What Happened in New Orleans? Don’t worry, we are still alive!!

Near the finish line of the Mardi Gras marathon

Since my last post, I completed the Rock ‘n’ Roll New Orleans Mardi Gras marathon and finished the distance faster than I ever have, probably due to the flatness of the course.  My time was 3:33:35, the weather was perfect, and I probably could have done better had I trained properly.  My only complaint was the terrible music that they chose to have as entertainment along the course.  Maybe my expectations were high, but I think an event in New Orleans that bears the title “Rock ‘n’ Roll” should have been able to provide better music.

The day after the marathon, I carpooled to Austin to pedicab during South by Southwest (SXSW), a huge festival consisting of interactive technology, film and music.  I had to get a Texas driver’s license in order to pedicab there, and since my RI license was about to expire anyway, the timing was good.  I still laugh whenever I take out my ID though.  After living and working in Texas for a mere two weeks, I caught a ride with a fellow pedicabber back to New Orleans.

My pal Sal

While I was in Austin, another friend from Newport had moved into the laundry room where I had been living, so I house-sat for a week uptown before moving my few possessions over to Sal’s house.  Sal is the manager of the red pedicab company, NOLA Pedicabs.  Their office is across the hall from Need A Ride, and Sal is good friends with the owner of our company.  I was weary at first when he offered for me to live at his house, but it worked out beautifully.  He has an addition connected to his house via the back porch, and it is really its own separate apartment, complete with a kitchen, bathroom and laundry machines.  It’s also the exact same distance by bicycle from where I had been staying.

The Final Four NCAA Basketball Championships were held in New Orleans the weekend after I returned from Austin, followed by the French Quarter Festival two weekends later, and then Jazz Fest.

Fun at Sal Fest after a hard day of pedicabbing during jazz fest

Sal has his own party, Sal Fest, during every jazz fest, and it goes on for 2 weekends.  There has been no shortage of entertainment in this city.  Even as I leave New Orleans, a steady influx of tourists and convention-goers are keeping the existing pedicabbers busy and well-fed.  That said, many of us are leaving for the summer or for good, and in a few more weeks it won’t be the same.  I feel similar to how I did when I moved back to Providence from Montreal.  Pretty much all but one of my closest friends moved out of the city around the same time, so while I missed Montreal immensely for a few months, I knew it wouldn’t be the same if I went back there on my own.

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About Sarah

Sarah grew up in Cranston - just south of Providence, Rhode Island - and developed a love for travel, music, and outdoor sports at an early age. She had started bicycling long distances at age 12, as a participant of the MS150 bike tours to raise money for the MS Society. She didn't use her bike regularly until she built her own while studying in Montreal and found it an excellent way to get around the city. After graduating from McGill and moving back to Providence, Sarah started working at Brown University's office of Environmental Health & Safety as the Biological Safety Specialist. She was living 4 miles away at the time, and for the first few weeks was driving to work. She made the switch from driving to bicycling when she realized that she could get to work faster, avoid parking tickets, and integrate a few miles of training into her day. Bicycling was better for the environment and better for her own health and mood. She found that she had more energy and felt much happier once she started biking to work. When her car broke down several months later, she never bothered replacing it. After 4 years of working in Biosafety (and on her master's in Environmental Studies), Sarah left her job to pursue her passion. She has been working various jobs in the bicycle industry since June of 2011, including pedicab driver, bicycle tour guide, bike mechanic and traveling bicycle advocate. In between seasonal jobs, she has done a few long-distance bike tours, which is the main reason for this blog. Her dream is to eventually ride around the world and sail across the oceans.

Posted on 11 May 2012, in New Orleans, Races, The space between. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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