Urban Indy hits its 10-year anniversary on April 11th. As that is a Tuesday, I've decided to host the gathering on the Saturday before the official date, April 8th. A few years ago, we hosted a construction tour of major downtown projects.
This year, I thought it would be interesting to have a bicycle tour of the Near-East Side. It has been greatly overshadowed by places such as Fountain Square and Fall Creek Place, but neighborhoods such as Holy Cross, Englewood, and Cottage Home have been doggedly determined on revitalizing themselves.
Date: April 8th
Time: 2 pm
Location: Old Ford Plant, 1301 East Washington Street
Final Destination: Centerpoint Brewing, 1125 East Brookside Avenue
BYOB: Bring Your Own Bicycle
For more information go to http://www.urbanindy.com/2017/03/13/urban-indys-10-year-anniversary-east-side-bike-tour-on-april-8th/
We've been asked to provide a link to a Survey prepared by HCI grads. Just click and spend a few minutes please!
Ever wanted to ride your bike to the store or work but didn't know how to carry all the necessities? Well, IndyCog and Circle City Bicycles have a solution for you! We're re-booting our famous Bike Bucket Workshops on January 17, 2017 at Circle City Bicycles. What is a Bike Bucket you ask? It is simply a re-purposed kitty litter bucket that we retrofit with hardware so that it can hang on a rack mounted to the rear of your bike, and voila, you have an affordable and easy way to get into the commuting game.
Swing by Circle City Bicycles between 6 and 9 pm on January 17th and for $15 dollars we'll provide you a bucket, the direction and all the hardware you'll need to build your own pannier. Already have panniers? We'll also be building additional buckets for retail sale and we can use volunteers to help build these up.
I didn't ride my bike today. Yes, it was cold. Yes, I woke up tired. But none of those tripped me up.
To ride to work everyday requires you to develop a routine, to make it a habit. Those of you who drive most everyday already have habits that get you ready for the drive into work. Those of us who ride do also.
The night before I check the morning temperature, pick out appropriate bike clothing, stuff my backpack with whatever needs to go to work, etc.These days we're running into quickly changing morning temps so guessing what to wear is a bit tricky. Plug in the headlight to the charger. Pump up the tires as needed (drivers just assume their car's ready to roll.)
This is all stuff you've heard before and it's important that this becomes a routine. Because when you drag yourself out of bed it's rather easy to say " I'll think I'll just drive today." If your clothing and bike are ready you can just roll with the routine and before you know it you're rolling out of the garage on 2 wheels instead of 4.
But today I found being prepared means more than addressing the bike. The rest of your life conspires to screw up your commuting. The simple words "The cats are out of food" can throw every best-laid plan to waste. Instead of dressing for the ride you dress for going to the store. You spend time driving to the store and when you return your roll-out time is delayed by as much as a half hour, not to mention you still have to undress and redress to ride. The combination of these things means you're going to drive to work, not bike. Frustrating. But that's life. So tomorrow's another day.
But today, I didn't ride my bike.
This is an ongoing series about riding to work, in Indianapolis, in the winter and beyond. Look for guest blogs by commuters who have been doing it for years.
Two Central Indiana residents were killed while riding their bicycles in recent days, unfortunately illustrating the need for more driver awareness, enhancement of the current penalties, and potential use of criminal penalties for inattentive drivers.
Both Indianapolis resident Erika Wells, 38, and Timothy Kelley, 68, Muncie, were lawfully riding their bikes when they were struck by motor vehicles. Presently, charges against the drivers of the vehicles have not been filed in those cases.
The Delaware County Deputy Coroner was quoted in media reports acknowledging that Kelley had every right to be on the road, but then dismissively talked about how it isn't safe because drivers aren't paying attention to the road. Both motorists and cyclists must always remain vigilant on the roads. Drivers should always be aware of their surroundings, as a moment's inattention can leave more vulnerable users such as pedestrians or cyclists seriously injured or worse.
'Accidents happen' is a common refrain following crashes involving a motorist and a cyclist. IndyCog believes that crashes involving a motorist and a cyclist would be reduced if motorists knew there were more serious legal consequences to their actions and strongly encourages law enforcement agencies involved in the investigation of these crashes to consider the application of criminal penalties in these cases.
Last year, more than 130 riders were injured in bicycle and motor vehicle collisions in Marion County, resulting in one death, according to statistics from the Indiana Criminal Justice Institute. So far in 2016, at least four people on bicycles have been killed.
Unless the driver was impaired by drugs or alcohol at the time, it's believed that few, if any, of the drivers involved in those collisions have been prosecuted.
