NolaCycle is a project aimed to create a high quality cycling map of New Orleans. Cycling maps include information beyond just streets and their names that benefits cyclists. In our map, we highlight the pavement quality, car travel speed, lane width, and special caution areas (busy intersections, man-eating potholes, or high accident areas). Volunteers help to collect this data by attending mapping events.
The information is then digitized to make a map of the data we collected to help cyclists - young, old, local, and tourist alike - navigate New Orleans.

Check out the blog for updates on the project, ways to get involved, and volunteer mapping events!

If you have questions, feel free to make a public comment on the blog entry or e-mail us directly at

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Some bike questions for my reading audience

So I'm back in Ohio for 3 months, but I'm pleasantly surprised (and a little bit worried too) to find that almost all of my friends are in Cincinnati right now too. Anyone from the Rust Belt knows this rarely happens since everyone (including myself) is always trying to run as far away as possible, but thanks to the shitty economy and everyone trying to actually graduate this spring, about 90% of the people I've been hanging out with since I was 17 are back in town. For better or worse, though, I'm sitting in my childhood home on my parents farm 40 miles from campus because I'm cheap and I didn't want to pay rent or have to buy groceries and I only need to be at school two days a week.

On the "for the better" side of this, I actually have money right now. And I also have a real job lined up in New Orleans starting in July (I thought I'd reassure you all that I'll be back soon and not leaving for more than a week or two ever again!). That leads me to why I'm posting this - I need some more bikes. I only have one bike, the lovely champagne-colored Nishiki mixte you've probably seen me riding around on. I love that bike and I would U-lock the hell out of anyone who ever tried to steal it (keep that in mind encase you were considering that), but it's not that fast and I can't take it off-road.

I'm thinking of getting some type of cyclocross bike to fix that problem. There are a number of single-speed cyclocross bikes out there and Surly makes the Crosscheck frame that can be easily set up with a single-speed of flip-flop hub. I'd have to build that baby from the ground up though, and while I'm up for the challenge, I'm wondering if it is really cheaper than buying a complete bike. I've been scooping out the Specialized Tricross Singlecross but I've heard mixed reviews about alumnimum frames and carbon forks. Whenever I go to the bike shop in Oakley, I usually drool over the Salsa Casseroll Single which is really flexible in how the wheels/tires are set up and is made with CroMoly which I've been riding on for years now and have been happy with. These is also the Bianchi San Jose which I haven't seen at any bike stores but heard good things in online forums. I'm not exactly sure what else is out there in the under $900 price range.

A lot of the fixed-gear and single speed road bikes on the market are automatically ruled out because of their standover height. The max standover I can do with something with a straight top-tube is 28.5." 27.5" or 28" would be ideal. Most of those bikes are at 29" or more for the smallest size available. Discrimination against girls and short dudes if you ask me. I think I need to send some angry letters to Surly because the 49 cm Steamroller is too big for me! I can ride 49's in other brands like Specialized, but the 49 Surlys are way too big. The Crosscreck comes in a 42 and 46, so that'll work out.

I've also found myself up a creek trying to find a bike on craigslist. Everything is too big and bikes that aren't too big are traditional "women's style" frames which is not what I'm looking for. In frustration, I'm thinking I'll just buy new.

My dad, who is totally awesome, trash picked an old on road/off road bike for me this winter. It's not something I'd want to make into a regular rider, but I think I'm going to fix it up anyway and leave it at mom and dads for when I visit. It has gears (which I think work) so I'll put some off-road tires on it and take that baby out on the trail. I'd like to take my future cyclocross bike out on the trail too, but the one-speed might be tough in Ohio. A one-speed cyclocross bike should be pretty awesome though for any off-road trails in Louisiana and out terrible roads in New Orleans.

So what I need from you, oh dear readers, is some advice on what type of bike I should buy. Should I just get a road bike and pick up some old mountain bike on craigslist? Should I not give up on finding a small frame on craigslist so quickly? Can you solve all my problems and just sell me your bike? But really, give me some advice on this. In the mean time, I'll be visiting all the bike shops in Cincy on Wednesday and see what's around.

Oh, and PS...I need bff bike mechanic in New Orleans. I'm super sad about mine planning on moving away not only because he was really good at showing me how to fix my bike, but because he's a good friend and a top-notch adventure buddy. I'm working on trying to get my bff bike mechanic in Cincinnati to move to New Orleans but I'm not sure I'll suceed. He's not done with school and has a girlfriend who doesn't graduate for like 2 years. My other bff bike mechanic lives in San Franciso and don't ever get me started on how crushed I am about that. If you'd like to fill those shoes of these fine young men, send an e-mail to me and tell me how awesome you are. If you are indeed as awesome as you say you are and you can fix bikes just as well as anyone who works in a shop, I'll make you cookies and dinner in exchange for helping me with bike issues and we'll go on awesome bike adventures and get drunk every weekend. If you help me rebuild a bike, I'll buy all the beer too. This is a serious job here, so only send serious inquries. Men and women are welcome to apply, but the position is only open to those who are young adults or very young at heart. It is quite likely I'll never like you as much as Willie, Dave, or Rafe, but you can make an effort.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Louisiana 3 Feet

Louisiana State Representation Michael Jackson has introduced a law into the state legislator to require drivers to give cyclists 3 feet of space and to make harassing cyclists a crime.

Recently New Orleanian Dr. Colin Goodier was killed by a driver on River Road in Baton Rouge. The Baton Rouge Tiger Cycling Foundation started campaigning for 3 feet laws in response to his death and others in the Baton Rouge area.

The Baton Rouge Bike Club and Crescent City Cyclists are asking people to send a thank you e-mail to Rep. Jackson to introducing this bill. To add to that, NolaCycle would like to ask you e-mail or call your local representative and tell him or her that you support this measure and would like to see additional legislation to promote cycling.

Monday, March 16, 2009

NolaCycle wins the Crescent Fund (along with 2 others)!

Crescent Fund Update:

Thanks to everyone who voted for us! We're really excited to get this cash infusion so we can move forward with getting incorporated as a non-profit and putting money towards the printing! Look for a "Bike to the Market" map in the summer on Market Umbrella and Crescent City Farmers Market's websites!

Meeting with the City Update:

Also, our meeting with the city folks I was talking about should be happening soon! I'm pretty excited about that. I've had some really great conversations with people over their bike facilities desires for the city.

I think the next step after this is maybe to have a New Orleans Cyclists Round Table event where we can get everyone working on advocacy in the same room and work on some common goals. I feel like people working in direct action (bike co-ops, event organizing), policy recommendations, and policy making aren't really communicating that well. I try to bridge that gap as much as possible, but it's amazing to me who doesn't know each other here. While we all like promoting cycling in different ways, I think we could all work together to achieve our common goals faster.

Nicole from MBC and I were talking about maybe hosting a big social event just to get people introduced to one another before we start working on well, work. Hopefully we can get that organized over the summer when I get back in town (which will be mid-June/early July).

Monday, March 9, 2009

Please share you ideas for exclusive bike roads, lanes, pathes, and other facilities with us!

Hey Everyone! NolaCycle is going to have a meeting with some Big Shots from the city next week. We've been asked to talk about our project and share "big" ideas for bike facilities in New Orleans, especially exclusive bike roads (think the path along the lake shore in Chicago) and some ideas for general improvements and policies that the city could implement.

So if there is really anything bike-wise you'd like to see you want the city to hear about, e-mail and I'll work it into my presentation. But if you have any really good ideas for exclusive bike routes or new paths, that would is what I'm really looking to pass along.

Thanks for your suggestions!