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Is New Orleans bike friendly?

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Is New Orleans bike friendly?

Old 09-29-14, 01:30 PM
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sknhgy 
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Is New Orleans bike friendly?

If you take a train to NO would there be any problems getting to services like motels, bike trails, bike lanes, etc.? Would it be good to take a train there then get a motel room and hang around and explore for a couple of days. Would you be able to make it to the gulf on your bike???
Thanks in advance.
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Old 09-29-14, 01:35 PM
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Ask @JoeyBike; he knows a lot about cycling in NO.

I haven't lived there for quite a few years. The city is easy to get around in but the drivers are pretty bad and crime is an issue. Still that shouldn't dissuade you from using a bike but you will want to do a bit of advance planning. No real issue getting from union station to a hotel. The French quarter is easier to walk in than to bike. From the French quarter, you can explore the city heading out on St. Charles or Esplanade.

This is a good place to start planning:

https://joey-bike.blogspot.com/
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Old 09-29-14, 01:56 PM
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2 years ago, I was going to tour through NO as i was going west. people who had just been there told me they expected it to be nice, but that they wanted to get the h-ll out after 15 minutes there, and they were on the tourist streets downtown.
you should know that there are parts of NO that are legendary criminal places, so it will be easy to google what parts of NO to not go to.
if you still go, you should know about warmshowers.org, there are many hosts in NO.
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Old 09-29-14, 03:22 PM
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Blog account here of riding into NOLA from the east (via US90). East NO was horrible, but once we crossed the bridge into downtown and even more so as we neared the French Quarter, it was fine. Now, after riding into the city, we parked our bikes in the hotel's secured lot and just walked around the Quarter so I can't really comment on riding about the city as a tourist.
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Old 09-29-14, 06:29 PM
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The Amtrak station is downtown. There are several hotels not too far from there. We rode Amtrak from Houston. Arrived about 8:30 PM. The streets were not very busy when the taxi took us to our hotel. It took longer to get the luggage in the taxi than to drive to the hotel. Security at the hotel made me think the area was not real safe. I have never biked there.
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Old 09-29-14, 10:04 PM
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There is a growing bike lane/trail network but it's fairly disconnected and many areas are uncovered; there's not really any big city-spanning MUPs like you'd see elsewhere. Road conditions can vary from block to block. Crime is an issue (there have been a number of cyclists mugged in the part few months, usually in the post-midnight timeframe) and drivers, as mentioned, generally suck.

All that being said it is of course a lot of fun down here. Ride-wise, it's flat as a pancake and distances from downtown to most points of interest are not large. There's a very friendly social ride every Thursday that rotates between the different neighborhoods (see the NOLA Social Ride site for ride bulletins; questions posted to the NSR Facebook group are generally answered quickly.) @JoeyBike has toured extensively and generously posted a number of fine route maps to Google; he doesn't have a NOLA-to-Gulfcoast route but you could use the New Orleans to Mandeville route as a starting point and then continue on US-90/Chef Menteur Hwy to get over into Mississippi (I would check the road via street view first, though - don't know if it has shoulders or not.)
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Old 09-30-14, 10:29 AM
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I would not recommend US-90/Chef Menteur. Please see my blog post link posted above and my route retrospective here. Another cyclist on this forum told me that he'd go through Slidell and then cross Lake Pontchartrain via US-11. If I ever do this route again, I'll follow his advice.
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Old 09-30-14, 11:56 AM
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Yeah, Chef is pretty desolate but the Highway 11 Bridge would be terrifying on a bicycle (I have not ridden it on a bike but have in a car.) As JoeyBike puts it in Around The Lake Bike Ride with Extras:

"This bridge is a state highway and legal to bicycle. I don't have anything else good to say about it. Narrow, long, and no shoulder. If you get a puncture on this bridge, life will get even more interesting than a normal crossing. Yes, I have cycled this bridge. No, I do not recommend it. But it is there."
Also, in your blog post you say that "you cross the river on a scary bridge." I think that must have been the Industrial Canal; the river runs to the south of the city for the most part. And yes, that would be a scary-ass bridge! The way around that is to detour down Old Gentilly Rd/Almonaster and cross the Canal by foot on the Old Almonaster Bridge, which is rail-specific and has a narrow crosswalk. See the map I linked in this post for the specific.

