Tour Da Parish Brings Cycling Enthusiasts To Experience St. Bernard

Bill Haines
2015 Inaugural Tour da Parish

CHALMETTE, LA – New Orleans Metro seems to be experiencing an influx of cycling enthusiasts and biking advocates over the past few years. St. Bernard Parish is no exception, and this was never more apparent than at Tour da Parish earlier this November.

         Tour da Parish is a non-competitive bike ride past some of St. Bernard’s most iconic landmarks. Event Chairman, David Huff explained that after participating in a similar event earlier this year in Jefferson, he felt the need to bring a similar awareness to St. Bernard. 

          “While riding around parts of Jefferson Parish, we passed various bars, restaurants, etc. that members of our group had not patronized in a while,” explained Huff. “That gave me the idea to create an event for St. Bernard that would bring back some of those who moved away after Katrina as well as introduce some from other parts of the metro area to St. Bernard and what we have to offer.”

         Tour da Parish riders were able to choose between 3 courses of varying distances, beginning at Aycock Barn in Arabi.  Riders then proceeded along the route taking them past Chalmette Battlefield, Docville Farm, the Historic St. Bernard Courthouse, and parts of Delacroix. 

         Katie Tommaseo, Director of the St. Bernard Office of Tourism, believes the event encompassed much of the sites St. Bernard Parish has to offer. “The San Bernardo Scenic Byway takes visitors on a drive whether you are in a car or on a bicycle into the heart of St Bernard Parish,” she said. “Tour da Parish truly showcased St. Bernard’s tourist attractions, history and culture,” explained Tommaseo.

         The event was hosted by the St. Bernard Chamber of Commerce in partnership with Bike St. Bernard, a non-profit dedicated to improving the conditions and safety of bicycling in St. Bernard Parish.

         St. Bernard Parish is currently developing plans to introduce bicycle paths which Bike St. Bernard and Huff hope to incorporate in the coming years. Huff said, “The future events will have more formal training rides, lectures from local pros, and instruction on safety. By the time next year’s event comes up, we should also have some additional bike paths atop the levee and marked lanes to use as parts of the courses.”

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