....they were from a small town in Texas near the border and were here to party...the black-hair girl took an instant like to the Italian Stallion Fabrizio while Mark chatted with the brown hair girl later procuring her phone number! However all that glitters is not gold and upon the appearance of an other racy couple at the other end of the bar our own couple (brown hair and bald guy) shot out of their seats to go meet them...yeah we all guessed swingers :-) So we turned out attention to the doorway where 3 lovely Canadian girls were passing and I being the first met them of course they were taken by my Scottish charm :-) and soon we were all chatting...they had driven 20hrs from Hamilton, Ontario for Mardis Gras with 2 very young- looking guy friends who impored us to take the girls off their hands so they could go and have some real fun! The fools!! They were 3 blondes all foxy girls....however there were 4 of us so I graciously stepped back and found another girl (Julia) to chat to....she was wearing a very unusual duct-tape top with combat trousers and had a black makeup band across her eyes :-).....mmmm what was I thinking...anyway after a while the Canadians left (leaving another phone number and telling us to call the next day!), while Julia (duct- tape girl) went off to join her Goth friends in an "alternative" parade.....home time for us.....


Woke up at 9am and again it was cold (New Orleans wasn't so warm this year - temps in 40-50F brrr at night)....we went for breakfast of oysters (Mark/Fabrizio) and burger (me) and first beers of the day at a local bar (who's name I forget)......we decided after this to go to another bar for more beer and then finally onto another parade and so at about 4pm (and a few beers later) we went back to our spot on St Charles street (with coole and cart) for the Bacchus (God of Wine and Pleasure) parade one of the biggest parades...there Mark with his great pick up lines ("hey sluts") met 2 more blondes (they weren't drinking today as they had been so wild last night - damn!)...the Bacchus parade was very good and we saw a lot and got a ton of beads (see pics of Mark and Fabrizo in beads :-))...following this we headed back to Buds and out for some food at the local pizzeria place where we had a very young buxom waitress (see pics) and Bud tried to charm her with a soft cuddly tiger he had just got at the parade but this didn't really work...on the other hand Mark has just met a lovely blonde girl and her Great Dane at the bar next door and were having a good chat until her 4 male friends showed up and off they went with her...after pizza we got a taxi and headed for my last time into the French Quarter.....

We went back to the local bar where we met the 2 girls/bald guy from the night before looking subdued (we had called them that afternoon and they had been evasive so I don't think they expected to see us at the bar!)...we left there and headed down the street "Easy Rider" style meeting 2 lovely girls from Missouri who were only to happy to pose for pics with the jazz guy played in the background...very cool....we finally ended up at another local bar on the edge of the French Quarter (we had to ask for directions as we only vaguely knew where it was from Friday night)....there we met some more local girls (Karen, Autumn etc...) and we were having some interesting chats with one of about 3am we were ready to go...I had a flight to catch at 11.50am!....anyway Mark decides to invite the voluptuous Autumn back to Buds and despite her protests about going back with 3 strange guys she came! We piled into the taxi and arrived at Buds who despite being asleep smelled woman and came through to see what it was all about....after a few words from Bud he obviously wasn't so impressed (after all Bud invited a stripped back the last time in the summer so how could this compare!) and went back to bed....Mark soon followed leaving me and Fabrizio!....I went away to get a beer and Fabrizio had buggered off! leaving me unwittingly alone with the shapely Autumn!....she was a nice girl though but after a few more beers it got "early" like 6am! and I had to sleep for an hour at least so I sent her packing in a cab...disappointed im sure that out of the 3 of us she left empty-handed. Thanks guys!

And so for me the weekend was over when still drunk/hungover (having drunk for the last 17 hrs!) I got a taxi at 9am to the airport and back to snowy Boston leaving the LA boys and Bud to have one last day together.'