• Levi's Bike Shop Tour: Dominic's Update August 25

    The bike scene is especially curious down in New Orleans, where engines are fueled by the influences of the bayou. It's definitely a scene in Marigny (on the fringe of the French Quarter) where we opened up the Levi's Bike Shop last Friday.

    Nola runs real hot and sweaty this time of year. Everything is a beat slower. Swampier. You get used to it, then have fun with it.

    As soon as we landed on Frenchman, the tires started rolling our way. Sure enough, the crowd of people flocking to the free shop bloomed as the afternoon progressed to early eve and the night hawker street came to life. The shop was about to get slammed.

    To help us out with a large, laissez-faire crowd of free wheelers, we had the support of Plan B, a community bike project who specializes in repairing, restoring, creating and customizing bicycles of all shapes, sizes, attitudes and eccentricities. 

    Tracey Brown (Plan B) fixin' on a free bell.

    Errol stared at the back end of a whip pretty much all day.

    Capricia was swamped with patch orders.

    Throughout the day, most of the folks who swung through in the lively "locals only" Marigny district were true to form, brimming with character and often toting brown paper bags brimming with other stuff.

    The Big Easy certainly marches to the beat of its own funky drum, and many of the bikes there have evolved to cater to the particular needs of particular individuals.

    Seamus, and his trusty "Train," which transforms at night into the Sweet Street Symphony. Our brass bike bell was the latest instrument to climb aboard this crazy train.

    This father-son tag team had it pretty figured out.

    No small child to be found aboard this trailer tri-wheeler, but I'm sure he's got some pretty cool stuff back there. 

    Amzie and "Fred," a three-wheeled enigma born out of Plan B's bike shop. 

    This dude came bearing what's known as a "scraper bike," a phenomenon started by the Trunk Boiz in Oakland, which has apparently crept its way south to New Orleans. Errol was pretty psyched to see one of these, something he hasn't seen outside of Cali. We're on the lookout for more. 

    After a couple days of steeping in the mid-summer New Orleans sauna, the Bike Shop lurched out of the bayou and is drying out as it winds its way through Texas and Oklahoma. Saddle country also runs hot. It's just drier.

    Our next stop is Chicago, and we're hoping the winds are blowing hard.  We're going to pay a little visit to Wicker Park, where more characters await.

    Follow us on the road with our Twitter updates @GetInTheSaddle.—Dominic