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  • Last night my friend and I went out to see the Krewe of Bacchus, which parades every year on the Sunday before Mardi Gras day. We biked from the Freret neighborhood towards downtown on Carondelet Street, stopping at Fourth Street, just lakeside of the Irish Channel. En route, as we passed the Creole cottages and Victorian houses decorated with purple, green, and gold, we weaved through the small army of cars stopped in traffic as they looked for parking and pedestrians dragging coolers toward the parade route on St. Charles Avenue. My friend and I talked about how smart we were for biking instead of walking or driving; driving near the parade route is about the dumbest thing you could do, and walking takes too long and requires you to carry your things. We bikers, however, were making great time and had about a 12 pack of beer between what was in her bike's basket and bungeed to my bike's rear cargo rack. We were beating the hell out of the Mardi Gras curve.

    We got to our destination on Fourth, locked our bikes, grabbed our brews, and walked the short distance to St. Charles where we watched the parade, hung out with friends we knew and friends we made there, and made every effort to reduce the number of beers we would carry back home with us. If you've never been to a New Orleans Mardi Gras parade, you're missing out - it's a giant party that everyone in the world is invited to; there really isn't a whole lot not to like.

    After the parade, when we were getting ready to head back, my friend realized her front tire had gone flat. We tried to repair it, but after 30 minutes of trying left us with a front tire that still wouldn't hold air, we gave up and started walking our bikes back toward our neighborhood. Cars leaving uptown passed us from behind like they were going the opposite direction, and impatient pedestrians zipped around my friend and I as we lead our bikes home.

    We went out to party with the god of wine, and we ended up getting a lesson in bicycle hubris. Or, as we say in Louisiana, "Come up's a bitch."
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