Greatest. Ride. Ever.

We’re going to make it an annual event. Certainly we’ll do it again for next week’s Gemini parade. If you own a bike, you need to join us for the Mardi Gras Parade Booze Cruise.

Earlier this week I received an e-mail from one of my normal riding buddies who, like me, in addition to regularly riding long distances at high speeds also enjoys puttering around town on a cruiser. He said he and a few friends were planning on riding the parade route about an hour or so before the start. The idea was to relax, drink a few beers or whatever and enjoy the whole redneck Mardi Gras scene from a little different perspective. I thought it sounded great and agreed to meet them after I did a few serious laps at the Stoner Trails.

My ride at Stoner, though not technically part of the Cruise, certainly added to it. After the storm earlier this week, my main worry about the trails was having to dodge debris. For the most part, however, it was clear of debris. What it was not clear of was rednecks. The trails parallel the parade route on Clyde Fant. Most of the folks on that section of the route had been camped out since before dawn. Not surprisingly, by the time I was on the trails – mid afternoon – many had started to explore. Also not surprisingly, after spending most of the day drinking, several entered the woods to relieve themselves. What was surprising was coming around a corner and almost running over some trailer park queen squatting in the middle of the trail taking a leak. After that I was definitely ready for whatever else the day had to offer.

Properly shocked out of any sense that it was a normal day, I left the trails and headed for the ride start at Preston and East Kings. From there we spent almost two hours slowly riding along the route to downtown and then back. Why did it take so long to go about 6 miles? A few reasons.

One, even if we wanted to go fast, which we did not, half the town must have been along the route. For the most part, we had to go about walking pace because that’s what everyone else was doing.

Two, between the four of us on the ride, we had to make several stops to talk to people we knew along the route. And to bum beers off of them.

Three, it was fun being the parade. The rednecks were getting antsy for some entertainment and we provided it. The one girl with us rode an incredibly bright and cheerfully colored cruiser that got all kinds of comments. Of course there were the “hey Lance” shouts. Kids wanted us to ride wheelies, which I sort of did, though towards the end I was scared to try more than one pedal revolution. And everyone got a kick out of seeing 24 ounce Bud cans in our bottle cages.

Anyway, the ride was stupendous. It wouldn’t have to involve booze to be fun, either. The parades are always cool, but experiencing the entire scene just prior to the start was awesome. There’s no way you could do that any way except by bike. It’d be too far to walk and that close to the start all the crowds and closed roads mean you could not possibly drive it. Nope, the bike was the only way to do it.

We’re definitely planning on doing it again next week. If it happens, I’ll post the details here. If you have a bike, come join the fun.

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4 Comments on “Greatest. Ride. Ever.”

  1. trudeau Says:

    Enjoyed your account of the trek, J! And enjoyed meeting you as we cycled the city. Looking forward to more chat and meeting your family.

  2. mauriceloridans Says:

    My wife and I (in costume) stopped to talk to Trudeau while he was talking to you and friends. I was in a hurry to get to the start zone because I had posted to several groups abut this being Shreveport’s Ciclovia.

    You did a great job describing the experience. One of these days I’ll actually get to meet you. Maurice

  3. wheeler Says:

    i remember the costumes. awesome.

    maybe we’ll meet up for this week’s parade.

  4. berg Says:

    Thanks for joining us.
    That was a great ride.
    I really enjoyed your account
    of the ride. I had totally forgotten
    about your mention of the Redneck
    Mardi Gras Queen mounting her woodsy thrown.


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