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  1. #1
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    Moving - tell me about New Orleans?

    Just got accepted at U of New Orleans. That's a long way from Anchorage, where i'm used to riding. What should we be prepared for?
    Current stable: Sun Atlas X-type (mine), Trek Navigator 3 (wife), two Sun Revolution cruisers (wife, daughter)

  2. #2
    Life is good RonH's Avatar
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    Be prepared for flat riding and LOTS of humidity.
    My bikes: 2001 Litespeed Tuscany---2015 Cannondale Supersix EVO carbon

    I thought of that while riding my bicycle -- Albert Einstein

  3. #3
    On a Mission from God FunkyStickman's Avatar
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    Heat, humidity, confusing roads and infrastructure, and some of the best food in the whole darn country.

    Seriously, there's a large cycling group in N.O. and several more in the surrounding areas. There's quite a few competent bike shops, some nice places to ride in the immediate vicinity, and lots of friendly people. Here's some links to get you started:

    http://www.crescentcitycyclists.org/
    http://www.neworleansbicycleclub.org/
    http://www.confederacyofcruisers.com/
    http://www.nomambo.net/
    http://crescentcityrandonneurs.blogspot.com/
    http://www.metrobicyclecoalition.org/
    http://www.bestofneworleans.com/
    http://www.bikelouisiana.com/

    There are many, many more things to see here, but these will get you started. Let me know if you have any questions, and I'm sure somebody will chime in if I can't.

  4. #4
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    We're car-free, my wife has asthma, and i'm going to be spending the next several years on the UNO campus; what neighborhoods and places should we be looking at for where to live?
    Current stable: Sun Atlas X-type (mine), Trek Navigator 3 (wife), two Sun Revolution cruisers (wife, daughter)

  5. #5
    On a Mission from God FunkyStickman's Avatar
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    That's the part of town that was flooded in 2005, though most of it's been rebuilt since then. The neighborhood there is called Gentilly, when I lived there back in 2001 it was mostly older homes populated by college students and older residents. Nowdays, I'm sure the homes are somewhat nicer, having been recently rebuilt. There are plenty of corner stores there, and a larger strip mall with a grocery store to the east by the Seminary. As you go further east, things get worse and worse, as you get into neighborhoods that were never rebuilt. But Gentilly is a nice, sleepy old place, not bad to live there at all. There's lots of apartments and rent houses, as the university is right there.

    City Park is a few miles away, Lakeshore Drive is right there, and you can take a bus or ride over to Metairie to the huge shopping centers and resturaunts. The French Quarter and downtown is only about 5 miles to the south. There's at least 1 bike shop that I know of in Gentilly (at least there used to be) and several downtown and Metairie. There used to be one right near the UNO campus, too.

    I haven't been there in 3 years, but that's the basic run-down. There's several hospitals within a few miles. Most of the doctor's office complexes are in Metairie, there's tons of them on Clearview Blvd next to the hospital.

    Any other specific questions?

  6. #6
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    We're mostly looking at Metairie on account of cost. Don't know what that place is like.
    What's cost of living like, and are there cycle laws different/more restrictive than we would be used to?
    Current stable: Sun Atlas X-type (mine), Trek Navigator 3 (wife), two Sun Revolution cruisers (wife, daughter)

  7. #7
    Senior Member Shimagnolo's Avatar
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    Send a PM to JoeyBike to arrange private lessons in negotiating N.O. traffic.

  8. #8
    On a Mission from God FunkyStickman's Avatar
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    LOL at asking Joey... he's a one-man traffic wrecking crew. Much respect for him, but I couldn't recommend that style to a lot of people.

    Metairie is nice, actually, mostly businesses, medical complexes, and shopping centers. There are some nice neighborhoods there. Bus service, and nearly every store you can think of is within walking distance. Cycling laws are mostly non-existant... there's a 3-foot law (fairly recently passed) and a FRAPS law, but bicyclists are pretty much ignored here.

    Cost of living.. well, it's higher in N.O. than it is outside of town, but it's still not bad, nothing close to Alaska, California, New York.

    I did a quick comparison from Anchorage to N.O. Things look favorable.

    Based on an income of $30,000
    Equivalent income in the city you are moving to: $22655.34.
    You may take a 24.48% decrease and still maintain your standard of living.

