Get on your bike and ride!
Krewe du Vieux will be here February 8th and it won’t be long until we are fully immersed in Mardi Gras activities. As people and floats squeeze cars out of their usual routes, biking becomes the supreme choice for getting around. All the bikes out and about get our bicycle advocate hearts fluttering. We know that more bikes on the road increases visibility of people on bike and promotes the need for better bike networks. Use the Bike Map to help find the best routes for every parade.
Keep these six safety tips in mind as you enjoy Mardi Gras on bike:
1. Look for Hazards
During Mardi Gras beadss and hazards abound. Watch for items that could puncture your tires, get caught in wheel spokes, or damage your chain. While riding a bike, keep in mind that beads around your neck are dangerous while your riding.
2. Be Prepared
If you do happen to hit a hazard that causes a flat tire, be prepared. Carry a patch kit and a hand pump so that you can get back to parade watching.
3. Lock up Strategically and be courteous
Make sure to lock your bike to a rack or secure street sign and out of the pedestrian pathway. Best practice is to park off the parade street and avoid having your bike become a ladder.
4. Don’t Bike Through Crowds
Much like Royal Street is a pedestrian throughway on the weekends, parades are not suitable for biking through. Dismounting is much safer, and others will thank you.
5. Bike Safely
- Wear a helmet – fix your headpiece or wig once you’ve arrived at your destination.
- When crossing streetcar tracks, cross at a 90-degree angle to avoid getting caught in the tracks.
- If you bike, drink responsibly and know your limits. Call a ride, walk, or take transit if you need.
- Use front and rear lights to retain visibility at night.
- Ride with traffic, not against, and abide by traffic lights and signs.
6. Try a Blue Bike!
You don’t have to own a bike to use one on Mardi Gras. Blue Bikes New Orleans is a bike share system that is perfect for short trips. For $8 an hour (prorated by the minute) you can hop between friends houses and parade routes. This is also a great option if you don’t want to leave your bike unattended for an extended period. Simply unlock a bike, ride to your destination, relock, and have zero worries.
Biking during Mardi Gras is a no-brainer. You’ll get where you need to go faster and in style. Be courteous, stay safe, and have fun!
Written by: Katie Hunter-Lowrey