Adventurous Asphalt at Robert & Camp

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. Sure, there’s an occasional treat, like the new asphalt on Camp through the CBD, or that stretch of Chartres, or LaSalle/Simon Bolivar. But most of the streets look like this one, at the intersection of Camp and Robert streets. I was riding home in the dark after a long day at work and a quick stop at the grocery, and I had to make that decision I make many times a week: should I go a few blocks out of my way for smoother asphalt, or should I suck it up and bounce down Camp Street? I was in a hurry tonight. So there I was, pedaling jerkily, bobbing and weaving around this pothole and that ridge. I stopped to take a picture here because it has it all. There’s the loose gravel with some bigger rocks that can make your tire skid out–fortunately, today it was dry. And then there are the cracks between the different eras of patching, some widening into their own potholes. Oh, and don’t forget the sewer hole cover. For some reason, the road always drops away around it over time, making the big iron disk its own jump. The new bike lane on Common in the CBD is like a sewer cover obstacle course. Oh, and tonight’s ride included those massive dips that you can’t see, but boy, you feel the drop off in those places where your bathing suit goes, if you know what I mean. If you don’t ride a bicycle, you miss some of this detail. Your loss, my friend, your loss.

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