NOBC Logo New Orleans Bicycle Club
---

* Giro Ride
* Training Races
* Lakeshore Drive
* Winter Series
* Abita Springs
* Red Bluff Ride
* St. Charles Av
* City Park Loop 
* Linear Park
* River Levee
Popular New Orleans Area Training Rides

Finding a good place to train in New Orleans can be a real challenge to visitors and beginning riders, and is one of their most commonly asked questions. For riders in Metairie, New Orleans, and eastern New Orleans, Lakeshore Drive  has been the focal point of cycling activity for over 20 years. If you want to meet the local bicycle racing community, Lakeshore Drive is the place to be on the South Shore, particularly in the evenings. On the North Shore, the new Tammany Trace linear park is a popular site, running atop an old railroad bed from Hwy 190 to Abita Springs, with a Ranger Station and parking just North of the Interstate. Before you head out the door, you might want to check out the local forecast and radar images from NBC News Intellicast.



The Giro Ride




See a Map
ENTIRE ROUTE MAP
---

These very informal training rides leave every Saturday and Sunday at about 7:00 a.m. from the parking lot at the West end of Lakeshore Drive (near the shelter), and constitute the mainstay of some of the local riders' training programs. This 45-mile ride follows Lakeshore Drive (you can catch the group there if you're a bit late) east to Hayne Blvd., continues on Hayne to Paris Road, and heads south to Almonaster and then west to the end of the road before returning via the I-10 service road and Bullard. In-season rides can be tough, with sprints at the end of Hayne, Paris, Almonaster, the Service Road, and Hayne. [NOTE: Lately (spring 2002), much or most of the group has been turning left at Chef Menteur Hwy and going out to Venetian Isles and back due to the smoother road. This is not yet reflected on the map. This alternate route adds a few miles to the ride.] Group size varies from about 10 in the dead of winter to about 50 in mid-summer. These rides were started many years ago by Glenn Gulotta as a traning ride for his West End team, and subsequently became one of the most consistent training rides in town. A great way to get in a hard training ride and still be home before 10:00. The group does a very slow warm-up on Lakeshore Drive on the way out, with the pace picking up to the high-20's and low 30's once it crosses the Industrial Canal bridge. There are usually sprints at the end of Hayne Blvd., just before crossing Chef Menteur Highway, at the end of Almonaster (each way), at the end of the Service road, and to the top of the two bridges on the return leg. This is a traditional training ride that is not organized or conducted by any particular club or bike shop.




Lakeshore Drive


Lakeshore Drive has always been the city's most popular location for individual and group training. For many riders throughout the area, a typical weekday training ride involves a warm-up ride to Lakeshore Drive, 10 or 15 miles along the lakefront, and a cool-down ride back home. The complete 10-mile out-n-back course offers a good surface, relatively little traffic, few intersections and pleasant scenery. The Eastern end from the Seabrook bridge to Bayou St. John is a popular 6-mile loop that has also been used for the summer afternoon Tuesday/Thursday training races. Riders can be found training individually or in small groups on weekday mornings and evenings throughout the year. Feel free to join in with whoever you can catch! Current and planned road construction will probably continue to make some areas inaccessible, but this remains the best training area in the City.



Tuesday / Thursday Training Races

See a Map
[SEE A MAP]


Tuesday and Thursday at 6:00 p.m. is the traditional meeting time for the area's catch-all training races. This is a fairly dangerous training ride, as it is not organized by anyone and there's usually a fair amount of traffic in the evenings. On the other hand, it's also a good race simulation and can be an important factor in a training program. Riders tend to jump into the race at random. The group meets at the parking lot next to the Levee Board Police Station on Lakeshore Drive at Elysian Fields Ave., and uses the loop between the traffic circle at Bayou St. John and the loop at Seabrook. Total distance is about 6 mi. per lap, and the group usually does four laps. Distance is usually about 24 miles, ending around 7:00 with a sprint heading west at the "crabbing bridge." Ride intensity varies from hard to unbearable, depending on who shows up. These training races are done only during the summer months while we're on daylight savings time. [NOTE: For 2002 it looks like the course will be essentially cut in half due to road construction. Hopefully somebody in the group can count to 8.]



St. Charles/ Audubon Park


See a Map
[SEE A MAP] 

Some local riders can be found training on St. Charles Ave. and Carrollton Ave. between S. Claiborne and Jackson Ave., along the STREETCAR LINE, although this route is not for the faint of heart, and is best before 7:00 a.m. on weekdays. It offers a reasonably good road surface and is sufficiently wide, but has lots of intersections and opening doors. The compete out-n-back distance is 10 miles. Despite the 10 mph speed limit, riders often resort to the Audubon Park loop when traffic uptown is bad. The long loop that crosses Magazine St. is about 3 miles, but you really can't go faster than about 15 in the front section except very early in the morning. This ride can be extended by turning onto the new bike path atop the Mississippi River Levee (see below).



