Friday is Bike To Work Day, not just for Indy but the entire U.S. of A.
This year's event is being held at the YMCA Bike Hub (City Market-East Wing Plaza) and starts at 7am. Which means a lot of people are getting out of bed early tomorrow to make this thing work. So feel free to volunteer.The rest of you will need to get ready tonight to ride tomorrow in one of the "bike trains" from your area into downtown Indy (more on the bike trains later.) Bring sunscreen and maybe a rain jacket in case of afternoon drizzles,
Breakfast will be served!
Seriously, there will be free food courtesy of Whole Foods and coffee by Hubbard & Cravens. (There's a lunch later as well!) Take time to check out the showers and lockers and bike parking at the Hub. Browse at BGI's store. But most importantly share the day with your peers, those godlike people that ride to work same as you do. Today's the day to celebrate your awesomeness!
If you can't make it downtown then be an example to others at work and ride to work. Tell them how fun it was, how great you feel, about all the weight you lost. Regale them with tales of wildlife sightings on the trail. (I've passed the same possum playing dead for 3 days now. I think he's going for a record.)
Back to the bike trains...
Many groups of cyclists will be meeting up and riding downtown together. Locations and departure times as listed here. If you're not close to one then drive you and your steed to one of them and ride from there. Find out where your friends are riding from. I'd pick one that's leaving from a pub but that's just me. Find your "train" on Google. On the way back if you're passing the Fairgrounds at 38th St. on the Monon Indy Greenways has a rest stop ready for you. And the bike train that brought you downtown is also ready for you when it's time to return at the end of the day (this is something new!) So now you've absolutely no excuse not to attend. Except for that pesky work thing. But we're confident you can work something out.
Did I mention 3:30PM to 6:30PM | Sun King sponsored Happy Hour Fundraiser for INDYCOG?
And our new IndyCog BTWD pint glasses for sale!! And Indy Cog tattoos! We've got everything but clowns! Seriously, no clowns.
We ♥ our volunteers SO much! All who volunteer on Saturday for 2 Wheels 1 City will receive a free coffee drink and a free beer from Jess. That's a good deal, right?!
Sign up here: http://vols.pt/m5tHH8
Extended Hours on Trails for First Fridays!
The Monon, Pleasant Run, Pennsy and the Fall Creek Trails are now open until 2:30 AM on First Fridays of the month up to and including Sept. 6th 2013. The rest of the month it's still 9pm as usual. This should make it easier to get home after a night of visiting all the events tied to First Fridays.
Thanks to IndyParks board and staff for this change!
Last year, Indiana was 30th and the year before 19th, the state's best showing in the annual calculation first reported by the Washington, D.C.-based bicycling advocacy group in 2008.
"While at a local level we are seeing great progress in cities like Carmel, Goshen, Columbus, Indianapolis, and more, we continue to struggle to achieve similar progress at the state level," said Nancy Tibbett, executive director of Bicycle Indiana. Read more...
Commuter Connect is holding the Commuter Challenge this month. Throughout May try carpooling, taking the bus, biking or van-pooling. You can save money, reduce stress, burn calories, recapture some time, and win great prizes.
Enter to win each time you use alternative transportation throughout the month-just log your commutes. Sign up at the link!
The Department of Public Works will close a section of the Monon Trail near 75th Street for approximately two weeks starting Monday. DPW will use that time to install new guardrails and fix a drainage problem that has been eroding the trail. Bike traffic will be prohibited on the trail between 86th Street and 75th Street, but pedestrians will be allowed to use the trail between 86th Street and the construction zone.
"The Monon Trail is one of the city's most popular warm-weather attractions," said DPW Director Lori Miser. "Our crews will do everything possible to complete these improvements as quickly as possible so our residents and visitors can fully enjoy using it."
A detour route will use Washington Boulevard to 84th Street and continue on Pennsylvania Street until 75th Street where bikers can intersect the Monon.
We'll post a map of the new route as soon as we get one.
