Ug, let me tell you guys how much I miss biking in New Orleans. First, I can’t breath here. Cincinnati has terrible air quality, and now I remember why I was pretty much convinced I had asthma before I went to New Orleans. After breathing in diesel particulates and nasty, stale Ohio air, it actually hurts to cough. I’m not quite in hill-climbing shape right now, so that might have something to do with it, but I can recall that same painful cough from last winter on my ride to school everyday. I’ve seen people ride with masks and bandanas here before, but I never broke down and bought one. Maybe I’ll have to now that my lungs don’t know how to deal with terrible air quality anymore.
Alright, second – Cincinnati Critical Mass. New Orleans Massers – I love you guys. You might be a small group sometimes, but you’re a fun group, a friendly group, and even if you gear-heads speed ahead, you eventually slow down and wait for people. Cincy CM was a big group of kids I’ve never met before, minus about 7 people who have been riding CM for years. Maybe it was a bit too big of a group for serious socializing. Also, the group got separated because the fast kids didn’t want to wait. It makes no sense why these boys have to ride this way because they do fast group rides about 3 times a week in Cincinnati. CM is not a training ride, its a time to slow down, hang out, and make new friends. It’s cool to ride ahead a bit, but you have to slow down and wait up sometimes. When I was in better condition to deal with hills, I’d almost always ride at the front, but I’d never leave anyone behind. Just bogus. No wonder we always end up with a different kids every month – no one wants to deal with that shit. Okay, also, I miss my old bike buddies. I have no idea where they are these days. Maybe they moved away, but people have told me they really just don’t ride CM anymore.
Finally, stupid drivers. I’ve gotten a hard time for not wearing my helmet religiously in New Orleans, but it’s only because I don’t feel scared. Cincinnati drivers can be a pretty mean bunch and I don’t leave home with it out now. I think a lot of it has to do with a lot of people coming from the burbs and learning to drive in the burbs where there are no bikes on the street. Also, it has to do with people being jerks in general. Alright, get this – I was walking with a big group of kids yesterday and someone threw a can at us from their car. Pop can attacks on pedestrians! What is the world coming to? Biking home today on my neighborhood street, a lady told me to get on the sidewalk. Usually I’d yell back, but I couldn’t breath (see paragraph 1), so I’ll just have to yell at her another day. Drivers in the Nati seem to be getting a bit better, but seriously, don’t tell me to get on the sidewalk, give me a some room, and stop honking your horn. If it wasn’t from all the air pollution from your car you drive EVERYWHERE I could probably bike faster.
Finally – hills. Pretty to look at, terrible to bike on.
Alright, my rant is over. New Orleans cyclists – you guys are awesome, I miss you, and you’re part of one of the best bike communities I’ve come across. Also, New Orleans is a great city for cycling, and don’t ever forget it (or decide to move to the midwest).