Social bike rides have grown over the years very in New Orleans. Locals are bringing underrepresented riders into the organized bicycling scene by creating bike clubs. Tourists have jumped on the bandwagon, causing an increased need for bicycles and tour guides.
My neighbor created a club for our neighborhood called the St. Roch Riders a few years ago. What started out with a few neighbors riding through the city on a Tuesday evening is now a group of over forty riders. We light up and ride through the city with New Orleans music blasting through a portable speaker. It’s a total NOLA Vibe. A typical night consists of bar hopping and depending through various neighborhoods throughout the night. I didn’t think riding a bike and drinking was a good match, especially in New Orleans. I foresaw riders falling off their bikes with drinks still in hand. Like we say, “Laissez les bons temps rouler- Let the good times roll!” And we keep on rolling!
Please know that you aren’t required to drink alcohol when your group stops at the bar. The stops are more about socializing and networking. If you are riding with a tour company, it’s possible that bar hopping isn’t a part of the ride. If you’re not into the night scene, I highly recommend that you ride during the daytime.
Riding makes for a great date night. I noticed that some groups have more couples ride than single people, but one shouldn’t feel like a third wheel. As I mentioned, the bike club makes different spots; therefore, mingling increases significantly.
I do not know why some turn their noses up when they hear that riders are going to bars. In my travels, I have witnessed a whole group of riders pedaling for St. Patrick Day. There’s this one contraption where the group can sit, pedal, and drink while going down the street. You are in New Orleans so do as the locals do! We can walk with out liquor in our hand!
I’m not a heavy drinker, so a drink here or there along with lots of water is how I do it. However, I love riding with “Foodies!.” That one night did me in! I’m not sure how we ate all that New Orleans fatty deliciousness. But hey we had to continue the ride which helped burn the calories off.
I once ate and drank too much that I had to get a Lyft home. I was too full, and I had a doggie bag. Thoughts of me falling off the bike followed by funny social media posts, “Biker accident: If only she would have let go of her doggie bag.”
If you plan on joining a bike group, please know that the riders are serious about the lights on their bikes. It’s a bike light fashion show and contest. I have a nice yellow bike with white walls and a cute basket. I didn’t go all out with the lights, though. And my very own adult friends made me feel like that 12yr old girl with a hand-me-down bike with mixed-matched wheels. Lol. It’s real out there with the lights! Make sure your bike is lit up like a Christmas tree.
If you do not own a bike, several shops rent bicycles. but it can get costly, especially if you are a local. By the time you rent it twice, you could have owned a nice bike. Check out The thrift stores, consignment shops, or borrow a friend’s.
I love riding! It’s freeing. It gets your blood pumping. And you get to meet different people and discover parts of the city you would never have driven past. It’s like a culture bike riding adventure. Being out in the night air, the stars and moonlight up the sky feel magical. There’s this feeling as if New Orleans wraps you in her arms as the wind blows sweetness in your ears. It’s been magical riding.
Like, everything that is New Orleans being a part of the New Orleans Bike Rider’s Scene is a culture, a way of life. We love living and sharing our lives with others. Yes, we ride for exercise, but more than anything, we ride with our heart and soul. It’s a New Orleans Experience! It’s a feeling like no other, and I hope that yall get to experience it!