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Paging all New Orleans riders...(12 posts)

Paging all New Orleans riders...filly
Aug 25, 2003 8:40 PM
I'm moving from San Diego to New Orleans in the beginning of November. I'm from there, but I haven't lived there in 10 years. I wasn't into cycling back then, so it will be new to me. I know I'm moving from the cycling mecca to the cycling shiiite-hole (from what I remember of the roads and drivers). Can you still drive with a beer in your lap??? Anyway, just puttin' out the feelers for anybody that rides down there. Any good club rides? Anybody from the NOBC? How's the club? I plan on racing, too, so let me hear from you. Take it easy.
I feel your pain,sn69
Aug 25, 2003 9:45 PM
having moved there from San Diego in '01. I just moved back to SD, and I don't plan on ever returning to the Big Crappy.

The NOLA side doesn't offer much. Lakeshore drive from West End Park on the NOLA/Metairie line to Lakefront Airport offers the best riding, roughly equivalent to Mission Bay. The problem is that there have been successive road blockages as the local criminals, er, I mean City Government repairs old canal bridges. Dunno the current status. At least the west bound traffic is blocked on the weekends, presumably for bikers and skaters, although it's mostly taken up by street roders.

The south levee along the river and just beside the Garden District is still open, although its MUT status makes quick riding impossible.

The North Shore has better options, and NOBC and NSBC both sponsor numerous rides on the weekends. The St. Tammany Trace is a converted railroad line that runs from Slidell to Abita. I never ventured up there to ride, but I've heard it's nice.

As for LBSs, there are only handful of merit in NOLA proper. First is Micheal's Bicycles in the Quarter on Frenchman. Mike is a great guy and offers terrific service. He primarily sells Seven, Moots, DeKerf, Merlin and IF. The other is GNO Cyclery in the Garden District. They sell 'Dale, QRoo, Litespeed, Serotta and Merlin. Their prices suck, but their mech service is first rate. Further out in Kenner you'll find Babin Tri Sports, a physical therapist who also sells Colnago, Cervelo and a couple others. Bayou Cyclery is in Carrolton/South Lakeview and specializes mostly in Colnago. Of course, Cobb sits 5 hours to the north in Shreveport (sp?).

You'd think for all that LBS representation with high-end bikes, there'd be more. You'd think.... I lived in Lakeview and did all my riding along Lakeshore drive. ...Round and round in 13 mile loops gets boring really fast. The NOBC folks and NOTriC were mostly nice people, although I prefered NOBC. FWIW, there's nice gym in Lakeview called Franco's (kinda like Frogs) that offers some run/bike brick workout guidance.

Good luck and let me know if there are any other questions I can answer--I can also tell you where to get the only decent Mexican food in town. Scott at sneedle3@adelphia.net.
Wow, I can't wait--man, this sucks!!!filly
Aug 25, 2003 10:04 PM
This is what I figured. I don't even do Mission Bay because you can't really pick up any speed--always stopping, dodging spinklers, streetsweepers, cars, etc. So you're telling me that in two months, this situation will be my BEST ride in the N.O. area--sweet beans, man...dude, this sucks! My dad rides on the levee, and I did it when I went home for X-mas. Let's see--almost plowed through the asses of 3 dogs, 1 fat lady chowing down on a shrimp po-boy (good grub I might say...), and almost had my head blown off by a 40 mph wind coming off the river. Good times, good times. Anyway, I'll be working at the Belle Chasse air station, so I think I'll check out Belle Chasse Hwy heading south. It's 30 or 40 miles of straight road that dumps you out to the Gulf. That may be a decent ride. I don't know, I'll have to wait and see. I'm also not to thrilled about all my mountain/hill/climbing fitness being flushed down the crapper, either. It's flat baby, nothing but flat for the next 3 years.

Most importantly, what's the Mexican joint you're talking about? Not Superior, is it? If I remember, that's pretty decent.

One more thing--I guess I'll be deep frying my Clif Bars in no time!

Later,

Fil
Yup, it sucked alright.sn69
Aug 26, 2003 7:14 AM
And, FWIW, I started out at NAS NOLA deep down in the swamp-gas ridden bowells of Plaquemines Parish.

