Day 47: Another day in the Big Easy…

I’m sitting in a coffee shop catching up on some work and next to me is a man in scrubs and a couple of girls in school uniforms.  Next to them is a blonde haired woman old enough to be my grandmother sitting alone in a leather chair wearing royal blue eye shadow, a bright pink feather boa, and revealing fishnet stockings colored to match her flamboyant fashion accessory.

Nobody seems out of place and nothing feels out of order.  So, New Orleans rocks, if you didn’t know…

It feels like this city has a high number of happy and friendly people who are courteous and giving, as well as productive.  People flow around this city seeming like their motions are effortless and the general culture here is very thick with a deeply laid back attitude.

So laid back, in fact, that on top of being able to buy a beer or wine at the corner store and walk down the street enjoying your beverage of choice that they allow outsiders to drink themselves stupid in one of the city’s most historic and beautiful neighborhoods whether it’s 6am or 6pm…  year ’round, any day of the week.

This has been the most bike friendly city I’ve experienced since Minneapolis. Bikes everywhere — I’d say for every half dozen cars I see, there’s a cyclist pedaling along. No hills in the city would make cruising around easy if it wasn’t for popular routes filled with broken pavement.  There are plenty of alternatives, so it’s been easy to route around the rough patches.

Something I’ve found and confirmed with other people is that GPS doesn’t reliably work here.  I wonder if it has something to do with the half the city being under sea level… not sure.  I googled around about it, but didn’t find much information about the phenomenon.  I personally seen three people, myself included, who’s phones point them in the wrong direction often and won’t orient properly.

The local “formal” greeting is “How y’all doin’?”   It’s shortened to something else, but I don’t recall it off the top of my head (I might have been drinking when I was informed of the informal greeting.)  The appropriate response is not “Good” or “Great,” but rather “A’right.”   I started my first few days saying Good Morning to people, but soon learned that “How y’all doin’?” receives a much higher frequency of response.

Weather is great — 60-75F during the day, 40s and 50s at night.

Unfortunately I haven’t escaped Christmas Music… it’s here.  Walking around in shorts and seeing holiday lights and decorations without the cold weather and snow took a few days to sink in.

Feral cats roam the streets, sidewalks, alleyways, and just about everywhere else… I have yet to see a mouse or a rat.

This city feels like a soft plush couch.  You can spend the day just drifting and don’t even feel bad about it…

Total Miles… 1,607.6

So apparently I wandered around a bit… as Google estimated the route to be 1,322 miles.  Of course, I’ve learned (frequently) that you should really just ignore what Google suggests for route planning on a bicycle.

I have been relaxing today and just resting and putzing on the computer.

I tallied up the mileage for the trip and it looks like it took me just over 1600 miles of pedaling (not including the couple of lifts I got along the way.)

Not once during the entire trip did I wear a bicycle helmet, nor did a crash the bike.  That statement was not made for political reasons for or against, just stating that being aware, observant, and performing routine maintenance are key to safety.  Accidents still do happen, and they did, but they helmet didn’t work for or against any of the incidents that occurred.

That gives me a 38.27 mile per day average, if I include days off… if exclude days off, I did 44.65 miles per day!

A little under my 60 mile per day desired average, but the days were short and cold.  I wasn’t tired on many of the days, there was just no daylight left.