    Product Anchorage AK Metro New Orleans-Metairie-Kenner LA Metro Difference
    Home Price $423,830.00 $272,114.00 $151,716.00
    Payment + Interest $1,699.04 $1,110.81 $588.24
    Apt. Rent $1,106.39 $1,019.49 $86.90
    Total Energy $175.06 $137.12 $37.94
    Optometrist $170.17 $75.35 $94.81
    Lipitor $153.45 $148.64 $4.81
    Doctor Visit $133.17 $83.99 $49.18
    Dentist Visit $120.42 $67.07 $53.35
    Washer Repair $70.47 $72.05 $1.58
    Vet. Services $52.63 $39.92 $12.71
    Beauty Salon $43.27 $37.04 $6.23
    Women's Slacks $27.99 $21.38 $6.61
    Men's Shirt $25.15 $28.38 $3.22
    Boy's Jeans $25.01 $22.10 $2.90
    Phone $22.41 $23.70 $1.29
    Hair Cut $18.67 $12.24 $6.42
    News Paper $16.43 $18.95 $2.52
    Pizza $15.46 $11.06 $4.40
    Tire Balance $12.71 $9.98 $2.73
    Ibuprofen $11.76 $9.30 $2.46
    Dry Cleaning $11.75 $10.58 $1.17
    Beer $10.63 $7.94 $2.69
    T.Bone Steak $10.18 $9.46 $0.71
    Movie $10.11 $8.79 $1.32
    Wine $9.49 $7.53 $1.96
    Cascade $5.90 $4.40 $1.50
    2-pc Chicken $5.44 $3.19 $2.25
    Parmesan Cheese $5.16 $3.40 $1.76
    Potato Chips $5.12 $3.25 $1.88
    Sausage $4.62 $3.09 $1.53
    Bowling $4.55 $3.81 $0.74
    Coffee $4.53 $3.37 $1.16
    Orange Juice $4.48 $2.77 $1.71
    Cereal $4.41 $3.40 $1.01
    Canola Oil $4.31 $2.71 $1.60
    Hamburger Sandwich $3.88 $3.23 $0.65
    Frozen Meal $3.49 $2.46 $1.03
    Toothpaste $3.46 $2.48 $0.98
    Ground Beef $3.37 $2.82 $0.55
    Potatoes $3.33 $2.48 $0.85
    Gasoline $3.31 $2.62 $0.70
    Peaches $2.79 $2.02 $0.77
    Sugar $2.71 $2.24 $0.48
    Klennex $2.59 $1.88 $0.71
    Tennis Balls $2.52 $1.92 $0.60
    Frozen Corn $2.47 $1.14 $1.33
    Half Gal. Milk $2.43 $2.40 $0.03
    Dozen Eggs $2.31 $1.50 $0.81
    Coke $2.24 $1.46 $0.78
    Bread $2.03 $1.23 $0.80
    Sweet Peas $1.56 $0.99 $0.57
    Fried Chicken $1.39 $1.03 $0.36
    Lettuce $1.34 $1.48 $0.14
    Margarine $1.27 $0.82 $0.45
    Tuna $1.17 $0.84 $0.33
    Shampoo $1.07 $1.16 $0.09
    Bananas $0.82 $0.53 $0.29
    Mortgage Rate (%) 4.95% 5.12% -0.17

  9. #9
    commuter and barbarian scroca's Avatar
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    Hurricanes.
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  10. #10
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    Is the Mississipi River Bridge easy to bike as an everyday commute, or is it intimidating and stressful?
    Also.. FRAPS law?
    Current stable: Sun Atlas X-type (mine), Trek Navigator 3 (wife), two Sun Revolution cruisers (wife, daughter)

  11. #11
    On a Mission from God FunkyStickman's Avatar
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    Mississppi river bridges (the one near downtown, by the Superdome as well as the Huey P Long bridge on Clearview) are not bikeable. You can, however, take one of several ferries across the river. Those aren't too bad, they run every 30 minutes, I believe. Much nicer, and free.

    FRAPS stands for "Far Right as Practicable" which basically means you have to stay to the right side of the lane. The law says travel lanes, and in a sensible state, that would be enough. Louisiana locals, however, take FRAP as meaning "off the road completely, or on the shoulder where the glass and shrapnel is". Basically, the laws are there, but don't expect local law enforcement to rule in your favor. There seems to be more understanding around the UNO campus and downtown, where there's more cyclists.

    In general, most people will give you room, but there will always be people who feel it's their job to "teach you a lesson." No different from anywhere else.

  12. #12
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    If you've never lived in or been to the deep south you are in for a huge awakening! New Orleans and the deep south are very different from any part of the U.S.A. in every way imaginable; culture; weather; terrain, etc., etc. Try to avoid living in the suburbs. Oh, i lived in the Big Easy from 1939 until 2005. Presently, I live some 2,500 miles to the west of N.O.