In the coming weeks, IndyCog encourages cyclists from Indianapolis and across the state to contact their elected representatives to demand both a safe passing law - typically three to five feet - and a vulnerable user law that calls for expanded penalties for drivers who were inattentive or distracted behind the wheel of a car, causing the death of a cyclist or pedestrian. Indianapolis must also join other bike-friendly cities across the nation and implement a Vision Zero Plan, detailing the steps it will take to ensure no more motorist/pedestrian/cyclist fatalities in the future.
Although Indianapolis has a three-foot passing ordinance, it's rarely, if ever, enforced. Every municipality with this law on the books must provide training to educate not only their citizens, but also their public safety personnel, about the three-foot passing ordinance.
Things to remember:
Bicycles are considered vehicles by Indiana state law and are allowed on public roadways.
Both drivers and cyclists must be mindful of the rules of the road and obey them.
Cyclists should dress in brightly colored gear and have lights on their bikes when riding.
Drivers of motor vehicles in Indianapolis are required to give three feet of clearance when passing a cyclist. If you see a cyclist in front of you while driving, slow down and exercise caution, especially when passing.
The world is full of distractions. When you're driving, it's important to stay alert at all times. A second of inattention - fiddling with the stereo, responding to a text or trying to make a phone call - could be fatal. More safety information can be found on the webpage for IndyCog's education program, Riders In The Know.
IndyCog is a bicycle advocacy non-profit organization working to increase the number of people riding bicycles, improve traffic safety, develop bicycle favorable public policy and advocate for world class bicycle facilities in Indianapolis. IndyCog's mission is to promote bicycling as a safe and viable means of transportation and recreation in Indianapolis. More information may be found at our website.
IndyCog is busy planning for 2017 and we're happy to present our 2017 Sponsorship Guide. This guide details the various sponsorship options available to businesses for the 2017 calendar year, including sponsorships for our various events and programs.
Financial support from local businesses, individuals and non-governmental groups is an important component in IndyCog's ability to continue, and expand, our advocacy and education mission. Please consider the sponsorship options and let us know if you or your group or business would like to support IndyCog. Of course, the options detailed in the 2017 Guide are not set in stone, and customized sponsorship plans can certainly be discussed. Contact email@example.com if you have any questions or would like to discuss how you can support IndyCog.
A few weeks ago IndyCog and Indy Go hosted an informational meeting on how the Red Line will impact cycling in Indianapolis. IndyGo has been holding numerous public meetings relating to the Red Line over the past several months. However, after reviewing the plans for the Red Line and listening to comments from some of our members who had attended other public meetings, we felt it would be beneficial to have a meeting which was focused solely on cycling and find out how the Red Line would impact popular cycling routes and on-street cycling infrastructure.
For those who were unable to attend this meeting, we wanted to provide a brief overview of the information provided and some of the questions raised by the attendees. Here is a link to the Power Point presentation given by Indy Go: [link to Google Drive]
First things first, the Red Line is happening. While the larger and more comprehensive mass transit plan is going up for a referendum in November, the Red Line is funded separately through federal sources.
The initial phase of the Red Line will stretch from Broad Ripple all the way to the University of Indianapolis campus The map below shows the route the Red Line will take between these two locations.
Starting in Broad Ripple and heading south, the Red Line will follow College until it intersects 38th St.
Generally, the impact on cycling infrastructure will be minimal. College has no bike lanes or sharrows along the parts where the Red Line will run, and as it is now, is not a very bike friendly road due to the traffic volume. Whether traffic volume will increase on side streets adjacent to College due to the Red Line remains to be seen.
At 38th Street, the Red Line will take a right turn and go west for a short distance before taking a left south down Meridian all the way to 18th Street. This is where cycling related changes will occur. The Red Line will cut over on 18th to Capitol, right next to Methodist Hospital, and then head south on Capitol the rest of the way downtown. This will result in the elimination of the Capitol Street bike lane south of that point.
However, south bound bicycle traffic on Capitol will be re-routed east on 18th, and then south onto Illinois street, which will have a two way, north and south lanes, added to the west side of the street south of that point. This means a new protected cycle track will run north and south between 18th and Washington Street. For north bound bicycle traffic on Illinois, at 18th street there will be a transition to the already existing single north bound bike on the east side of the road via a Bike Box which will allow cyclists to transition to the east side of the road. (see our blog on Bike Boxes here.)
Crossings of the Cultural Trial and other bike lines, such as Michigan and New York, have also been taken into account and there should be no interruptions of these crossings along route of the Red Line
On the south side of downtown, the Red Line will follow Virginia Avenue southeast and then turn southward onto Shelby Street to the University of Indianapolis campus. No disruptions of the Cultural Trail along this stretch are anticipated, nor will the protected bike lanes on Shelby Street from Fountain Square to Pleasant Run Creek be disrupted.
South of Pleasant Run, there may be modifications of the already existing infrastructure by the Red Line.