I suppose the pertinent question is where are you planning on living? If you're going to the West Bank, down towards NAS, there are options to the South, but the scenery is lacking. They don't have Thomas Guides out there to try to chart the odd, lonely surface streets for advice. I used to fly the C-12 there, so I was always on the lookout for something interesting. That said, my impression of P Parish road south of Belle Chase are that they are skinny and traveled by big trucks and frenchie rednecks with little regard for bikers. One exception is Woodland, from South Algiers/Gretna over to the river south of the Naval Support Activity. That's a 12 mile stretch that includes a bridge frequented by riders and runners alike--it's the only "hill" in town aside from the Ted Hickey bridge near Lakefront Airport.

If you live in NOLA or Metairie, you've got Lakeshore. Truth be told, it's not quite as bad as Mission Bay. I used to ride early on weekend mornings, and it was usually just me and a few others. Afternoon, however, is difficult with the street roders and the daily storms.

I never rode the river levee MUT--I reserved that for walking my dogs.

Mexi food....a staple in life. Superior grill is decent, but it's TexMex. The best kept little secret is a place called Hola on Canal and Carrolton, right across the street from Robert's supermarket. Likewise, a bit down Carrolton, you'll find a new Juan's Flying Burrito--good grub. In the quarter off of Frenchman and not too far from Micheal's Bicycles, you'll find Maximilian's. It's a German/Mexican fusion place with phenominal food and deadly margaritas. Vaqueros is on Poydras just west of Superior. They've got great nuvelle cuisine Mexi with killer sangria slushies. I'd stay away from Taquiria Corono--crap Texmex. Not to be confused with that is Taqueros, in Kenner near the airport (and across the street from the Kenner Home Depot). GREAT food, good prices, and great margaritas. Their octopus ceviche is terrific.

The good news is that there's a huge,new Whole Foods market in the Garden District, right off of Magazine not too far in from the zoo. I did most of our shopping there in spite of the higher prices only because it didn't leave me feeling greasy, bloated and deep-fried.

Scott
re: Paging all New Orleans riders...yellowspox
Aug 26, 2003 1:42 AM
A group of us from northern Illinois did the Cycle Main Street ride this spring. It was about 400 miles that covered S/E La and laid over for a day on the south side of NO. The legs going in and out of NO were about 100 miles. They held us up about 30 miles out and gave us a police escort into town due to congestion.....took us right down a four lane divided hwy !! Coming out, they packed up the bikes on trucks and got several buses to transport us 40 miles outside NO just to be safe. Other than the NO area, the cycling was great even if the roads suffer from lack of funding and being below sea level. It's not 100% flat. We had a few overpasses and some hills N/W of Baton Rouge..LOL Compared to Illinois drivers, I found the motorists (away from NO) to be very friendly and bike tolerant. They even waved with more than one fingure! The food will overcome a number of faults. With the high heat and humid conditions of summer, you may not miss the hills.
re: Paging all New Orleans riders...Milliet
Aug 26, 2003 5:05 AM
Below are some web sites you can check out regarding your quest.

Good Luck,

Ron
Petal, MS

http://www.gnofn.org/~cyclists/

http://www.pinebeltpacers.org/HCC/Events/TamnyTrc/TmnyTrc.html

http://www.mylongleaftrace.com
re: Paging all New Orleans riders...ww11
Aug 26, 2003 6:50 AM
There is a fair amount of racing going on in and around New Orleans and many strong riders. But-finding a safe place to ride is difficult. My brothers live there.
I'm from N.O.chuckjg
Aug 26, 2003 7:11 AM
I'm from N.O. but haven't lived ther for about 3 years. The riding's OK but nothing like SD. From the lakefront there are group rides/training races T/Th/Sat am. At least they were in effect when I left. lots of circles no scenery but lake.

The north shore has better rides, more hills and less congestion. It's kinda nice thought riding downtown/french quarter/garden district early am when nobody's awake yet but be careful for those who are just coming in from an all night binge!

Michael at Bicycle Michael's is very helpful as is Charlie and mark at Bayou bikes.

Check out the NOBC website and hook up to the laracing newsgroup on yahoo to get more local scoop.

Good luck on the move
re: Paging all New Orleans riders...John445
Aug 26, 2003 8:48 AM
I live and ride in New Orleans, yearround I might add. My group rides every day of the week. Weekday mornings 6am lakeshore drive ride approx 21 miles. Weekends Saturday 7am, leaving Lakeshore drive going east to the Rigolets Bridge, long flat with a few overpass sprint climbs approx 75 miles. Sunday 7am, leaving Ranger station in Abita Springs on the northshore. Ride to and thru little towns like Enon, Bush, Blond, Talisheek. Northshore rides can be anywhere from 35 - 75 miles and hilly.

