i grew up in louisiana, baton rouge mostly and new orleans a bit. new orleans is one of the worst cities ever for bike riding. cars are nuts there. it's a great city though, as long as you can keep yourself from drinking to death at the bars which are open 24/7. avoid bourbon st.
a really nice ride is down river road, the road that follows the mississippi river. it's pretty curvy so it's not highly trafficked by cars and it's very scenic. watch out though cause the cars on it can be prett dangerous due to their low # and their belief that this means they can drive 70mph down this curvy road.
there's a bike collective called <a href="http://planb.bikeproject.org/">Plan-B</a> that's pretty rad, and there's a bike shop nearby in the french quarter that's pretty good, staffed by good folks, but i can't remember the shop name or the location. if you go to Plan-B they should be able to tell you cause shelley from the bike co-op works at the shop. she also publisher a rad biking zine called chainbreaker.