The third installment of our Back to Basics series, introducing our team, mission and work to our audience.
My name is Laura Harris, and the story of my time with Bike Easy is a long one. Having come to New Orleans for college in the wake of Hurricane Katrina, a bike was my only means of getting around, and it would be for ten more years. It was through exploring the city on my bike that I came to appreciate its every corner, and through these experiences and in the community that I was able to find myself a part of because of it, my love and belief in the bicycle as a mode of transportation became one of my greatest passions. I wanted to get more involved in bike advocacy, and found out about what was then called the “New Orleans Metro Bicycle Coalition”. At this time, this was a group of people interested in working towards better biking in the city – a group of all volunteers meeting up to discuss over beers once a month at Avenue Pub (I wasn’t even old enough to drink yet!). This group would eventually grow to become Bike Easy. I was the organization’s first intern, and in this time got to celebrate New Orleans’ first bike lane in 2008. It’s incredible to see how far we’ve come since then.
I became certified as League Cycling Instructor through Bike Easy in 2016, and officially stepped into the role of Education Programs Coordinator in 2019 after two years serving as Lead Bike Safety Instructor.
Educating all people across New Orleans on safe behaviors for people biking, walking, and driving is at the core of our work. We aim to reach all people on how to safely share the road, from 9 year-olds just getting their balance, to long-time bike commuters, to people who may never even get on bike.
Through Bike Easy’s education work, supported by the Louisiana Highway Safety Commission, we’ve been able forge wonderful partnerships with schools, local businesses, youth groups and other non-profit organizations doing great work throughout the region.
In 2022, I’m especially looking forward to expanding our work in driver education, along with working with Isabella, our new Youth Programs Coordinator, to expand our work with youth across new Orleans.
Keep on reading below to find our more about our work and please consider donating to support our safety education programs.
Road Riding 101
This 5-part class provides in depth safety trainings for elementary and middle school students. Bike Easy will introduce and reinforce the basics of safe bicycling and give students an opportunity to practice skills in-depth and ultimately graduate into a short road ride.
Smart Biking is a free course designed to help anyone feel comfortable safely riding a bike in traffic. Topics covered include: Choosing a bike, adjusting the bike, maintenance, clothing/gear, rules of the road, handling basics, shifting gears, where to ride, infrastructure, crashes and hazards, night riding, rural riding, drive train maintenance, riding with a group, sharing paths and trails, inclement weather, night riding, rural riding, and fixing a flat tire.
People Friendly Driving
Bike Light Giveaways
Riding without lights not only makes people on bikes difficult to see in dark conditions, in most states it’s also a ticketable offense. Bike light giveaways provide an immediate, visible and direct way to improve conditions for people biking in New Orleans. In addition to helping people biking ride safer, they offer an opportunity to have a conversation, share resources and information, and strengthen bonds within the community. Bike Light giveaways in 2022 will rely solely on donations. Want to support bike light giveaways to people on bikes across Greater New Orleans, please consider making a donation.
Check out our website’s Education page for more on the programs that we offer, lots of great resources like videos and online quizzes, and more.
Want to sign up for a class, or bring bike safety education to your workplace, school or event? Reach out at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Education Programs Coordinator