The cycling and running communities in Indianapolis suffered a punch to the gut earlier this month when Scott Spitz let it be known that he has stomach cancer. I should say at the outset that, while I have long admired Scott, I don't know him well, and I haven't seen him in several years. Nevertheless, I think of him as one of the pioneers of bicycle advocacy in Indianapolis during the late nineties and early aughts. I used to run into him on Critical Mass rides, Bike-to-Work days, and other events to promote cycling in Indianapolis. For a time, Scott was the only bicycle messenger in the city.
In those days, Indianapolis had only a single bike lane, on Lafayette Road, going north to nowhere, and it had no cycling advocacy organization such as Indycog. Critical Mass rides sometimes drew only three or four riders. Those were lonely days for those of us committed to cycling. Scott and others worked through that tough time to help to bring about the improvements in cycling infrastructure and culture that we see around us today.
I remember Scott as a wiry, idealistic and uncompromising advocate for cycling. He had the word "RESISTANCE" tattooed down one arm, and his commitment to cycling seemed to be tightly bound up in his commitment to anarchy and a belief that the fundamental order of society needed to be shaken up. He published several issues of his zine, Leapfrog, advocating for both cycling and anarchy. He is a fine writer and artist, and I always enjoyed reading his zines.
I lost track of Scott for several years, as our cycling routes took us in different directions. In the last year, though, I have come to know him again through a broader circle of cycling friends, and also through social media. He writes for Urban Velo magazine, and he keeps his own blog, "Run Fast, Run Vegan" (http://runvegan.wordpress.com/). He also keeps up a steady stream of lively postings to Facebook.
As I have reacquainted myself with Scott, I have enjoyed following his running career.
He is a dedicated and talented runner. Over the past few years, he has run a number of
marathons under three hours, and he has competed very well in five-mile and 15K races. In his
blog, he recounts his challenges and triumphs in running as a vegan, as well as his struggles to overcome injuries and the reluctance to start long runs on cold mornings.
You don't have to read Scott's writing for very long to realize that he is a man of strong opinions. He likes peanut butter, pancakes and cookies. He dislikes coffee houses that close before their posted hour is up, and he thinks there needs to be more vegan options at restaurants in the city. He is an outspoken atheist, and he argues for veganism on moral grounds. He remains an anarchist. And he recently sold his car so that he can recommit himself to cycling as his primary mode of transportation.
I don't agree with all of Scott's positions. I share his atheism, but not his veganism or anarchism. But I don't think Scott is the sort of person who would want everyone to agree with him-he enjoys an argument too much for that. Moreover, I find that even when I disagree with Scott, I respect his opinions. His passionate writing is rooted in deep beliefs, and he is unflinchingly honest.
Indeed, one of the things I love about cycling is the way it brings together people with different viewpoints and from different walks of life. I am, as they say, old enough to be Scott's father. Moreover, as I have read about Scott's struggles to earn a living and to deal with family difficulties, I am acutely aware that my life, by comparison, is stable and established-I have been an English professor at Butler for 22 years, and have been married for nearly 30. I do not have any tattoos, nor will I ever have any. Scott and I are at opposite ends of several spectrum, and yet I feel a deep affection and affinity for him.
Part of the reason for this is that I believe in the international brother- and sisterhood of cyclists. There is room in cycling for teenage BMX riders, for mothers who cart small children around on cargo bikes, for lawyers who hammer on the weekend, for hipsters with unlikely clothes and even more unlikely handlebars, for commuters and for racers. We can and should embrace cycling in all its diversity. For despite our differences, we share something important.
We are the freaks, the ones who go against deep-seated notions about how one should move around in the world, and we are the ones who suffer from the aggression of motorists and the neglect of city planners who, over many years, have made too few provisions for transportation that does not depend on the internal combustion engine. Cycling is a place where an aged English professor and a tattooed anarchist can find common ground. And, for our own good, we need to hang together.
As Scott discovered his cancer in early April, he began writing more and more Facebook postings and blog entries about his experiences. While his accounts have been honest and detailed, he has never indulged in self pity, nor has he asked for pity from his readers. Like Christopher Hitchens, one of his intellectual heroes, Scott does not ask, "Why me?" Instead, he asks, "Why not me?" And one thing I especially admire in Scot's postings is his awareness of the hardships others face in navigating our deeply unjust medical care system. While Scott acknowledges that he will have financial difficulties coping with his medical expenses and his
lack of income during recovery, he also shows a deep awareness of the difficulties of those who lack insurance and must cope with medical emergencies with even fewer resources than he has.
