After yesterday’s 80 degree day, the weather positively turned this morning. Big clouds, thunder, rain, and a good 25 degree drop. It’s a good thing I’ll ride in anything, because my car is in the shop and I have places to be. I did the usual rides–down Prytania for a doctor’s appointment, up St. Charles to the office, but by the time my day was over, I was itching for something else. I rode through the park in daylight to see what the fountains look like not all lit up. The path was surprisingly empty, so I just pedaled against the wind until I hit the zoo, where I did a loop to see if maybe I could see some zoo animal heads poking over the fences. Continue reading
We’ve got some wild weather in New Orleans right now, so I put on a tank top and tossed a rain jacket and a wool sweater in my panniers and headed to work. It was windy, that kind of wind that buffets you around as you maintain an unusually firm grasp on the handlebars. I pedaled as fast as I could, dancing to a song, working up a hot sweat when only a few days ago I declared a welcome to winter. Oh well. Continue reading
I finally emerged from my grading retreat and got on the bike this afternoon to head downtown for a quick trip to the gym with J.–our last together as she moves onward and upward to NYC. I took my regular route up Louisiana to LaSalle/Simon Bolivar. That smooth asphalt and those wide, empty lanes through a friendly neighborhood make it my route of choice. Oh, but it’s Sunday, and that means it’s second line time. Continue reading
Alright, alright, fine. It’s not summer anymore–all of the sudden New Orleans is back in the deep freeze. After a long morning waiting for the rain to stop, I left the house on the Surly to head down to the Treme to help J. pack for her move to NYC–a bittersweet task indeed. I was dressed all wrong. I mean, mesh tights let the air in, the thin layering t-shirt is alright, but only if you layer, and the rain jacket is good if it’s raining, but not so much when it’s going to drop below 45 degrees when it’s time to ride home. Biggest lesson learned, though? Wear gloves. Continue reading
It’s Thanksgiving and I woke up thankful for many things. I am thankful for my sister, who googleyvideochatted with me first thing on this holiday morning and let me show her my cats, for whom I am also eternally thankful. I am thankful for another 80 degree day with plenty of sunshine but just enough clouds to keep me cool for a bike ride. I am thankful that a few years ago I figured out that it’s going to take about 20 minutes to get there–I can either sit in a car, frustrated at all the other cars, or I can get on a bicycle and flyyyyy through the air via my own little legs pedaling in rhythm (I’ve decided to go with the latter). Continue reading
I finally felt better today, which meant it was time for a bike ride. New Orleans is treating us to 80 degree weather in late November, so lucky me hopped on the Surly and headed to the lake. After getting stuck in a series of cul-de-sacs over near Lakeshore–that’s what happens when they close my route for levee construction–I finally made it to Lake Pontchartrain, where I sat, listened to the wind, ate a banana, and felt thankful for my health and a most perfect afternoon. Continue reading
I’ve been out of town for a few days for a conference, catching up with old friends and new, which means I haven’t been riding my bike. In fact, I was off my bike for four whole days. Four whole days. I can’t remember the last time I went that long without pedaling. I was looking forward to getting home and taking a nice long ride, but the airplane gave me some kind of sick, the kind that makes you feel out of balance and nauseated and weak. Sadly, that’s not the kind of sick I feel like riding through. Today’s ride, then, was confined to the commute, but even that was a relief. My cadence feels like coming home, so I let myself spin along, concentrating on the rhythm, happy to be back in New Orleans.
It has been too long since a good old fashioned blog about how hard it is to ride a bicycle in New Orleans. Now, don’t get me wrong. I love riding a bicycle here. I do it almost every day, sixty, seventy, eighty miles a week. I ride for exercise and transportation, for fun and for pleasure. Becoming a daily bike rider has been a life-changing experience, and it all happened here in New Orleans. I wouldn’t want it any other way. But these streets suck. Continue reading
And then some days you are at work for 14 hours, the last two of which are spent discussing the dismal job prospects in your field, and then you get to ride home in a dark and heavy rain, slowly, slowly. Meh, can’t win ’em all.
Do you ever have those days where you just feel exhausted in the very marrow of your bones? Today was that kind of day for me. Which meant that as much as I wanted to ride my bike to the Po Boy Fest or the Congo Square Rhythms Festival or out to Chalmette, I walked to brunch and then straight back home to laze about with my cats and The Grapes of Wrath. I can’t believe they let high school kids read this anti-capitalist, anti-private property, anti-disciplinary state apparatus screed, or that there isn’t a revolution of the working class led by high school juniors every year. Everybody should read this book. Anyway. Continue reading