Hike & Bike

June 7th, 2009 by Editor B

So how many people came out for our hike? Can we call it 200? The Times-Picayune did. So if you’re keeping score, the annual breakdown looks like this:

2005: 3
2006: 18
2007: 17
2008: 60
2009: 200

2009Walk-Hikers6

Photo by Charlie London

See also the video on WWL.

Our budget for publicity? More or less exactly zero. Word spread mainly through online means. It was listed on Meetup.com, for example.

The weather was beautiful, and that surely helped. But obviously this is an idea whose time has come, and the people of New Orleans are hungry for it. The voluminous turnout demonstrates that amply.

I was delighted and more than a little overwhelmed. It’s strange how you can be with such a large group and still feel mostly alone with your thoughts. That’s because I was usually out in front, trying to guide us the right way. After all, the path isn’t there yet — you have to use your imagination.

I enjoyed myself and still managed to take a few pictures, but such a large crowd did generate logistical challenges. I was worried we wouldn’t have adequate transportation back to the point of departure. We’d been planning on a modest increase in number, maybe 75 hikers. Our sponsor, Massey’s Profeesional Outfitters, scrambled to get extra food for lunch, but they had only chartered one bus.

Last year I said we might need to register people in advance, but we didn’t. Perhaps we should have. We will have to consider some major modifications to the game plan next year. If we break ground on this project at this time next year (could happen!) we might have 400 people or more.

It all worked out in the end, though, and I was pleased with the event as a whole. We had a number of speakers address the group at key points along the hike, which I think added a much-needed dimension of educational richness. A megaphone would have been handy.

I think this will go down in my books as one of the coolest days of my year, if not my life, except for one little blemish toward the end:

My bike got stolen. It was locked to the fence in front of Armstrong Park. Right there on Rampart Street. In the middle of the day. Someone must have had a pair of boltcutters and some big balls.

8 Responses to “Hike & Bike”

  1. David Says:

    Wow, that sucks about the bike.

  2. alli Says:

    Sorry about your bike. What kind of lock were you using?

    Ironically, I missed this year’s hike because I was at Bayou Bicycles replacing my Electra Townie which was stolen out of my laundry shed around the beginning of January.

    I’m glad the hike went well, and I can’t wait for the project to break ground. It’s going to be fantastic.

  3. Editor B Says:

    Alli, it was a corded combination lock. Big thick cord, too. I thought it was fairly secure.

  4. Morris Says:

    I had a great time at the hike. Like you, I too was blown away by the number of people that showed. Sorry about your bike, though. What a drag!

  5. rcs Says:

    B that really is too bad about your bike – my condolences. Glad the walk was otherwise a great success.

  6. Garvey Says:

    “Someone must have had…some big balls.”

    Look in the mirror.

  7. Jules Says:

    Congrats on the huge turnout Bart! Thanks for helping be a catalyst into a much needed space for hiking and biking greenspace. We move back to NOLA in 2 weeks, otherwise we’d been there! Sad to hear about the bike. Apparently it’s now hip to steal bikes…

    From the Rebuild Lakeview Forum:
    bike theft is a major problem all over NO
    we are in the bike business & hear it all the time
    we used to be able to leave anything outside in the yard & wake up to it the next morning in Lakeview, that is no longer the case
    take precautions

    to improve your chances of keeping your bikes

    always secure your bike
    put it inside a locked garage or in the house (thieves will jump a fence & take it from your yard)
    get a good quality u-lock & use it (cable locks are very very easy to cut w standard bolt cutters & thieves ride around with them looking for bikes)
    when u lock your bike up lock both the frame & front wheel to a solid immovable object
    with a fancier bike remove the front wheel if it is quick release so u can lock the frame, rear wheel & the front wheel together or take your front wheel inside with you
    if u lock it to a pole make sure it cant be just slid up the pole & liberated
    make sure that you lock it to something which cannot be easily cut (like chain link)
    when possible bring your bike inside with you at work, store etc. (check u may be surprised at how often u can do this)
    never never never leave your bike outside on the sidewalk ‘just for a minute it will end up ridden off or in the back of a pickup
    take a photo of yourself with your bike
    ask some reliable friends to look at your bike & remember it
    make a distinctive mark on your bike
    shove a piece of paper with some information up the handlebar (take off & replace the grip)
    make a record of the serial number ( usually under the bottom bracket, under the bike)

  8. Frank Schiavo Says:

    Sorry about the bike. I read that stuff on Rebuild Lakeview and now I hear that there is an increase in thefts with dogs and skateboards all over town too. Some folk shave no shame and no class.

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