Who We Are

Once there was no we, only me. Confederacy of Cruisers was a one-man organization; from writing the tour to tuning the bikes, to taking care of all of the booking and, of course, leading the tours…I started Confederacy of Cruisers for one reason: no one offered a tour of New Orleans that I would have wanted to take. There were no bicycle tours of New Orleans and no tours whatsoever that let visitors see the city in the up close and personal the way they should.  I started the company out of my living room to do one thing, offer tours that are a little more fun, a lot more local, and cover the city that we find so great, via the only way to see the old Creole neighborhoods – on bikes that have you sitting comfortably and riding easily.

The idea for the company came while I was traveling in the Colca Canyon in  Peru. We normally never take group tours, we thought we knew what “independant travel” was (we were young and foolish) but I grudgingly agreed to join one, as it would save us a few days of trouble.  That turned out to be the best decision we could have made.  Our guide was a local who told stories honestly and refreshingly and shared his passion for his culture.  Even only understanding 3/4ths of his Spanish, he still made the van ride one of the highlights of 2 months in that area.   As things tend to happen down there, the week was filled with riots and nation-wide road blockades, so I had plenty of time to think and let my mind wander – and in the mountains of Peru, at 15,000 feet and with slight altitude sickness, Confederacy of Cruisers was born.

Marigny New Orleans Snow Day

Within an hour and a half I had the business planned out. I wanted to combine my favorite things: bicycles and our New Orleans neighborhood culture. I wanted to share the New Orleans that visitors miss out on during the larger, less personal tours.  I wanted to be a tour guide and show the city in an entirely new way. The company would offer tours by the coaster-braked cruisers I’ve always ridden, and stop at the spots that really show off the unique feel of our city. No other tour company was taking people down through the Faubourg Marigny, down to the Bywater,  and up to Ernie K-Doe’s Mother In Law Lounge…No other tour showed off the down-home friendliness of the Treme; the New Orleans of my friends and I – and somebody needed to. And that’s what we have been doing since day one.

I didn’t actually have money to start a business, but I bought a few nice cruisers, tool extra history courses, talked to everyone I knew to get varied perspectives and would borrow a truck to get my bikes to the park for the first year, just to give the tours I loved. Without ever advertising, and due only to word of mouth from our great customers, we have grown way beyond my ability to take care of everything myself. Slowly, by scouring through my friends at books stores, libraries, music spots, and, even bachelor parties, we have built up a team of people who I love. They have the same knowledge and passion for New Orleans as I, and may even be better looking…and while I miss our pets during the day, it’s nice we’ve grown into an office.

We keep the same spirit we had when we were locking the bikes to poles overnight that second year still office-less . When we bring in guides, we know who they are, we have been friends for years, so they write their own tours, making each one unique and personal. We consider ourselves family, and hope you will to after hanging out and biking with us for a few hours.

Feel free to ask us anything, before or after your tours. Making sure you get the most out of your visit here is what our small company is all about.


Jeff Shyman