The weather is just about perfect this time of year in New Orleans, and nothing beats sightseeing our many neighborhoods by bike! Whether guided, in a group, or on your own, we’ve got everything you need to get you started on your two (or even three or four) wheeled self-powered adventures through the city.
New Orleans hasn’t always been known as the most bike-friendly city, but that’s changed over the past few years. For the safest and most enjoyable New Orleans biking experience, avoid biking down narrow, car-cluttered Magazine or Prytania Streets while Uptown – bike down the roads less traveled on Camp or Coliseum Streets instead, both parallel.
With the recent repaving of many of New Orleans’ most famous thoroughfares comes the addition of dedicated (Carrollton Ave. and St. Claude Ave.) and shared bike lanes, there has been a noticeable increase in bicyclists using those roads across the city. Bike Easy has a handy, downloadable map of the city that you’ll want to study up on. Be sure to save a copy of the PDF to your smart phone to take with you on the go!
Top 5 Places to Rent Bicycles in New Orleans
1. A Bicycle Named Desire – This Marigny shop describes themselves as “bicycle concierges” — they know southern hospitality, and you can always depend upon their kindness. The shop is located at 632 Elysian Fields, just two blocks from the Mississippi River and steps from the French Market. It’s also the location of the fictional home of the Kowalski’s, immortalized in Tennessee Williams’ “A Streetcar Named Desire.” They offer cruiser rentals six days a week (closed Tuesdays) with all the other equipment needed included, as well as guided tours through their sister company Confederacy of Cruisers on a variety of subjects: the Ninth Ward, Creole New Orleans, and Cocktails and Culinary tours!
2. Bicycle Michael’s – Saunter down Frenchmen Street and it’s hard to miss Bicycle Michael’s, a colorful bike sales and parts shop located next door to Snug Harbor Jazz Bistro. They also rent bicycles of all kinds: city bikes, tandems, and mountain bikes, with locks included. Bonus: they’re open seven days a week.
3. City Park Bike Rentals – Visit the Boat House on Big Lake in City Park, located within eyesight of the New Orleans Museum of Art, and explore New Orleans’ largest park and its miles of trails, roads and the 1-3/4 mile running/bike paths along Big Lake and the Festival Grounds in style. They rent single and double Surrey bikes for more than two passengers (the double Surrey has four pedals – and you’ll need at least three people to pedal if you pack in lots of passengers), and recumbent bicycles like deuce coupes, choppers, and quad sport bikes that will give you quite the varied workout on your quads, glutes and calves depending on the bike. Talk to the staff, and they’ll recommend the bike that’s best for your City Park visit. City Park also offers tandem, kids and mountain bikes for a full range of biking options.
4. A Musing Bikes – The Garden District is maybe the most perfect place to explore the charm of New Orleans’ architecture and history outside of the French Quarter on quiet, majestic tree-lined streets, while still close to the hustle and bustle of Magazine Street retailers and food. A Musing Bikes is on a quieter stretch of retail on Magazine Street in the Lower Garden District, and is open daily. Every rental includes a lock, helmet, basket and a safety light!
5. Arts District Bike Rental – Another Lower Garden District bike rental option is Arts District Bike Rental, open seven days with the full range of important accessories included, and conveniently located near the Warehouse District, The National WWII Museum and downtown hotels.
All photos by Paul Broussard