Anytime is a great time to visit New Orleans, but late March is one of the very best. It's not cold, it's not so hot and it's not hurricane season. It's perfect for a visit to the crescent city, and even better for the inaugural Crescent City Crawl. Don't worry if it didn't make your radar this year--the event took place March 16-21, and they were anticipating a packed crowd when we sat down to speak earlier in the year. We sat down with the event organizers to get some more information about this all makes and models scooter rally in one of our favorite cities so that you can plan for next year. Remember! Just because it's a scooter doesn't mean you don't need a set of EARPEACE motorcycle earplugs to protect your hearing.
EARPEACE: This is such a fun and New Orleans feeling event, what inspired this and how did you get the event off the ground?
Scooter rallies are a way for scooterists from everywhere to gather together in a city, have an absolute blast, and enjoy curated rides that highlight the best roads, sights and scenes, bars and restaurants of the area. It’s a perfectly tailored tour--a great way to experience the essence of a city and its surroundings in a weekend, while doing the thing you love most with people who feel exactly the same.
There was a proud history of scooter rallies here in New Orleans, including Amerivespa, the national rally, but it faded, (it’s a stunning amount of work) and then the Pandemic finished it off. In response to requests from rally organizer friends upriver in St Louis and Memphis, and because of our belief that a great city deserves a great rally, we formed a new team and went all in.
We're absolutely thrilled to have about 125 people coming, some from as far as California and Maine, and we couldn’t be more excited about our plans. A scooter rally in any city, or even a field somewhere (there are some of those), is incredibly fun, and everybody will leave with a bunch of new friends. But a scooter rally in New Orleans takes things to a whole different level. The hospitality, beauty, uniqueness and history of this city and area are such a brilliant backdrop for anything. We can’t wait for everybody to arrive.
EARPEACE: Sounds incredible! You guys do a long ride, a country ride, an art ride, and something called a sugar rush--can you explain what each of those experiences are?
We wanted to develop a variety of rides, with different lengths and speeds, to accommodate people with a variety of scooters/capabilities/interests each day.
For people who want shorter rides, or to see more of the city itself, we have an art ride—a tour of some of the city’s best outdoor art led by a well-respected art teacher/rider; the sugar rush, which will make stops at many of our best bakeries, candymakers, sno ball stands, specialty doughnut makers, and will pass by an operating 100-year-old Domino Sugar plant that smells like caramelized heaven. We also have a self-guided scavenger hunt within the city limits, and a ride that tours the city and then goes downriver to the Chalmette Battlefield, site of 1815’s Battle of New Orleans.
We have long country rides on Friday and Saturday. One goes south, deep into Cajun country, along sugar cane fields and historic homes, and beside waterways where alligators warm themselves on the roadside, Another travels to the North Shore of Lake Ponchartrain, over drawbridges, along bayous, through woods, into idyllic lakeside towns, and then home across the Causeway—the longest bridge over water in the world. A third travels down the Mississippi almost to the end of navigable land, and makes a number of river crossings by ferry. They’re all great rides.
On Sunday, for anybody who’s still in town, we'll meet for beignets, and take a goodbye ride around our beautiful City Park, and then ride to Uptown Super Sunday—an annual tradition where tribes of “Mardi Gras Indians,” who hand-bead large, heavy, beautiful, intricate suits every year, will meet and chant and dance for each other. It’s absolutely spectacular.
EARPEACE: How did you get started riding scooters?
I’ve been obsessed with scooters ever since I saw my first ratty old Vespa. They’re so iconic and quirky and so much fun to ride. I bought a 1965 Vespa in 2000, and immediately started meeting other riders. In June, I’m riding across thew US in the Scooter Cannonball Run. I realized recently that I have more close friends from the scooter community (everywhere in the US), than from anything else in my life. Scooters are such a blast to ride, and scooterists are wonderful people.
EARPEACE: What is your favorite location in New Orleans?
Great question! There’s nothing quite like riding through the French Quarter or the Garden District. And the countryside can be otherworldly. But what I would miss most if I left is Bywater’s Vaughan’s Lounge, the iconic neighborhood dive bar where we’re hosting our party Saturday night. It plays living room to the neighborhood, has stellar live music Thursday nights, and is probably the friendliest spot in our friendly town.