Monday was my last day in New Orleans, and I used it to bike as many places as possible. When I first moved to NOLA in 2007, there were no bike lanes. Then the St. Claude bike lane went in, and then there was one on Broad Street, and that tiny stretch of Magazine in front of the WWII Museum, and the protected bike lane out in Gentilly, and now they are all over the place, and I wanted to ride them all. I wanted to take that favorite ride out through City Park and to Lake Pontchartrain to see the bayou and look for pelicans. I wanted to get lost out in Gentilly and do laps around Audubon Park and ride the Mississippi River Trail out to the end to see what they’ve done to that riverfront park in Kenner and if that abandoned suitcase is still there. Continue reading
And now for a guest post from the world of pedestrians! I stayed off my bike today, and off the wet roads. The sun finally came out in the late afternoon giving the sky an odd glowing feel. I am staying in the Marigny this month, so when S. invited me over for dinner at her place in the Treme I told her to just pick me up on her dog walk, and we would walk back to her place. Dinner was good and the lazy conversation better and then it was time to head home, and I had to walk. Gasp. After assuring S. that I did indeed know how to walk, I headed over to and down Esplanade. I walked by a mass of flowers that smelled downright sultry before stopping in the minimart that had a whole different kind of sultry going on. I picked up a candy bar and a bar of soap and waited on line as a guy bought vodka and mixers while two young men nervously fidgeted behind him, following the guy’s drunken orders, “or I’ll drink that whole bottle by myself, if you can’t carry it.” All kinds of exchanges happening out there tonight. I wandered down Frenchman, listening to the music and smelling the smoke, stopping to take a picture of this tiny post-it note on the pizza place’s door. When I was moving into the neighborhood I looked around–minimart, coffee shoppe, pizza–ok, that’s pretty much everything I need. But no pizza! I’ve ridden by this door dozens of times, but on a bike you are moving way too fast to read it. Apparently, this company still has some rental goods inside there. D’oh! Looks like there’s no pizza for me on this corner any time soon. That walk was short but highly pleasurable–sometimes it’s good to just slow your roll.
I’m not good at riding a bike with other people. I am bad at setting a pace and I’m bad at following a pace, so group rides aren’t my favorite. Also, for me, time on the bike is time to myself to just silently look around and think about stuff or think about nothing, so it took a little something to get me out of bed this morning and onto the bike to meet several hundred other people on bikes for the third annual Bicycle Second Line. Continue reading
I spent the day in Lafayette at the Festival Internationale, but to get there I had to ride in a car. Fortunately it was a carpool, so I got to ride my bike down to the Treme to meet up with S., R., and M. The car ride was long, but the day was perfect–sunny, breezy, music and dancing, and fried catfish over rice with etouffe. I was going to treat myself to a funnel cake, but the place called the “Dutch cakes,” and I just couldn’t abide that. Back in New Orleans, I got back on the bike and headed to Cafe du Monde for beignets and a large cafe au lait. Suck it, Dutch cake! And look in the background–that’s my bike. Ain’t she a dream? What a lovely ending to a lovely day.
I am feeling so much better. Today I actually felt like myself again–the self I like hanging out with. I happily got on my bike and headed up to campus to meet with students and do a little grading. After a quick stop at home and an early dinner with R. I headed down to New Orleans Arena for the Hornets game, locking up to a kick-ass rack right by the doors. Continue reading
It was another sunny and warm(ish) day in New Orleans, perfect for another ride on the bike. Today I headed up to the office to print stuff out and make copies and get my mind set for back-to-school on Monday. And then it was time for the Saints. I raced to the grocery to pick up snacks and then biked down to the Treme for a viewing party. Continue reading
A couple weeks ago my chirping chain finally impelled me to go pick up some new chain lube. I headed to the bike shoppe on Frenchman and walked into a crowd of those bike shop guys–the ones who drink cheap beer, ride expensive bikes, and would totally be friends with Kevin Bacon if this were Quicksilver. Somebody in here was about to sell me some seriously high class chain lube, and I was in the mood to be sold. 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
We’ve had nothing but blue skies for what seems like weeks, so today’s spluttering rain and clouds were a bit of a rude awakening. I guess at some point we will have days that feel like they belong at the end of October. I hopped on the Surly with hopes for good weather luck and headed down to the Treme for the second half of the football game. Nothing good on this given Sunday, so I hoped the ride afterward would be better. It was. Continue reading
Another lovely day in New Orleans, another lovely bicycle ride. After getting some work done at home, I hopped on the Surly and headed down to the Bywater for what I thought would be coffee, but turned into a second lunch (grilled cheese with pears and caramelized onions? you tease!). After a little of this and a little of that, I rode to the gym, and then to S.’s house. She wanted to know if I wanted to take her bicycle shopping this weekend. Continue reading