USA Today put New Orleans in their list of the 50 Best U.S. Cities for Biking (we ranked no. 22!), and we have to agree: slowly pedaling on two wheels is a fun, relaxing way to enjoy the city.
Whether you choose a pre-planned bike route, join a tour group, or head to a local bicycle shop, there are so many ways to enjoy cycling in the Crescent City. But be advised – it’s important to stay safe while biking! Fortunately, Bike Easy, a community outreach organization, has outlined some excellent safety tips in their guide for safe cycling.
Wearing a helmet is a must, of course, but take a look at a few other smart tips below.
1. Plan ahead. Pick your route in advance to avoid any spur-of-the-moment decisions that might require you to cut through cars or ride against the flow of traffic. Additionally, New Orleans has more than 300 cycling trails, so you can choose a quiet, scenic route.
2. Be seen, be predictable. Wearing reflective clothing or a bright helmet can keep you extra visible to drivers, especially at night. Practice practical cycling by always riding in a straight line, using hand signals to indicate turns, and following the rules – that means stopping at red lights and stop signs!
The onus isn’t completely on cyclists. Motorists need to practice safe driving habits, too, to ensure the well-being of everyone on the road!
1. Mind the bike lanes. You may find yourself wondering why cyclists don’t just use the sidewalk. As it turns out, sidewalks are for pedestrians – not cyclists! (An exception to this rule is children on bikes accompanied by parents on foot). Pay attention to bike lanes, and don’t let your car drift into them. A
2. Pass with care. Always check your blind spot, and leave plenty of space between you and the cyclist.
3. Look before opening your car door when parking street side. You may accidently open you door on a cyclist passing traffic.