Scott also has it better than some because his cancer is treatable and has a relatively high survival rate. He will, however, have to go through a long and complicated surgery, followed by a round of chemotherapy. It will take him at least six months to recover from the treatment. This is a lot to take in at 36 years of age, and it will mean a long period of enforced inactivity for someone who is accustomed to a high level of activity and to getting around on this own steam. None of this will be easy.
One of the great things about cycling is its strong sense of community. If we see a fellow cyclist down, we ask, "You okay?" If the answer is "no," or seems like it might be "no," then we stop and do what we can to help. I hope that cyclists and runners in Indianapolis will stop to help Scott. He is an ornery guy, and prides himself on his self-reliance, but these will be financially difficult times for him. I hope that a good number of people will send some money his way. It is an easy thing to do via PayPal; just send a donation to Scott's email address, email@example.com.
Beyond helping him financially, though, I also hope that we will honor Scott, and give him the credit he deserves. His efforts, and his presence, have helped to make Indianapolis the cycling city it now is.
Mayor Ballard Announces Finalists for 2013 Indianapolis Sustainability Awards
INDIANAPOLIS - Mayor Gregory A. Ballard today announced the finalists for the fourth annual Indianapolis Sustainability Awards. Fifteen finalists were chosen from a strong field of applications. Five winners will be announced during the Indianapolis Sustainability Awards luncheon on Wednesday, April 24, 2013, at the JW Marriott hotel in Downtown Indianapolis.
"This year's applicant pool was very competitive and included innovative, transformative sustainability projects," Mayor Ballard said. "The finalists this year demonstrate the impact of sustainability on the health of our environment, the strength of our economy, and the quality of life in our city."
The five categories for the awards are air, land, energy, water, and reduce, reuse, recycle. The project finalists are as follows:
Central Indiana Community Foundation - Indianapolis Cultural Trail: A Legacy of Gene and Marilyn Glick
IndyCog - Indy Ride Guide
Quemetco, Inc. - WESP (Wet Electrostatic Precipitator)
Monarch Beverage - CNG Conversion
Perennial Washington St., LLC - Guaranteed Energy Consumption and Emission Reduction
Roche Diagnostics - Sustainability in Motion - Fleet Conversion and Smart Travel
Big Car - Service Center for Culture and Community
Felege Hiywot Center Inc. - Felege Hiywot Center Youth Farm Education
Wishard Health Services - HealthyMe
REDUCE, REUSE and RECYCLE
2012 Indianapolis Super Bowl Host Committee - 1st & Green
Buckingham Companies - The Residences at CityWay/ The Alexander Hotel (CityWay Phase 1)
NAP TOWN CHICKENS - Project Poultry
Eli Lilly and Company - Stormwater Reduction at the Lilly Corporate Center
Indy Tilth - Double 8 Rain Garden
U.S. GSA / Shiel Sexton Company Inc. - Birch Bayh Federal Building and U.S. Courthouse Renovation
Award winners in each of the five categories will be honored at the awards luncheon hosted by Mayor Ballard on April 24. Indy Reads Executive Director Travis DiNicola will emcee the event. STAR Communities Executive Director Hilari Varnadore will give the keynote address. Tom Wood Automotive Group is the presenting sponsor of the 2013 Indianapolis Sustainability Awards.
Mayor Ballard will lead his second annual Spring Fever Bike Ride on Saturday, April 27th. People can start showing up at the Big Car Community Service Center at 3:00pm to check-in, get your free t-shirt if you are one of the first 200 to register on-line (they go fast) and to just mingle with fellow riders while checking out the great facility Big Car has put together. All of these important details can be found here: www.indy.gov/springfeverride
The ride will be about 12 miles long through some of the great neighborhoods around the Service Center, winding along the White River and ending back at the Center. There are two small hills….but the majority of the route is actually downhill. There are plenty of wonderful restaurants in the area to grab a bite pre or post ride, so please keep that in mind as you consider a late lunch before or dinner afterwards. You can start planning here.
