LiveWell Louisiana

Wheel Life

Like bikes? Join NOLA Social Ride.
January 7th, 2015 by: Lianna Patch

"NOLA Social Ride isn’t just an organization — we’re a family. Cyclists have to look out for each other. The more butts on bikes, the better.”  – Rachael Johnson

Founded in 2010, NOLA Social Ride has a simple goal: offer more opportunities for local bicyclists to enjoy the ride. “NOLA Social Ride has a ride for everyone, and the number of rides changes every month,” explains Rachael Johnson, an “involved enthusiast” and volunteer organizer. “Some rides are more fitness-based, but all are definitely social. We have set rides four days out of the week.”

It’s New Orleans, so naturally, costumes and libations abound — and people of all cycling skill levels can join in the fun. “Whenever you come out, you feel welcomed,” Johnson says. “We have people from all walks of life riding. You can start on the slower rides and work your way up, or, if you don’t feel comfortable, we have the resources to help you.”

NOLA Social Ride is run collectively, with fresh ideas constantly cycling through the organization. “There are not really any defined roles for the people that help with NOLA Social Ride,” Johnson says. “We work as a group. Everyone within the ride helps in their own way.” The group supports local bike culture by fundraising and promoting awareness of cycling safety. “I’d have to say our most successful event has been the fundraiser we did for a bicycle corral on Frenchmen through [Young Leadership Council’s] Where Ya’ Rack program,” Johnson says. 

“We’re in the process of another raffle and fundraiser right now that I hope will end with just as much success and fun. The goal is to install New Orleans’ first ever public bicycle repair station.” Along with weekly set rides, NOLA Social Ride plans special events around New Orleans and is even arranging rides in neighboring cities. “NOLA Social Ride isn’t just an organization — we’re a family,” Johnson says. “Cyclists have to look out for each other. The more butts on bikes, the better.”

Photo Donna Kennedy - La Petite Photography