Let me begin by saying that I understand that bicycles are not really a New Orleans thing. There are many cities which are greener and more bicycle friendly that ours, but there is something about seeing bicycles in NOLA that just makes me smile.
Prior to Hurricane Katrina, New Orleans was home to only 11 miles of bike path, but in the 12 years since, that number has grown to 115 miles. And, surprisingly, New Orleans ranks tenth in the US in the percentage of residents to cycle to work daily. Sure cyclists may have to dodge a pothole or ten, and their hair may be a bit frizzy from the humidity when they arrive at their destination, but it is definitely a growing trend.
I love seeing musicians riding down neighborhood streets with their guitars on their backs or other instruments in baskets on the front or on little trailers pulled behind them. Scenes like this say to me, yes, we are following national trends, but we are doing it in our own New Orleans style. And there is nothing cuter than a color coordinated house and bike in the Bywater or Marigny, or any other charming neighborhood, in my opinion.
If you are in town for a visit, there are plenty of shops where you can rent bikes. Or, take a guided bicycle tour for some exercise and a little NOLA history. Just hold on tight…and wear a cap!