After the protected lanes end at Pleasant Run, on street infrastructure consists of sharrows and standard bike lanes south to the University of Indianapolis. Initially there was concern about the removal of the sharrows and portions of the bike lanes.
Additionally, steps are being taken to ensure that the Red Line buses are bicycle friendly, and bikes permitted inside the buses. Storage for the bikes during the ride is still being evaluated. As shown in the Power Point PDF we linked to above, IndyGo is considering three methods, specifically, stand and hold, and vertical or horizontal storage. Vertical storage appears to be the preferred method, although the final form of that remains to be seen as there are diffident types of vertical storage systems that may be considered.
Lastly, the Red Line will spur pedestrian related improvements along its route. Improvements to cross walks and sidewalks will be made in areas around along the Red Line and its stations in order to facilitate on and off loading and ensure safety for riders entering or exiting the buses.
Overall, IndyCog is encouraged by IndyGo's willingness to address the concerns of cyclists and ensure - that the Red Line will accommodate cyclists, both in terms of on-street infrastructure but also with amenities on the buses themselves to help riders who wish use their bikes in conjunction with a ride on the Red Line. IndyCog will continue to monitor developments with the Red Line as it relates to cycling.
Additionally, as mentioned earlier, the section of the Red Line discussed at this meeting is finalized, but the larger Indianapolis transit plan, which includes mass transit connections to other parts of the county, is subject to a referendum vote in November. IndyCog believes that accessible and effective mass transit is an important part of a growing city, and would complement Indy's bicycle transit advances in order to provide citizens in Indianapolis, and outside Marion County, multiple alternative transportation options. IndyCog's board of directors has reviewed these plans and believes that proposed mass transit plans at issue in the November 8, 2016 referendum will benefit Indianapolis, and make out city more accessible to cyclists and non-cyclists alike. Therefore, IndyCog is proud to fully support the passage of Question 2 on Election Day 2016.
Please continue to follow IndyCog on social media for additional information regarding the Red Line and how mass transit can complement cycling in Indianapolis. Also, your support is vital to our continued advocacy efforts and our ability to continue to present events such as the Red Line meeting. We hope you will consider becoming a member of IndyCog, or making a donation to continue to help our all- volunteer advocacy efforts.
Bicycling magazine picked the 50 best bike cities and found Indy worthy of choice. Ranked 13th we were picked out for the Cultural Trail and Pacers Bike Share as well as huge increase in bike usage in the last few years. Read more...
Figuring Out How To Use A Bike Box
Have you ever wondered what the large green box with a bicycle graphic is at the corner of New York and Delaware Streets? This is a unique type of bicycle infrastructure called a Bike Box. These boxes are typically found at intersections with bike lanes and are used to facilitate cyclists making a left had turn from a bike lane. The Bike Boxes work by allowing cyclists in a bike lane to move ahead of traffic during a red light and allowing the cyclists to be first in line to turn when the light turns green.
Confused on how Bike Boxes work? Well, the city of Edmonton, Canada has you covered. They produced the a video (featuring Lego figures!) which provides a great primer for how Bike Boxes work for cyclists and drivers alike.
Presently, Indianapolis has two Bike Boxes. The one at New York and Delaware is meant to help facilitate left turns onto Massachusetts Ave. The other is located at 73rd and Spring Mill Road and helps cyclists traveling east on 73rd to make a left turn onto Spring Mill northbound. Also, check out the comments to the video above for a video link demonstrating the use of a Two Stage Bike Box for making left turns. The video is from Seattle, but if Indy ever gets Two Stage bike boxes, you'll be ahead of the curve!
Lastly, if you want to know more of the technical side of Bike Boxes and their design and placement, check out the link below from the National Association of City Transportation Officials.
IndyCog Board President
Bike to the 500: FAQ and All You Need To Know
Sunday, May 29
What is the timeline for Sunday?
Celebration at City Market west plaza 7a - 9a
Welcome + announcements 8:30a
Bikes depart from City Market west plaza 9 - 9:30a
Pedal & Park at Daredevil Brewing Co. 6a - 6p
Do I need to preregister?
While it is preferred, you can register day of at the City Market.
What does the "celebration" at the market entail?
The celebration at the market will include a DJ, food, a biergarten by Tomlinson Tap Room, facepainting for the kids, corn hole and larger than life checkers and swag and price giveaways.
Help! I don't have a bike.
Bicycle Garage Indianapolis has a limited number of rental bikes available at their shop located at the YMCA Bike Hub. A coupon for a rental I available here
Basic bike maintenance will also be available at BGI.
Is parking available if I plan to drive downtown with my bike?
Yes, Street parking is also available and free on Sunday/
What about parking my bike at the track?
