Invisible Cyclist at St. Charles & Jefferson

It was already dark when my night school class ended, so I strapped on my safety triangle, turned on my flashing front light, and donned my helmet before pushing off toward home. I was stopped at the light at Jefferson when a cyclist breezed by–no lights, no reflectors, no nothing. I think what cyclists don’t get is that at night, without lights and reflectors, we are invisible. Seriously–absolutely invisible. That’s scary for drivers, and more importantly, for us, because we’re going to lose this battle. A car pulled up next to me at that light, and the driver told me that he could see me clearly with my little slow moving vehicle sign, and that’s good to know. I never see me from the vantage point of a driver coming up from behind, and maybe that’s why so many cyclists don’t bother with any kind of night riding gear–because we don’t imagine that we aren’t being seen. After all, we can see you, so why can’t you see us? Well, they can’t see us. Clip a light on the back somewhere, please.

Pelican Tricycle at 8th & St. Charles

I spent yesterday on foot and was hoping to have a day of riding around town, from the Uptown parades over to Endymion in Mid-City and a night or riding around the Marigny and the Bywater and the Treme looking for pockets of friends doing this or that. If the rains slow, that might still be my night, but I woke up to sprinkles that portended the rain they predicted yesterday. I thought it best to get in an early (for carnival season) bike ride, so I headed out to ride the parade route in front of Tucks. Continue reading

Parade Ladders on St. Charles Near Marengo

I had a long day at work today–teaching, meeting with students, grading, writing schoolmarm-y emails and glowing recommendation letters–and by the time it was over I was ready to just get home and put the heating pad on my neck. But first, PARADE! Continue reading

Power Lines at Tchoupitoulas & Euterpe

I didn’t ride my bicycle today. I wanted to, what with the sunshine and the light breeze and the cooler temperatures, but my body has made it clear that it needs a day or two out of the saddle, and I decided to listen (a rare choice, if you know me). So how can I write a blog entry, if I didn’t see anything while riding my bike around today? It’s time for a guest post from a pedestrian! Continue reading

Commuting Down St. Charles

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.

Blue Sky and Clouds Over Dauphine & Piety

I had a juice date with S. down in the Bywater this morning, so that meant I got to hop on the bike early. I don’t usually see downtown at that time of day, and I swear the light is different. I had trouble deciding on a route. I wanted the speed of St. Charles without the rocky riding I expected on Camp Street in the CBD–they’ve been resurfacing it for repaving–but I decided to risk it, and took Prytania down to Camp. Guess what? Continue reading

Cool Breeze Uptown on St. Charles Ave.

Sometimes I work a really, really long day, like non-stop-for-fourteen-hours long day, and the last thing I want to do is think about what I’m seeing riding my bike around today. I just want to be home watching the Saints with a beer and leftovers. But then I get on my bike and get in a rhythm and the streets are dark and empty and the air is actually cool. And then I’m glad I’m not at home on the couch, happy to be alone on my bike for 20 minutes so the long day can just drift away. Yeah, that’s what I saw riding my bike around today.

Streetcar at Jefferson and St. Charles

I was heading Uptown to meet my old college friend S. and her pal J.M. for drinks and for some reason the ride just felt perfect. I had a bouncy song in my head ¬†and the sun was behind just enough cloud to bring the temperatures down to plain old hot. I didn’t ride yesterday, so I think I was also just happy to be on the bike and pedaling. Whatever it was, tonight’s ride felt like some much-needed play. Continue reading

Exposed Pipe at Octavia and St. Charles

I have never lived in a town that wears as much of its skeleton on the outside as this place. There are the literal skeletons in their above-ground tombs scattered all over the city, but there is also the skeleton of infrastructure–outfrastructure?–that’s always poking through the surface. Continue reading

Empty Lot at St. Charles and Louisiana

It was a perfect spring day in New Orleans (and yes, I know it’s only February), and I had no parades to go to, so I took my bike to a coffee shop where I sat outside and got some work done. I woke up on the wrong side of the bed, but it was impossible to stay there on this most lovely day. I wasn’t the only cyclist out enjoying the sunshine; Kate Hudson was walking her bike down Magazine Street, dressed as if it were much, much warmer than it actually was. Continue reading