If you are tired of the cold, want some fun on a bike, Mardi Gras will soon be here and may be your ticket. The extended weekend of February 13- 17, is the most popular time to visit New Orleans. At this time you’ll be sure to catch the most popular parades and events ending with many “Fat Tuesday” celebrations. However, getting around is another story and the Bike Easy bicycle coalition has some suggestion for Mardi Gras goers and others who ride here throughout the year.
Most visitors to Mardi Gras arrive no later than Saturday, February 14, in order to enjoy the extended weekends festivities – like Endymion, Bacchus, Zulu, Rex and other celebrations throughout the city. So getting around parade road closures, avoiding traffic gridlocks before or after these events can be a challenge unless you’re on a bike.
According to Bike Easy, using a bike is a premier way to get around the Mardi Gras events in New Orleans. So being a League of America (silver) Bike Friendly City, make your experience here memorable as well as safe with the following tips when biking:
• Avoid bicycling drunk, it’s unsafe and you could get a ticket, or worse
• Beads around your neck can be a hazard, remove them before you ride you bike home
• Park your bike on the opposite street as the parade to avoid it being used as a ladder
• Be super polite when navigating around pedestrians, walk your bike in dense crowds
• Don’t skip the helmet for the wig! Wear your helmet and change into your wig when you arrive
• Wider tires and flat-resistant treatments can save the day, throws and beads can puncture your tire. Bring a tire repair kit, and know how to use it
• Feel like you are too drunk to bike: call a cab, walk, take transit or call a friend – it’s not worth it to bike drunk.
If you would like to ride in one of the parades see the Banana Bike Brigade’s website for suggestions, contacts and more photos.
For information on visiting and riding around New Orleans, see the following HaveFunBiking article and enjoy the Big Easy.