What to do in New Orleans: A Series Pt. 2 – Bicycle City

There is so much going in in NOLA this weekend (of 06/08/18) that it can be almost overwhelming.  This is the second edition of a weekly series in which we here at Big Easy Magazine give suggestions on fun ways to spend a day, evening or afternoon in our beloved city.  So let’s begin!  What’s a good way to spend a weekend in New Orleans, or more specifically, what’s the best way to spend the weekend of June 8th in the city of New Orleans?

New Orleans is a checkered place in many ways.  Blocks from mansions are rough areas, and blocks away are parks and popular shopping.  Our city is not broken up into large compartmentalized areas but is a checker board of all sorts of neighborhoods with radically differing characteristics.  One of the most prominent of these characteristics is bicycle accessibility (or bike-ability).  Street quality and road conditions play a large role in whether or not an area of town is bike friendly and which streets are most broken shifts depending on the month and year.

At the present time, there are a few different streets running through a variety of neighborhoods that are bike friendly and fun / relatively safe to ride on.  One of the most well known of these is St. Charles Avenue.  Running from the Riverbend all the way to the French Quarter, St. Charles has a separate bike lane for a large portion of its street, and relatively even surfaces (with a few rough spots) thereafter.  This road will allow the cyclist to ride safely to the levy at the intersection of South Carrolton Ave, view beautiful mansions, access Audubon Park’s bicycle trails, make it safely and quickly to the French Quarter, and even pass Anne Rice’s beautiful St. Charles mansion!

The route on St. Charles also puts the rider mere blocks from striking historical cemeteries as well as passing directly by many different bars, restaurants and shops.  Another great landmark (that is free to visit and use for locals) is what is perhaps the city’s most regal and gorgeous library branch, the Latter Memorial Library.

Other parts of the city that have great bicycling routes are Royal Street, which takes the rider through the French Quarter and into the Marigny / Bywater area, as well as South Claiborne Avenue, which takes the rider form the edge of St. Charles Avenue all the way to mid city (part of this route is without a bike lane and can get a bit dangerous during rush hour, but it’s otherwise a good route).  Although it’s early summer and temperatures are rising, bicycling throughout the city is always a great activity.  No one escapes becoming sweaty in this town during June, so why not do so on a bike instead of in a car or on foot?

A unique New Orleans tradition falls upon this coming weekend, June 9th in particular.  This is the World Naked Bike Ride, New Orleans.  Check out our Events page for more info on this exciting event!

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