Bike Easy has been making New Orleans a safer place for cyclists since 2003. This organization is volunteer-run and guided by a Board of Directors whose mission is threefold. Their outreach aims to teach people about bike safety and rights. They advocate for improving bicycling infrastructure and policies through local, regional, state and federal governments. They also encourage cycling activities with social rides called Bicycle Second Lines and other events like Bicycle Valet at local festivals. Their efforts combined has made New Orleans register on a national level as a bike friendly city. But their work is far from over as they continue to educate, advocate and organize for cyclists throughout the Greater New Orleans area.
Bike Easy knows that bike safety starts early. In 2015 alone their efforts reached over 1,400 NOLA youths with education on safe riding through a program known as Safe Routes to School. This is just one branch of their educational programming. Other facets include the Youth Bicycle Ambassador Program, a summer leadership development and employment opportunity for young people age 16-24. Under the vehicle of cycling, the next generation is given a platform to be empowered and confident bicyclists, teachers, and leaders, with the ultimate goal of providing employment opportunities in our outreach and education programs.
New Orleans is officially known as a Silver-Level Bicycle-Friendly City by the League of American Bicyclists thanks in part to Bike Easy. These lofty heights have come with an immense amount of work from the volunteers and board members by focusing on building grassroots power to influence policy and budgeting for bicycling at the city, state, and federal level. Their future goals include further bettering road conditions for cyclist like the situation on the St. Claude bridge which connects the 9th Ward. The unsafe conditions of the bridge are a major concern for all - including motorists. This project is just one with others focusing on more bike lanes, bike racks and developing bike-sharing services.
Tourists and locals alike might be pleasantly surprised when hundreds of happy cyclists completely invade a street with a brass band set up on a trailer to boot. They’ve just witnessed a Bicycle Second Line officiated by Bike Easy. This event help raise awareness of the presence of cyclists in the city and is also just a good time. If you ever ride your bike to a local festival in New Orleans, you’ll most likely find Bike Easy’s Bicycle Valet awaiting your arrival. The valet is another awareness building event that encourages cycling. Knowing that your bike will be looked after during your festing is very important.