Popeye’s at Claiborne and Milan

Popeye's on ClaiborneI left my house around 2:00 this afternoon, clipped in to my bike and hoping to run in to trouble somewhere. That’s my idea of a perfect Saturday afternoon. I started by tooling over to 4238 Claiborne, where I snapped this photo of Popeye’s. Why, you might wonder? Well, there used to be a bike shop here, called the Freewheeling Bike Shop. A fellow blogger, Jon, (thank you! I love it!) sent me a New Orleans bike license plate from a bike originally purchased from this address. There’s no bike shop here anymore. Instead, Popeye’s is part of a strip of fast food places with Wendy’s and something else. I wish it was a bike shop, even though I do like a good Popeye’s biscuit. As a culture we would do well to spend more time thinking about bikes and less time thinking about biscuits, but there’s surely room for both. I then rode over to Mid-City for a walk around the bayou with M., and then out to Lake Pontchartrain. By late afternoon the light was such that the water was almost inky, and I sat there for almost an hour, just watching waves lap and boats pass. I biked around the Treme and the Quarter and then back uptown to the Lower Garden District, visiting friends and enjoying an evening on my bike. As I was riding home, though, I saw a woman lying on the sidewalk, her Bianchi fallen to the side. She was bleeding from her ears and unconscious, though she was breathing. A woman was calling 911, and she told me she’d seen the woman riding along when she suddenly swerved and ran in to a pole, head first. The ambulance came and told us she’d be ok, and I locked up her bike with my lock carefully rode my bike home. I stopped for chocolate on the way, and ran in to an acquaintance I haven’t seen in a long time. It was one of those moments when I was really, really glad I live in such a small town. Because I needed to see someone I knew to remind myself that I was ok, and that I’d be fine on my bike. He did that, and we made tentative plans to go tubing next weekend. I hope that long before then I can reunite the woman from tonight’s accident with her bicycle. Be careful out there, folks.

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