Everywhere you ride you will have to deal with autos, it is no different in New Orleans. Although the early morning rides have very few vehicles to contend with, there are always one or two a year that can get your adrenaline flowing.

Our group, Team Bovine Paceline, is a casual group made up of friends and family. We do the above rides and average around 20mph. Our goal is to have fun, stay fit, and promote cycling. Our current membership is about 25 - 30.

There are other groups that ride the same routes and ride a little more aggressively. If you don't fit in with either there is a third group made up of mostly tri people.

LBS - You will have many to choose from, each offering a little something different. Bayou Bicycles, Bicycle Connectin, Adams Bike Shop, East and West Bank Schwinn, GNO Cyclery. All of the listed shops have a variety of road bikes and parts and will offer good service, to an extent. And guess what, we also get the internet down here, so if the LBS is not your thing.

Food - No comment. Words cannot express what you are about to experience.

Sometimes it is hard for me to understand why everyone has such a negative opinion about New Orleans but it is still one of the top vacation destinations in the country. I live in a suburb with 5 minute access to my work, the yacht harbor, the playground and at least three different bicycle training rides. Yearround tolerable weather conditions top out why I will never move from my paradise, aside from the infrequent hurricane. One more thing, it has been at least 6 years since we have seen any trace of snow.

Looking forward to meeting and riding with you. BTW, that bridge on the westbank is a monster.

John
John, I certainly hope I didn't offend....sn69
Aug 26, 2003 11:30 AM
And I apologize if I did. FWIW, we made some great, life-long friends while we lived there. I think you hit the nail on the head when you said "my paradise." All things in life are based on experience and perspective; there are things that make San Diego special to me just as there are things that make NOLA special to you.

In our experience, it wasn't the lifestyle and cultural differences that made things bad in NOLA. Rather, it was our jobs (both my wife's and mine), the allergies (really hard on my wife), and those two stinking late season storms last year--Isi and Lilli. We lived in Lakeview and took the brunt of the first. I've been through many hurricanes, having grown up on the Gulf Coast, but that sucker was unreal in terms of the amount of rain. ...That and Barriere Const. was redoing our street, which they totally bungled, causing massive flooding. Watching the water come in your house is a lousy feeling.

In any case, I do agree about the North Shore riding. Odd as it sounds given my belly-aching and whining, I'm looking forward to visiting next spring for the Crescent City Classic.

Scott
John, I certainly hope I didn't offend....John445
Aug 26, 2003 12:12 PM
No offense taken.

We actually did a Tour de Isidore during the storm, pictures are on our Yahoo group called Bovinepaceline, one word.

In some respect I thank the press and the public for the negative publicity. The Greater New Orleans area (my paradise) will be our little secret.

Thank God only cyclist read this board, a few more of those wouldn't hurt.

John
re: Paging all New Orleans riders...filly
Aug 26, 2003 9:29 AM
Thanks, John and Scott:

I'm just wanking, I know--you can always find a negative about anywhere you are. My negative here in San Diego is the wind, so there you go. I shouldn't be badmouthing New Orleans. Like I said, I'm from there (Luling, in St. Charles parish, to be exact), but it will just take a bit to adjust to the area after living in San Diego for 3 years.

I am moving to Harvey, off Manhattan, south of Lapalco Blvd. This will put me only 10 minutes from NASJRB Belle Chasse. I was going to live in Luling, but that's about a 45 minute drive. This is where my idea of riding south on Belle Chasse Hwy came into play. Other than there, I guess I'll have to load up the bike in the truck and drive somewhere.

Anyway, I'm heading out in an hour to ride from La Jolla through Rancho Santa Fe, down through Del Mar, Solana Beach, up Torrey Pines, and back to La Jolla through UCSD. Hmmm...let's see...rolling hills, view of the Pacific Ocean, a mean climb up Torrey, and a leisurely stroll through babe-infested UCSD. Now I'm looking through my crystal ball...flat, mosquitoes, hot, hot, hot, rain, potholes, drunk Boudreaux driving his Chevy...

Just kidding--I've got to stop giving New Orleans a bad name. I'll make the best of it.

Fil