Your route was inbound but the same would apply going from downtown NOLA out to the Gulf Coast. How was Chef Menteur between Waveland and Rt 433 (Spanish Trail?) More of the same?
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Old 09-30-14, 12:04 PM
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Look at joeybike's website for route info

I found NO really easy for biking, and often faster, because traffic and parking can be such a mess.
Get a good lock and you can really enjoy the city.

Outside of the main city center, it's a bit dicey but I kind of enjoyed the urban biking there.
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Old 10-01-14, 12:58 PM
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Originally Posted by rcschafer View Post
Yeah, Chef is pretty desolate but the Highway 11 Bridge would be terrifying on a bicycle (I have not ridden it on a bike but have in a car.)
I understand. The recommendation to go through Slidell came from Cyclebum on this bikeforums thread. I spent a lot of time looking at that bridge on Google Maps Streetview, but I ultimately decided not to take that advice.


Originally Posted by rcschafer View Post
Your route was inbound but the same would apply going from downtown NOLA out to the Gulf Coast. How was Chef Menteur between Waveland and Rt 433 (Spanish Trail?) More of the same?
We stopped at a convenience store just east of the bridge that goes between MS and LA. Although I was very apprehensive about the weather and we had just survived 4 miles on one of the roughest "roads" I've ever cycled upon, I didn't have bad feelings about that highway until we got into LA. From the state line until downtown NO, I felt like I was riding through devastation (hurricane?) and economic depression.

Now, I admit that my attitude is probably skewed because of the circumstances. We had spent 5 hours waiting out a thunderstorm. We were riding in rain and 52F temps without appropriate clothing and had a strong headwind. I've also mentioned the rough "road" that freaked us out a bit. The debris on the shoulder was very worrisome and I did indeed flat about 40 miles in. It was really a s**t day until we rode into the FQ. (Enjoying beers, bands, and po-boys on Bourbon Street later that night perked us right up, though.)

Someone else might ride that road on a bright, warm day and actually celebrate the lack of development and sparse traffic. I'd really be interested to hear other opinions from people who have ridden this highway and perhaps the bridge on US11.
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Old 10-01-14, 01:58 PM
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Drivers aren't bike unfriendly in NOLA
Drivers are Bike unaware-but no general ill will between bike riders and drivers like some cities areas have.
I would -and do-pointedly FRAP-
sure go ahead and take enough to stay out of the door zone-but I wouldn't and don't LANE CONTROL
Yeah there are some dodgy areas-but generally they are only dodgy-dangerous at NIGHT
If you are coming mid Oct thru Nov-the weather is frequently BEAUTIFUL
Cool low humidity-just nice-same story early spring-(here that means late Feb to perhaps May)
Dec and Jan-aren't bitter cold-usually-we usually have some short sleeved days in both months
June July Aug most of Sept-it is HOT AND HUMID
Be careful where you ride at night-if you stop anywhere-lock your bike very securely - in a high foot traffic area-
Almost everywhere is safe during daylight-gangs in the sense other cities have gangs-aren't really a big deal here
Our "gangs" just deal drugs and shoot competitors-not much "don't enter my neighborhood" type gangs here
Granted they are pitiful marksmen-and a bit indiscriminate-just point in the general direction-bang bang bang
Most folks-white black hispanic oriental- are friendly -
Oh and we/they are saints fans-so....commiserating on current problems (no defense) always welcome Dallas and Atlanta suck A LOT of course(football wise)
Come soon weather is changing for the better-FINALLY
Luck
Charlie
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