Day 1: Eagle Rider -Easy Rider Movie Location Tour – LAX to Ballarat
Everyone had been checked out on their bikes, we had a welcome dinner the night before and were all ready to ride. left the Hotel after breakfast, mounted up, and headed out. First stop was LAX, a couple of miles away. This is where Billy and Wyatt sold the 2 batteries of whatever-that-white-powder-was before their ride to Mardi Gras.
From there, we made miles. Headed out of the city…. a long way from the city, because that’s where we wanted to be. Out of LA, to Death Valley. More Easy Rider there — The scenery started to open up, and the riding started to get nice.
You can tell a lot from a crew by the way they ride. This was a good crew. Everyone kept tight where they needed to be, and loose where they wanted. They’d done this before. Steve, Our tour guide got a flat in the California desert. Hazards of going first I guess. No matter, we had a spare bike and EagleRider had it handled. That spare bike came in handy. We hydrated at a rest stop for a short time, and that was the last bike incident of the trip. We headed north on the 395 towards Ballarat.
San Bernardino county is the largest county in the US, and it took us awhile to cross it. Stopped for lunch in Trona, California. Trona is a funny place. Pretty clearly a company mining town. I gotta say, They make a good burger. We were all fired up. Shawn and Bob busted out Captain America. This was the Easy Rider Tour, after all. It had to happen.
Graham from the UK is hardcore Easy Rider. He’s got a replica Captain America bike signed by Peter Fonda. He knows the movie by heart. A great guy. Amicable, and really pretty damn funny. We started throwing movie references at each other by now. He was the first to take the helm. It seemed right.
We headed out of Trona, and made the 20 miles into Ballarat, where the movie really began.
It was here that one of the top 5 most embarrassing moments of my life happened. We were waiting for Graham, who was riding Captain America and missed the turn off to Ballarat. We were waiting for him, before I talked about what happened here in the movie. I took a drink of water (A man needs to hydrate), right when Bob said “Graham couldn’t make the turn, riding with an erection”. I lost it. It was then I spewed water all over the nicest lady you’ll ever meet, Martine from Beligium. She took it in stride, and I’m pretty sure I turned red.
I never set up a song for this trip. when we left, I shook the ipod and whatever played, played. Half way up the road, Born to Be wild started playing, just like it did in the film. Another good omen. It was perfect. We were starting the riding part of the movie, and I was eating it up.
From Ballarat, we headed the 80 miles to Furnace Creek for the night. Its an EagleRider tradition to crack a beer in the parking lot, and toast to the days ride. The first day was under our belt. Had dinner with Graham and the Aussies, then turned in for the night. Great first day. I slept like a baby, looking forward to another one.
Day one: 311 miles View Larger Map