In Indianapolis it is easy to notice that there are many bikes out and about. The growing number of bicyclists is fueled by a few things: a budding shared bike program downtown, a slew of bicycles and bike shops up and down the Monon Trail, and lycra fleets of speedy cyclists zooming about on country roads and city streets alike.
Being a young professional in Indianapolis means working hard, but also taking advantage of all of the awesome opportunities Indy provides to be active and even network. Bike culture is gaining momentum in Indy, especially on the north side, and biking is a great way to get out and see Indy while meeting new people along the way.
In this post, we’ll work our way through a series of opportunities to bike in Indy that encompass the needs of the greenest of budding cyclists to those of our Cat 1 phenoms.
Let’s start with the Monon. It runs all the way from downtown Indianapolis to the northern aspect of Westfield. It is filled with fun stops such as Bric’s ice cream, public greens spaces, and more throughout the trail that more than rationalize a leisurely ride. Two hubs of activity include downtown Carmel and Broad Ripple.
The Monon welcomes all sorts of pedestrians on all sorts of non-motorized vehicles, so feel free to hop on whatever sort of bike you own and embark on a quest filled with tasty grub and grade-A people watching (it’s even more fun with a friend!) As a disclaimer, I must include that Monon has a speed limit that is occasionally enforced; therefore, if you want to get your blood pumping and your adrenaline flowing let’s move into some more rigorous riding.
For those that have been bitten by the bike bug and want to explore other facets of the Indy bike scene, I hope to offer you a glimpse into some lesser evident avenues for feeding your bike fix: road rides and mountain bike trails.
Group rides are a great idea for those who prefer to spice up their ride with a bit of speed and technical maneuvering. These rides generally require road bikes (and many prohibit Tri bikes), so this applies to all those interested in going a little deeper down the biking rabbit hole.
Group rides occur all over the greater Indianapolis area and are generally conducted by local bike shops or CIBA (Central Indiana Biking Association). Be warned, these rides can be very fast paced. It’s easy to find a full list of rides and their details (including average speed and distance) by following the CIBA link above and see which one works best for your skill level.
Group rides are great for getting to know new bike routes around the area as well as meeting other cyclists.
Believe it or not, mountain biking also lives among us here in Indy (you’ll want a bike with some shocks for this one). Town Run is a six and a half mile trail located roughly at 96th street and Hazel Dell road. It packs a tasty blend of jumps, drops, and technical obstacles into its two loops, and conveniently offers detours around every technical aspect for those who don’t wish to go extreme. If you end up catching the singletrack bug at Town Run, then I suggest your next logical progression to be a trip to Brown County’s nationally renowned trail system, but that’s a whole ‘nother blog post.
Some fun events that occur throughout the summer and fall months include:
- The N.I.T.E. Ride
- The RAIN
- The Goat Ride
- The Mass Ave Criterium
- The Indy Criterium
- The Hilly Hundred
- The Brown County Epic Mountain Bike Festival
Alright, enough talk. It’s time to pump up those tires and hit it. There are plenty of great options in Indy when it comes to biking so do what you feel, or maybe even try something new!