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Thread: Bicycling in NO

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    Bicycling in NO

    Anyone know where a decent bicyclist should move to in NO? I do 200 miles a week during the season. I usually do a 25-30 mile fast ride with some of the guys. I do 30 mile training crits once a week as well. These are done at a 25 mph pace with some light hills. I do moderate to long distance rides on the weekend.

    Are there good places in NO close to more of the riding activity?

    Would I be better to commute into NO from MS? How is the commute from MS to NO?

    bill

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    Senior Member Conundrum's Avatar
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    first there really isn't a "season" here - we're on pretty much all year. I live on the east end of the MS coast, a little less than 2 hours from the city. There is at least one club in N.O., the crescent city cyclist www.crescentcitycyclist.org there is also a club in Baton Rouge (about an hour to the west of N.O.). We also have a club on the coast, www.gulfcoastbicycleclub.com. There are some pretty descent country roads over here and a pretty good group of riders. Depending on where you work you may be better off on the north shore (Mandeville, Covington, Slidell) and commuting into the city or maybe in MS, but that will be a pretty long commute.

    Another thing - other than bridges - there are no hills down here. What part of the city will you be working in? Where are you moving from? It's not the most cycling friendly atmoshpere here, but it is bearable.

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    New Orleans

    first there really isn't a "season" here - we're on pretty much all year. I live on the east end of the MS coast, a little less than 2 hours from the city. There is at least one club in N.O., the crescent city cyclist www.crescentcitycyclist.org there is also a club in Baton Rouge (about an hour to the west of N.O.). We also have a club on the coast, www.gulfcoastbicycleclub.com. There are some pretty descent country roads over here and a pretty good group of riders. Depending on where you work you may be better off on the north shore (Mandeville, Covington, Slidell) and commuting into the city or maybe in MS, but that will be a pretty long commute.

    Another thing - other than bridges - there are no hills down here. What part of the city will you be working in? Where are you moving from? It's not the most cycling friendly atmoshpere here, but it is bearable.
    I am coming from the Boston area. Quite frankly, it is too dangerous to commute to Boston via bicycle. There are some dangerous intersections and I lack a short and direct route. I would like to be able to bike to work in New Orleans. I am not sure of the office location, yet. Which airport do you use from MS?

    What do you mean by long commute? An hour commute is nothing for me.

    I usually ride at least 200 miles in the season, which is from May to July. It really starts slowing down in August. I ride the weekly training crit as a Cat 5 and we do a 25 mph average; this is one of the more intensive crits and it is twice the length of ones in other areas. I saw the CSW up in IL only do 15 miles when I rode by there on vacation.

    I like to do a fast route without too many hills with a group of buddies on one of the club rides during the week. I also ride a bunch of club rides and stuff with friends on the weekends to get the mileage.

    I want to duplicate my current pattern. Are these clubs more of a general bicycling club? My current principal club is a general club and it is not a racing club. Are there any racing clubs down there?
    bill

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    I am trying to find an active link to the Crescent Cycle club. The GBC looks a lot smaller than my current club(crw.org). We have lots of rides. My buddy leads one of the Thursday ride and 20 persons always show. I am very used to structure. The club has weekend rides of 60 to 90 miles on every saturday and sunday as well. Everything is planned out for you! I think that I might miss my current club if I get down there.

    How long would it take by bicycle to commute from MS or the north shore of LA? is it possible to commute by bicycle over the bridges?

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    Things are going to be pretty different down here from what you are used to. The GCBC is going to be pretty small by Boston standards. The "bigger" rides will usually have 8 - 15 riders on any given weekend. As for commuting, I guess everything is relative, but I would not recommend commuting into the city via bike. There is no way you could ride the bridges into the city. Now commuting by car, if an hour is no issue you have a myriad of options. It takes me less than two hours to get into downtown from where I am and I'm as far east from the city as you can get on the Mississippi coast. I don't have any experiance with the crescent city club, but as far as I know there is very little racing locally. There is some regional stuff, but you'll be in for some driving. Try this link http://groups.google.com/group/crescentcitycyclists/ for the N.O. club. I know the GCBC is a general club and I suspect the New Orleans club is also. I think you'll be able to find what you are after, you just may have to work a little to find it. We are actually just entering our "peak" time of year, with lots of centuries and charity rides (MS150) around during October. There will be another, smaller, round of big rides in April/May and then that kind of thing will slow down for the peak of summer due to how hot it gets here. I normally get more miles from October to April than I do from May to September.

    Cycling is very much a finge thing down here, and people will look at you funny in your cycling clothes. Probably the worst element is the hostility you get from the occasional red neck out on the country roads that otherwise are pretty nice to ride.

    As for airports, the New Orleans airport is MSY, which I fly in and out of quite a bit. The airport for the Mississippi coast is Gulfport or GPT, but it is pretty small so half the time we end up driving to the N.O. airport.

    Hope that helps.

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    Well, it seems like the NOBC is the club to join. They have a fairly decent weekly ride schedule akin to my current club. They seem to be more racing orientated, while my club has a good amount of racers but the club started for touring.

    It does seem that I can not go to many crits within the NO area. It looks like I would have to drive to get a bunch of things. It does seem that most of the stuff are Road races.

    bill

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    The road surfaces through much of GNO are singularly horrible. Traffic is bad and motorists are generally inconsiderate. I'm sure there are roads and times that you might be able to get in an enjoyable ride, but NOLA must be one of the worst places in the country to ride or commute. I suspect you'll be sorely disappointed coming from Boston to NOLA.

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    Another question about bicycling in NO- looks like I'll have an afternoon free next week on a business trip, so it would be cool to rent a bike and ride around town. I find two or three bike rental places on the internet. Any suggested routes that are scenic and don't involve getting mugged or run over?
    "be careful this rando stuff is addictive and dan's the 'pusher'."