As always, I want to say a special thank you to our community partners who really help make these rides happen…
The wonderful Georgetown Market and Big Car (despite the name, I promise they love bikes).
The Best Complete Streets Policies of 2012, released today, examines all the Complete Streets policies passed in the last year and highlights some of the best. The analysis also revealed that the Complete Streets movement grew in 2012, continuing a national trend since 2005. Read about it here!
Ten cities have led the way in crafting comprehensive policy language. The ranking of top Complete Streets policies is intended to celebrate the communities that have done exceptional work in the past year. They are:
1 Indianapolis, IN
2 Hermosa Beach, CA
2 Huntington Park, CA
4 Ocean Shores, WA
5 Northfield, MN
6 Portland, ME
7 Oak Park, IL
8 Trenton, NJ
9 Clayton, MO
10 Rancho Cucamonga, CA
Hobbs Hollow Press Release
For more information, contact Tania Juillerat
Bell Bike Helmets is partnering with the International Mountain Bicycling Association (IMBA) to give away $100,000 in trail grants in its Bell Built Facebook contest. With more than 100 applications submitted, twelve trail projects have been selected as finalists in three different categories - Pump Track, Flow Trail and a Downhill. One winner will be chosen in each category.
Hobbs Hollow is Brown County's entry in the Flow Trail category. This brand new 3-mile segment of trail will be jam-packed with bermed turns, step-ups, rock drops, and tabletop jumps along its a 2-mile descent with 360 feet of vertical drop, more than any other trail in the state. Other finalists include Kingdom Trails (Burke, VT), Coldwater Mountain (Anniston, AL) and the Corral Trail (Lake Tahoe, CA).
"If this grant is truly about impact and truly about using these funds to make a difference in our sport, then Brown County is the place that deserves your vote in the Flow Category in this contest," IMBA Midwest Regional Director Hansi Johnson said in a recent blog post. "This place truly exposes the core of our country to the positive aspects of off-road cycling, it's creating new riders and thus new constituents in what most folks consider the flyover zone…. professionally, thinking of "impact" on the sport I would say Brown County needs your vote and thus this grant more than any of its competition."
Brown County is already a Midwest mountain bike destination with more than 25 miles of flowing single track for all levels of riders. Trails are built and maintained by volunteers with the Hoosier Mountain Bike Association and are enjoyed by mountain bikers, hikers, trails runners and outdoor enthusiasts of all ages and types. In 2011, Brown County was designated an IMBA "Epic" - a distinction given to only 63 trails around the globe in the past 11 years. The Hobbs Hollow flow trail will kick off the next wave of construction with 15 additional miles planned over the next few years.
To vote, visit http://www.facebook.com/BellBikeHelmets/app_228716427271717 before the contest ends April 12. Voting does not work on mobile devices.
Join Sun King Brewing Co., the Indianapolis Indians, INDYCOG, NUVO, and The HandleBar for the 3rd Annual Bike to the Ballpark.
Mayor Ballard will be stopping by to kick off the event and will lead the ride through the city to Victory Field for the opening Indians game. The ride to the ballpark will start at approximately 6pm.
While you are hanging out, grab a pint and some grub from Nacho Mama and Groovy Guys Fries. (4pm - 6pm)
You can purchase tickets to the game via the Indianapolis Indians website with this special code: sunking
Where: Sun King Brewing Company
135 N. College Ave., Indianapolis, Indiana 46202
Click here to purchase discounted ballgame tickets: http://ii1.glitnirticketing.com/iiticket/web/gpcaptcha.php?refresh
Please make sure that you register for the ride via IndyCog's website: http://salsa3.salsalabs.com/o/50657/p/salsa/event/common/public/index.sjs?event_KEY=70200
Nuvo columnist Katelyn Coyne writes about her experiences embracing cycling in Indy. This month she's listed a number of trails you can ride upon and reviews them. Read it here.
Once again the Roller Sprints are being held at Indie Bikes (52nd and College). Doors open at 7pm, Races begin at 8pm. $10 to race. $50 goes the winner! (and I'm not competing this time so you all have a better chance). The proceeds go to help out our friends at Indianapolis Bike Polo to finish building their new courts at Arsenal Park.
How do you ride fast on rollers? Watch!