NEW ORLEANS, La. — It’s a great way to exercise, have some fun, and beat the heat: biking on a barge!
NOLA Pedal Barge Director of Operations, Jeffrey Chitek, took our reporter, Stephanie Oswald, out on the water to check out this unique way to enjoy the great outdoors in Orleans Parish.
It’s the perfect blend of pelicans, pedaling and partying.
“You can party on here, you can also have a birthday party, you can have an office outing, family gathering,” says Chitek.
These unique tours started just before the pandemic, and Chitek says business is thriving, even with the record-breaking heat.
“People love to be on the water. We’re in open air, sunshine, so it’s not like you’re cramming people into a tight bus or a small restaurant or bar. It’s a good way to get outside still kind of keep your distance and be safe in open air,” he says.
Floating dance parties happen, but it’s also about celebrating the natural beauty of the region.
Here’s the nutshell description from Chitek, who has four boats on the bayou: “Just being in the backwaters of Louisiana, seeing the crab fishermen and everyday small-boat fishermen, it’s immersing yourself into the Louisiana landscape, but on a brightly colored boom box.”
But before you get worried about how hard you need to pedal, listen up! The truth is, you don’t really need to pedal at all!
There’s a 90 horse-power motor hidden below the brightly colored paddlewheel.
So even if your group spends more time partying than pedaling, you’ll still get back to the dock.
Reserve the whole cruise if you like, or join a group. The biggest barge holds just 22 people. Tours leave from Eddie Pinto’s Marina.
BYOB, bring your own food, and bring your own sunscreen.
It’s $59 per person for the one-hour and 45-minute tour, or you can rent the entire barge for a private outing. Click here to find out more about pricing and pedaling. There’s even a new Hawaiian-themed barge, a Tiki boat complete with a thatched roof! (Stay tuned, you may see that adventure in a future episode of Destination Louisiane!)
Feeding the wildlife is frowned upon in this protected area… but time on the water, with friends, will feed your soul.