Someone asked me about riding in New Orleans. I thought I would just post a couple of websites of interest:
This first one is a pretty good description of areas for riding in the city. The second is the site for the club of which I am a member. If you look at the weekend ride schedule you will see that there are usually city and country rides with leaders every weekend, sometimes one of each both Saturday and Sunday. Guests are welcome. If you are going to be in town and want to try one, be sure to call the ride leader to confirm. Occasionally, things change. For instance, the rides scheduled for March 31 have been cancelled to free members up to volunteer or ride in the local Tour de Cure.
Of the shops with rentals, French Quarter is closest to the downtown area. Bicycle Michael's may have a better selection. It is still very walkable from Canal Street, though several blocks farther than French Quarter. If you are driving, Michael's is probably much easier parking. French Quarter has no parking.
If you are ever headed this way, let me know if you want more specific info on anything.