Greg Powell, a young entrepreneur who is the son of well-known local candy maker Dardanella “The Queen of Pralines” Powell, has introduced a new, LED-lit bicycle group ride in downtown Shreveport. The group goes by SB Rides, and you can find them on Instagram at @sb_rides and on Facebook.
Unlike many local cycling groups, SB Rides is not designed for hardcore or experienced cyclists. In fact, it’s designed to appeal to folks who don’t even own bikes. For $30, riders can rent one of Powell’s “lit” bikes and join in a casual, two-hour cruise around downtown Shreveport. An upcoming ride on Sunday, July 14 will depart from J.O.S.H. Lounge at 8 p.m. and ride to Louisiana Daiquiri Cafe and back, with a stop for water – or, uhm, anything you may like to drink – at Louisiana Daiquiri Cafe on Texas Avenue. Sunday’s ride is limited to ages 21 and up, and tickets are available via Eventbrite. Other upcoming ride dates include July 25, Aug. 2, Aug. 11, Aug. 20, and Aug. 29.
Why LED-lit bikes? It’s a New Orleans thing, it turns out.
“We are emulating similar groups in New Orleans,” Powell said. “I did a lit bike ride in New Orleans back in November, and I thought it was a good business model. I thought there was a market for this in Shreveport.”
Powell’s first-ever ride – with 15 available bikes – attracted 13 customers, a pretty great first outing. The bicycles themselves are beach-style “cruisers” without complicated gear or brake systems. All of the bicycles are decked out with LED lights. One bike has a Bluetooth speaker that plays music for the group. Powell is, understandably, pumped about his new business.
“I’ve bought every single LED bicycle accessory in this entire city,” Powell said. “Seriously, I have them all. I literally bought every light that they had at Bikes, Etc.”
As for the ride route that travels from J.O.S.H. Lounge to Louisiana Daiquiri Cafe and back, Powell says that “there’s a little uphill climb on the way out, but when you ride back, you’re coasting the whole way.”