    "We're mostly looking at Metairie on account of cost. Don't know what that place is like." Probably the most Republican parish in the state of Louisiana. Get my drift?

    UNO and Metairie are quite a distance apart. I'm not aware of any good cycling route to UNO from Metairie or good public transportation for that matter. Gentilly is closer to UNO with good cycling routes. There are good cycling routes and public transit from Gentilly to the CBD and French Quarter.
    Last edited by sisddwg; 04-02-11 at 05:11 PM.

  13. #13
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    You don't really want to commute over the bridge.. and the summer here is hoooooottttttttttt... so get ready...
    Two really good yahoo groups for biking questions are LAMBRA and NOBC
    Are you a commuter or faster than that? Dwight in Mid City New Orleans

  14. #14
    Senior Member El Conquistador De Amore's Avatar
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    There's actually an article about riding in New Orleans in the April issue of Road Bike Action.
    Litespeed Palmares. Seven Sola.

  15. #15
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    NOLA is easy to get around on a bike once you learn to navigate. JoeyBike has a map on his website....joeybike.com. I'd recommend Mid-City or parts of Gentilly. Mid-City is close to the French Quarter, real close to city park, and has access to public transportation. I live Uptown, work in Mid-City, & attend UNO as well. It's flat down here so cycling is easy, but the heat/humidity can be a downer & takes some getting used to. Good Luck!

    Quote Originally Posted by El Conquistador De Amore View Post
    There's actually an article about riding in New Orleans in the April issue of Road Bike Action.
    Was it positive? Is there a link to the article?

  16. #16
    Senior Member orcanova's Avatar
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    I am a New Orleans native and just moved back to NOLA after 28 years in the Northeast. First off, you need to change your expectations a bit. You won't have lots of options for routes like you are used to, but the routes aren't bad. Its all flat so your butt is in the saddle all the time, and you learn to get out of the saddle now and then just for circulation. Your ass will be more numb and uncomfortable as a result.

    There are three different routes for road cycling, but you can change them up a bit to keep it interesting: Lakefront/Gentilly, City Park, and the Mississippi River levee. The rest of the roads outside these main routes are not good for road cycling because of the poor condition of the streets. My next bike purchase will be a cyclocross, which will open more routes for me. NOLA is not a cycling mecca like the Northeast where I came from, but there are other activities to supplement the down-tick in cycling options.

    1. There is a sizable and growing triathlon/multi-sport communtity here.
    2. Lots of runners
    3. A really nice new state of the art tennis center with lots of courts in City Park
    4. There's a frisbee golf course in City Park
    3. Gyms

    With this in mind, cycling can still be your primary sport supplemented by some of the above.

    Let me be clear, you likely will not live car free in New Orleans. You can minimize the driving, but you will need wheels. Metairie is a suburb of New Orleans, and its not a terrible driving commute to UNO, but its not nearby, and not practical for bike commuting. Gentilly and Lakefront neighborhoods are much closer, and parts of these areas are nice. Slightly farther from UNO than these two are Bayou St. John, City Park and Mid City. Again, parts are nice, and they are in bike commuting distance to campus. Bike commuting is becoming more common, more bike lanes and routes are being added to the city, and motorists are becoming more used to bikes.

    I live in Mid City near the intersection of Carrollton Ave. and Canal St. Its ok, but you have to pick your block wisely because some are ok, and some are higher crime, which is typical of New Orleans (good and bad neighborhoods border each other, and it can change by crossing the street to the next block). If I were to do it over again, I would live closer to the cemeteries in Mid City, not on the downtown side of Carrollton where i now live.

    UNO is right on the Lakefront, where there's good cycling, and it connects to City Park, where you can get some miles in lapping the outside of the park (Marconi Drive, Wisner Blvd., Robert E. Lee and City Park Ave.)

    You will love this city, and cycling is ok here, but manage your expectations as you are likely spoiled, as I was.

  17. #17
    Senior Member El Conquistador De Amore's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by crescntmunchild View Post
    NOLA is easy to get around on a bike once you learn to navigate. JoeyBike has a map on his website....joeybike.com. I'd recommend Mid-City or parts of Gentilly. Mid-City is close to the French Quarter, real close to city park, and has access to public transportation. I live Uptown, work in Mid-City, & attend UNO as well. It's flat down here so cycling is easy, but the heat/humidity can be a downer & takes some getting used to. Good Luck!


    Was it positive? Is there a link to the article?
    Yeah, I don't think it was negative. I only quickly browsed the article and have since lent the issue to a coworker. I couldn't find a link to the article online.
    Litespeed Palmares. Seven Sola.