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    Quote Originally Posted by Paul Barnard View Post
    The road surfaces through much of GNO are singularly horrible. Traffic is bad and motorists are generally inconsiderate. I'm sure there are roads and times that you might be able to get in an enjoyable ride, but NOLA must be one of the worst places in the country to ride or commute. I suspect you'll be sorely disappointed coming from Boston to NOLA.
    I have to admit that I am suspect of the general road conditions, too. I remember nasty traffic jams and lots of people that refused to move over for police vehicles on call, when I went there for vacation. After Katrina the entire police force had self-destructed. I kind of gathered there was a lot of resentment against a very poor police force. I am hoping that the traffic is better in general, now. How is Metairie's traffic?

    You would be surprised how many people DO NOT RIDE in Boston around here. In my touring club the area inside 128 is practically verbotten. There are generally no recurring rides inside the 128 by any bike club except for the Milton club, which has only been going for the last 5 years. The established clubs with thousands of members have no rides inside the 128.

    Looking over the map it appears to be tough to get out of NO by bicycle. I would like to get out of the city and cruise up to MS and other places. I am trying to figure these things.

    The racing season has a lot of Criteriums up here and few road races. There are not many time trials up here. I have noticed that the MS-LA bicycling season has a lot of oms with crits, time trials, and ciruit races for the whole weekend. This might be better for me as I never got into the idea of driving to CT for a circuit race on Saturday and driving to NH for a circuit race on Sunday. I only have done 3 races this year and the fees are getting up there. The fees are close to the ominium prices, which seem more reasonable in comparison.

    Does anyone know where I can rent a decent road bike when I get down there for some apartment recons? While we are at ? Where the heck should I look if I am going to be in Metaire for work?

    thanks

    Bill

    GBA

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    Quote Originally Posted by the_doctor View Post
    Where the heck should I look if I am going to be in Metaire for work?

    thanks

    Bill

    GBA
    You could try the Creek apartments in River Ridge and Harahan (Hickory Creek, Cypress Creek, Magnolia Creek, Walnut Creek, Hickory, etc. is each a separate complex)

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    Well, I made it back from my 1-day trip. Didn't do any bike riding, did some driving around.

    Yup, there are some streets that are pretty bad. And some that are just fine. The "pretty bad" streets are ones that have patches on top of patches, so it's still paved, but rough.

    Bikes actually don't seem uncommon there. I guess I saw a half-dozen cyclists, which is similar to what you'd expect driving around Dallas or Houston. I think one of them was on a road bike, rest on cruisers or mountain bikes, and don't remember if any of them were wearing lycra stuff. So yeah, go cruise through the wrong neighborhoods on a $2,500 bike in appropriate uniform and you're going to stand out pretty well. Hop on a cruiser and ride around in your bluejeans or shorts, and you'll fit in pretty well.

    All in all, I couldn't see that the overall road conditions were much worse or better than the Dallas area, for similar neighborhoods. Some of the highways had good shoulders, some didn't, some of the urban roads had lots of room and light traffic, some didn't, etc. One limitation would be the waterways, which channel all traffic into a few routes, and those routes may or may not be bike-friendly. I don't know how it all compares to Boston, as I haven't been there.

    Just driving around, you don't see a lot of direct flood damage. But you'll drive down a street, and see a couple of houses undergoing major renovations, another raised up several feet, etc. The biggest sign of flood damage I saw was just closed businesses out on the east side. There were a few buildings where the framing and roof was there and the walls were gone- presumably having been demolished to that condition due to the flood. I saw one spot where there was a McDonalds in a shopping center, and the whole shopping center was closed. There was a Burger King sign standing in the middle of the parking lot, but no Burger King to be seen. I assume it had been razed and for some reason, the sign was still there. The guy I was meeting with mentioned there had been major improvements in stuff opening in just the last 6 months. There is construction work going on all over.

    One oddity I noticed while driving around is that they have some fairly major roads that cross the interstate, but don't connect to it, and when you get there, there's nothing to tell you how to get to the interstate. So part of my touring of town was unintentional. On a bicycle, that wouldn't be a bad thing, though. Except it means the interstate doesn't have service roads in that area.

    There was actually a bike trail (MUP) along Wisner Blvd (I think that was the one) north of I-10.

    (Edit)
    Oh yeah, I did google "bicycle tours New Orleans" and maybe "bicycle rental new orleans". Seems like I found three websites mentioning rentals. One of the places I contacted, www.laidbacktours.com, told me they were no longer operating due to Katrina, and looked like they wouldn't be starting back up. They said as far as they knew, no one was currently offering bicycle tours or kayak tours there. But, "Bicycle Michael's (on Frenchman St. just outside the French Quarter) is renting bikes: 504-945-9505 http://www.bicyclemichaels.com/ ".
    Last edited by StephenH; 10-20-08 at 07:50 PM.
    "be careful this rando stuff is addictive and dan's the 'pusher'."

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    Quote Originally Posted by StephenH View Post
    Bikes actually don't seem uncommon there. I guess I saw a half-dozen cyclists, which is similar to what you'd expect driving around Dallas or Houston. I think one of them was on a road bike, rest on cruisers or mountain bikes, and don't remember if any of them were wearing lycra stuff. So yeah, go cruise through the wrong neighborhoods on a $2,500 bike in appropriate uniform and you're going to stand out pretty well. Hop on a cruiser and ride around in your bluejeans or shorts, and you'll fit in pretty well.
    Well, I figured that I should bump this thread so perhaps I get some new information from any other respondents. I also decided to ask a very important question.

    What do bikers need in order to carry down in New Orleans? I remember this was a big thread on another cycling board. ; )

    Bill

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