1. Why did you want to start Dashing Bicycles & Accessories?
Dashing Bicycles & Accessories has been a brainchild of mine for a while – I knew from my early days in bicycle advocacy and bike event organizing here in New Orleans and in NYC, where I used to live, that focusing on what made biking fun and accessible for all types of people would always be my passion. Here in New Orleans, the weather, the flat terrain, the architecture, the people, and the history are all pretty damn gorgeous, so I wanted to promote cycling as synonymous to that. Dashing Bicycles &Accessories really blossomed from that admiration for New Orleans while aiming to be something different in the bike shop landscape of the city – spinning the focus wider for the bike lover in all of us.
At the new shop I’m opening in the French Quarter, it’s not just about bikes or repairs – although I do sell new bikes and offer basic bicycle services in the small space. It’s a retail shop that offers unique, handmade and practical bikes and accessories. It’s also a coffee shop and a vintage store to offer more of an interesting retail and social atmosphere. Plus, we will be launching a bicycle workshop series later this April as well with my good friend’s company, Crescent City Bike Tours next door – which will bring another great social/learning experience to the Dashing Bicycles & Accessories retail experience.
It’s never been about the racing or really fitness element that has won me over about biking– it’s always been the social aspect, the human aspect, and the simple joy of it all that can win over so many different types of people. I hope that Dashing Bicycles & Accessories continues to grow and reaches all sorts of people in New Orleans and beyond, and can help bring a smile to each one of their faces when they think about how fun biking can be in their lives.
2. Where is your favorite destination for a bicycle ride?
Hmmm, in New Orleans – everywhere is a great destination for a bicycle ride – so much to see, eat, and check out by bike. I love riding with friends around town and exploring the different ends of the city, but my favorite time to ride I think is in the morning, when the cool fog along the Mississippi River is still lingering from the night and I ride along the river early in the French Quarter. Biking up on along the river as the fog still lingers, you can see along the sharp English Turn of the Mississippi with all the cargo boats chugging along. If I time the ride just right, the tourists haven’t quiet started to venture out, and there is a quiet lull in the air – which makes me feel like I’m gliding through a cloud almost. It’s maybe one of the most magical feelings of living in New Orleans for me. I feel like it’s a timeless experience along the river in the fog and will always go the extra few blocks to have it be part of my commute when I can.
3. Does your bike have a story?
Cat’s outta the bag – I have so many bikes and they all have great stories and adventures logged in their days with me. Right now though, I am really excited about sharing the bicycle experience with my customers at the shop. The Public Bikes we are now selling at Dashing Bicycles & Accessories are super fun & colorful, and easy to ride – which really matches the mentality of New Orleans bicycle culture. Dashing is the first dealer here in New Orleans (and all of Louisiana) to sell Public Bikes, and I have had a blast so far with my first few bicycle customers hearing their stories and seeing them wave by the new shop with huge grins –capturing the very spirit I love about biking too.
4. What is your favorite restaurant?
How can I choose in a town like New Orleans?!? Good friends know I can’t skip a meal in this town! I am a lover of southern cuisine, Creole/Cajun food – and, will always be able find something I love to eat whether it be in a dive bar, classic restaurant, friend’s crawfish boil (tis the season!), or just cooking at home. Our backyards are instant gardens too – plant any seed and it’ll grow almost! I have to say, the food is my favorite part about living here in New Orleans – it’s plentiful and there are so many fresh and tasty options, and always in plentiful servings, which is good for hungry bikers like me!
5. Early bird or night owl?
Early bird for sure, although I still love to be a night owl every now and then. It’s something about slowing down from my NYC days, enjoying the early morning excursions with my big puppy, and really loving the quiet lull before the days buzz of business. I don’t want to give up my night owl self for good though – I still love the New Orleans music scene and nightlife that is captivating and ever so irresistibly fun.
6. Who is someone you admire?
I have to say my parents. They truly are an inspiring pair of people who have taken an admirable path I hope to follow. They are strong, smart, and always encouraging. I tend to be a wild spirit with exuberant passion for the things I care about, and they have instilled in me great focus, humbleness, and admiration for people and what makes people happy. They work hard, always make the best out of every situation thrown their way, and know how to have a great laugh at the joys of life. Plus, they are really fun and enjoyable to just chat and spend time with over a cup of coffee or glass of wine – which is the type of people you always want to be around!