Interest in biking around Baton Rouge exploded in 2020. What happens next?

Doug Moore is a longtime advocate for the expansion of Baton Rouge’s bike culture, and lately, he’s noticed something interesting. “Every time I ride, I see someone else riding,” says Moore, president of Bike Baton Rouge. “That’s a big change from a few years ago.”

For some time, bike proponents have been trying to shoehorn an alternative transportation network into Baton Rouge’s decidedly car-centric transportation infrastructure. Change has been gradual. But a recent wave of momentum could give the movement an adrenaline shot.

And what’s most interesting is that a convergence of bike infrastructure projects, some of them years in the making, is playing out against an unexpected backdrop. The coronavirus pandemic caused interest in recreational biking to soar, reaching levels no one could have anticipated. Baton Rouge’s recently established bikeshare program, Gotcha, saw usage double after the onset of the pandemic. Over at Capitol Cyclery, the shop “sold an insane amount of bikes,” says Clayton Weeks, manager of the Essen Lane location. Read more about the future of biking in 225‘s February 2021 cover story. Find a copy of 225 on newsstands now, or flip through the issue below.