  18. #18
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    Show up in late October and leave in early May, and you'll love it. Summers here are Africa hot. Stand by for a bit of a shock to the system culturally and aesthetically. All of New Orleans (real New Orleans, anyway) is old and much of it is very run down. Good neighborhoods border bad, like orcanova mentioned. I hated it here at first, but this town will definitely will grow on you. And you'll never find an area where the residents are more proud of their town.

    The levee (Mississippi River Trail) is a good place to ride, but it'll be a drive from where you're looking to live. I live in Uptown on St. Charles and love it. I can get anywhere worthwhile without a car, and the scenery in Audubon Park can be outstanding...Tulane right across the street, if you catch my drift. Pretty far from UNO, though. Great restaurants everywhere and good music, of course. Kermit Ruffins is playing a free concert tomorrow in the Lafayette Square, for instance. Lot's of good things, it just takes some time to get used to.

    Honestly, there's a whole other thread needed just to cover all the MUST DO's in this town.

  19. #19
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    I've never really "lived" there, but have visited numerous times over the past 40 years of my life. I jealous that you're given the chance to live there! I've walked and biked all over the quarter, the Marigny, and the Treme, as well as Mid-City, etc. Can't imagine wanting to live outside those areas, one of the most walkable and bikeable places in the States, at least based on my limited experience, of course I've no experience with the UNO area. I also remember riding a UNICEF fundraiser from the mid-80's that included a long ride around lakes Ponchartrain and Maurepas, starting from the Broad Street (is my memory right?) Gus Betat and ending in the Quarter - does anyone do such a ride now?

  20. #20
    Junior Member Sandlotje's Avatar
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    Depending on where you're going to be, be absolutely sure to lock up the bike -- maybe even with two locks (one to each tire). It's an awesome city though. Smells are interesting to say the least and sometimes a bit unpleasant. However you should have a great time with the rich diversity and endless things to look at. Many interesting places to ride your bike. Just thinking about it makes me want to go back soon.

  21. #21
    Junior Member Sandlotje's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shimagnolo View Post
    Send a PM to JoeyBike to arrange private lessons in negotiating N.O. traffic.
    Negotiating? I was unaware you could negotiate with traffic. Oh perhaps you mean navigating.

  22. #22
    20+mph Commuter JoeyBike's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JusticeZero View Post
    Just got accepted at U of New Orleans. That's a long way from Anchorage, where i'm used to riding. What should we be prepared for?
    Your bike will work just the same down here. You might sweat a little more.

    New Orleans is easy to bike relative to Jefferson (Metairie). Every route in Orleans Parish (county) is pretty close to a straight shot and our roads are currently in pretty good shape except for a few, and they should be fixing those soon. Jefferson is bikeable, but it is harder to get anywhere in a straight line as the major arteries are tough on cyclists and the back streets were not set up in any orderly fashion. Still, it can be done. I am car free here over 20 years and still happy about it.

    As mentioned above, I have a bike map of my routes in New Orleans on my Website http://www.joeybike.com that you can print or view on a handheld device. I also have a route map of Jefferson north of the Mississippi River on Google Maps. You can access that one from my site as well.

    New Orleans is a small city. I can get anywhere in 20 minutes by bike.

    If you really can't figure it out with the maps shoot me an email from my site. You can PM me here, but I don't hang out here much any more.

    One major car-free issue: How do you get out of town when a major hurricane is bearing down on us. My wife has a dependable vehicle. That is how I do it. You need to consider that.

    Cheers!
    Last edited by JoeyBike; 04-20-11 at 11:43 PM.
    "For all we know his skills may be excellent, allowing him to ride like an idiot without actually being one." - FBinNY

  23. #23
    Senior Member Shimagnolo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JoeyBike View Post
    One major car-free issue: How do you get out of town when a major hurricane is bearing down on us. My wife has a dependable vehicle. That is how I do it. You need to consider that.
    Cheers!
    So *that* is why you just got married!!!

  24. #24
    20+mph Commuter JoeyBike's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shimagnolo View Post
    So *that* is why you just got married!!!
    Funnier than that even.

    We have been "practicing" being married for 16 years. We knew we better Git-er-done while we still look good in photographs.
    "For all we know his skills may be excellent, allowing him to ride like an idiot without actually being one." - FBinNY

  25. #25
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    We're here.. Our bikes aren't yet, though. blah! We're going to need to fix that soon!
    What's with all the fat tires? Is there a reason, or is it just because that's what the ubiquitous singlespeed cruisers have stock?
    Current stable: Sun Atlas X-type (mine), Trek Navigator 3 (wife), two Sun Revolution cruisers (wife, daughter)

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