After Frankie Cheek discovered segway tours while visiting Italy, he decided to start his own company in his native New Orleans. When he was boarding a plane back home, Hurricane Katrina struck, redirecting him to Louisiana’s grandfather country: France. While exploring Paris in the wake of the devastating tragedy back home, Cheek drew inspiration for his future segway tours—he was resolved, according to his website, to "help a city rich in history move forward while riding the most high-tech transporter available." Since returning to New Orleans, he’s led daily segway adventures, whirring groups of sightseers around the French Quarter, the riverfront, and Jackson Square with the ease, maneuverability, and safety-minded attitude of a cool biker gang. Plus, through a partnership with other tour companies, Cheek can also guide guests through swamps, plantations, and supposedly haunted locales.
The keys to the open road reside within EagleRider, where a lineup of rentable Harley Davidson motorcycles wait to tear across asphalt on guided or self-piloted trips. These late-model hogs join Honda Ruckus scooters as a means for drivers to visit local haunts and terrify local cats on short trips or cover vast swathes of terrain on regional tours that can last up to two weeks and span more than 1,000 miles.
A Musing Bikes' owner, Gastavo, proudly owns and operates one of the newest shop additions to the lower garden district. The store outfits cyclers with new rides and rentals but also helps keep bikes in working order with new parts and repair services. Rentals are available by the hour, day, weekend, or week and all renters will be equipped with a u-lock, helmet, basket, and safety lights.
Whether your tire-turning extremities are located at home, at a hotel, or in a docked zeppelin cabin over the river, Big Easy Bike Tours will deliver the bicycle(s) to you and up to four of your cycling teammates almost anywhere in the city. All tours begin back in 1718 with sightseeing and narrated soundseeing throughout the French Quarter. From there, there is a spork in the road where you can choose between three touring fates. The first, Neighborhoods and Lower 9th Ward, takes a path past green homes built by Global Green after Hurricane Katrina, visits the levee and explains what led to its failure, and passes through St. Roch and Treme. The second journey lands you on the Esplanade Avenue of the Creoles, exploring Bayou St. John and the history of New Orleans cemeteries, European settlers, and early New Orleanians' struggles to colonize the undomesticated flavors of crawfish étouffée within its wild habitat. After pedaling through City Park and observing the Museum of Art and Botanical Gardens, you finish cruising through Mid-City. The final option, a tour of the American Sector and the Garden District, details some of the architecture, universities, and finest fine arts found in New Orleans.
In 1987, Brian McInerny was careening around Italy in a four-wheel, multipassenger Surrey cycle. An avid cyclist, he fell in love with this quirky contraption that he'd never seen in the United States and he immediately sought out the manufacturer and purchased a crate of them. Wheel Fun Rentals traces its origin to this very moment, as Brian changed his surrey-distribution company into a rental and tour company that spans the nation. In spite of a general suspicion of unicycles and their ulterior motives, the company's corporate philosophy espouses "Supporting active healthy lifestyles for our customers and maintaining a healthy environment for all." Wheel Fun's fleet of rentals now includes bicycles, multipassenger Surreys, scooters, surfboards, and paddle-based watercraft. They also promote green communities by offering free rentals to Big Brothers Big Sisters.
Most parks are good for picnickers and unscrupulous Frisbee collectors. But Perkins Road Community Park amps up the adrenaline factor for thrill seekers with a grab bag of exciting sports, including skateboarding, rock climbing, BMX racing, and rainbow-trout fishing. A extreme sports–themed community playground keeps kids occupied, whereas competitive folks cycle to nowhere in the velodrome—one of just a handful in the United States—or spar on sand volleyball courts. More traditional recreational offerings include tennis courts, walking paths, a soccer field, and a baseball field.