Friday, March 18, 2011

2011 Training Camp pt1: New Orleans

New Orleans is a bike city. It's not over-run with spandex and bike lanes and the ilk. There are just A LOT of people who bike to get around. In a congested touristy area like the French Quarter a bike is probably more agile and quicker than a car.

Day 1:
We started with a quick spin in the French Quarter for an espresso. Then we went out a mix of Tchoupitoulas and St. James roads to get to a bike path that runs along the top of the Mississippi River Levee. St. James runs through the the Garden District, running along the street car tracks past Audubon Park and Loyola University (where we saw these guys ironically decked out in preppy garb playing croquet!).

The weather was so nice, we didn't even need arm warmers. It was amazing to the feel the wind on my bare flesh again. We hit that bike path and rode for about 4 and a half hours and nearly 70 miles. The bike path was kind of funny — there aren't hills in New Orleans, just WIND! All these dudes were hammering on there TT bikes in aero positions.

We ended up near an old plantation with all the moss on the trees. Pretty, but creepy because all the bad slavery biz that went down there. But part of me wanted to be sipping a mint julep wearing an all-white suit like Colonel Sanders.

Day 2
After a great lunch at Emeril's NOLA we started with another spin through the French Quarter. We went north, rode through the spooky St. Louis Cemeteries. We were going to ride up to City Park and along the infamous Lake Ponchetrain. But we started seeing Katrina houses and Bridget wasn't feeling super safe so we turned around and headed for the refuge of that safely generic levee bike path. We cruised around Audubon Park a couple times.

My morning run was cool too. Crazy to run past all those old building, and along the river where the steamboat Natchez made me feel like I was in the 1800s.

Next time I hope we tap into some better rides. I would also like to see if there are any badass bayou mountain bike rides — I wanna bunny hop an alligator!

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