City Park Loop


See a Map
[SEE A MAP]

The perimeter of City Park is a popular training route that offers relatively few intersections and a generally good road surface. Considering the ongoing road construction on Lakeshore Drive, this route is particularly popular right now. There are numerous variations of this loop, which can be extended to include a piece of Lakeshore Drive. One circuit follows Wisner, City Park Ave., Marconi, and Robt. E. Lee, and is popular in mid-winter with riders avoiding the piercing North wind coming off the Lake. The distance around is about 10 miles, but can be shortened by cutting through the park in a couple of places. There is a small early-morning (6 a.m.) group that does this loop regularly on weekdays.



Linear Park


The Linear Park is an old road, now converted into a bike path, that runs along the South shore of Lake Pontchartrain along the entire length of Jefferson Parish. Although it's a bit narrow, and sometimes too crowded, for serious training, it provides many miles of vehicle-free cycling. The road is between the levee and the lake, so you can't see it until you cross the levee. You can get on at Bucktown, and at most of the major North/South streets like Causeway. The path runs all the way to the West edge of Kenner, then crosses the levee and continues South almost to the Interstate. You'll have to detour around a couple of the Pumping Stations, but generally it's a nice route for a recovery ride, and excellent for kids.



Abita Springs


See a Map
[SEE A MAP]


Abita Springs has long been a popular starting point for "country rides" north of the Lake. Weekend rides generally start at the school in town, near the Abita Springs park, and head north toward Enon, Folsom, Franklinton, and Bogalusa. The NOBC organizes group training rides out of Abita Springs from February through April. Roads in the area are generally lightly traveled and offer some small rolling hills. Typical early spring training rides allow riders to get in 60-80 hard miles before noon. Get there via La.-59 north of I-12. There is a new rails-to-trails route (the Tammany Trace) from Mandeville to Abita Springs that may be of interest to "significant others." To see a map of the area, click HERE.

Popular rides out of Abita Springs include:

  • The Short Loop: Go North out of Abita Springs on 435 and take the first left after the Quail Farm onto 1080. This is a fine road that continues North, crosses 21 and eventually meets Hwy. 40. Turn left on 40, then left again on Military Road (1082). Go South on 1082 to 21, then a short jog left and immediately right onto 59 and back into Abita Aprings. About 25 miles. Stop at the Abita Brew Pub in Abita Springs to recover.
  • The Talisheek Loop: Follow 435 out of Abita Springs to Talisheek where it meets 41. North on 41 to 40 (there's a nice road to the left off of 40 that cuts the corner, but I forget the name). Follow 40 through Bush until it meets 1082. Turn South on 1082 and follow it back to Abita (same as the short loop). Around 35 miles.
  • The Enon Loop: (Click HERE to see a Winter picture of riders North of Enon.)This is the standard winter training ride, and can be adjusted from 49 miles to 80 miles. Take 59 North from Abita to 1082. Follow 1082 North into the rolling countryside past Dorignac farms to 40. Turn left on 40, which is a fairly busy highway, and continue a few miles to Fairhaven Rd. Turn right on Fairhaven (enjoy the hills) then right again at the stop sign. Continue North until the road curves left and take Louisiana Tung Rd. to 437. Follow 437 (sprint for the parish sign) North over Watchtower hill, and enjoy the long coast down to the Bogue Chitto river and Enon (27 mi.). From Enon there are a number of options. One of the more popular ones is to continue North to Tullos Rd., turning left at the fire station there and eventually meeting 1072 which takes you into Franklinton. Turn left at bumpy Jenkins road (or go a few miles further to Franklinton. This takes you to La.16. Turn left on 16 and follow it back to Enon. One alternate route from Enon includes a ride farther North to Moore Rd, then to Plainview and back to Enon. Distance is about 50 miles from Abita Springs to Enon and back, or about 65 miles to Franklinton and back. The long loop thorough Bogalusa and Plainview is around 80 miles.



Red Bluff

See a Map
[SEE A MAP]

These legendary training rides will consume much of your day (it's about an hour and a half drive), but periodic group training rides to this Mississippi location (click for a map of the area) can serve as valuable tools for assessing your fitness for competitive road racing on courses with significant hills. This ride south of Montecello, Mississippi incorporates some significant climbs, even though about half of the ride is essentially flat. What we're talking about here isn't exactly Everest, but it will show you what it's like to have to stand up in a 39x21 and wonder how much farther it is to the top (and whether you'll make it). An alternate loop provides the opportunity to climb Red Bluff and White Bluff twice, and serves as a good test for the masochistic or sadistic rider (depending on fitness level ).


River Levee

See a Map
[SEE A MAP]
---
The bike path atop the Mississippi River Levee, officially called the Mississippi River Trail, is a nice place to train and take in some scenery, particularly when it's not too crowded (early mornings). This silky-smooth asphalt path starts at Audubon Park near the Zoo and extends about 13 miles upriver through Kenner with no intersections and no traffic except for the occasional police car. It can get a bit windy up on the levee, particularly in the winter, but it still provides one of the only traffic-free places to train. There is a small but fairly regular group (2002) that meets at the Audubon Park end at 6:30 a.m. on weekdays (Tuesday and Thursday are the most reliable.
---

NOBC Home
RETURN TO NOBC WELCOME PAGE