Secure bike parking will be provided as part of your registration fee by Pedal & Park at Daredevil Brewing Co (1151 W Main St, Speedway, IN 46224) from 6a - 6p. The ride from downtown will end here. Daredevil is a .8 miles from the track and the walk should take about 15 minutes.
What is the route the ride is taking to the track and how long of a ride will it be?
The route to the track is 5.7 miles, which should take 30-45 minutes to ride. The route will leave the City Market and go north on Delaware St to Michigan St, then left on Michigan to Cossell Rd, and then Cossell Rd. to Main St. in Speedway and then Daredevil Brewing.
This is a no drop ride with a leisurely pace and no one will be left behind. An IMPD officer will be riding with the group and there will be ride leaders at the front and back of the pack.
Is there is a return group ride as well?
Group rides back downtown will leave on the hour from Pedal and Park following the conclusion of the race.
Are helmets required?
Helmets are required.
Can I bring a backpack or cooler with food and drinks with me?
Feel free to bring backpacks and coolers on the ride. However, glass is not permitted inside the Speedway.
No matter how good a rider you are, accidents happen-and quickly. But with a little knowledge and a few precautions, you can keep a bad situation from getting worse, says Greg Martin, an engineer firefighter and advanced EMT who provides emergency medical assistance and performs backcountry rescues in Ketchum, Idaho.
"Cyclists get used to riding all day and things being fine," he says. "It's easy to forget sometimes that we're traveling pretty fast and pretty far and a little mishap can end up being a big problem. A little knowledge and precaution goes a long way in keeping you safe in the event of an accident."
Take Care of Your Head:
Take a Deep Breath:
Give Yourself a Gut Check:
Be Smart About Your Spine:
Make Your Personal Info Accessible:
Leave a Note, or a Text:
For a more in detail look at these go to Bicycling's website.
Winter can be tough for cyclists. The constantly fluctuating weather (this past weekend is a good example), snow and salt covered roads, reduced hours of daylight….all combine to create a season which is not conducive to getting outside to ride for fun, let alone riding to work or the grocery store.
However, even during these dark days at the beginning of the year, IndyCog is busy planning out our programming for 2016 and beyond. We're already working on Bike To Work Day 2016, scheduling Bike With The Board Rides, and working on bicycling related workshops and other events. Additionally, IndyCog's staff and board of directors have just finalized a series of strategic goals with an eye towards helping Indianapolis advance from a Bronze Bicycle Friendly City Rating to a Silver Level by 2019.
And we need your help to accomplish that Silver Level. A membership based organization such as IndyCog finds its strength from its members. Not only do members help IndyCog financially, but our membership is the best source of volunteers for various events throughout the year, and provide the basis for influence that IndyCog has in the community and when working with local government and potential commercial sponsors. Simply put, the more members we have, the more we can get done in our city. To help us towards on this front, IndyCog is launching its Winter Membership Drive from today to March 9, 2016.
For the past 5 years IndyCog has enjoyed a solid base of members, but the truth is, that number has remained flat. If IndyCog is to continue its advocacy efforts, and expand its programming, our membership needs a boost. For this drive, our goal is to get 40 new or renewing lapsed memberships by the end of the drive on March 9. And this is where you can help. If you are already a member, great, and thank you. If your membership has lapsed, now is a great time to join us on our mission. If you think you know someone who should be a member, forward them a link to this post and encourage them to join. IndyCog has several types of memberships available, and new this year, we are happy to provide an auto renewal membership option. Please take a look at https://indycog.org/membership for full details on our membership options.
As a bonus, any new or renewing lapsed members will have their name put into a drawing to win one of five $20 gift certificates to Bicycle Garage Indianapolis. Also,on March 8, 2016, IndyCog will be hosting one of its recurring Bike with the Board rides around downtown Indianapolis. These rides are a great chance to meet and chat with members of IndyCog's board of directors and staff members about cycling in Indianapolis while enjoying a group bike ride (fingers crossed the weather is good!). Keep an eye out on our Facebook page for more details in the next few days.
We hope that you will join us in making Indianapolis a more cycling friendly city where cycling is a viable and accepted means of recreation and everyday transportation. With your support, IndyCog will continue to advocate for cyclists in Indianapolis, monitor the city's progress on cycling initiatives, and work with our community partners for the benefit of all cyclists.
5 WAYS TO BE A MORE BIKE FRIENDLY BUSINESS
The League of American Bicyclists offers certification for businesses through the Bicycle Friendly Business program, which provides many benefits to companies that commit to being bike friendly-including national recognition and exposure.
To see where you stand, you can take the free assessment today. But if you need a few pointers on where to get started, check out our list of 5 Easy Steps to Be More Bicycle Friendly below. From our experience in moving from Silver to Gold BFB status, these low- to no-cost steps make an impact on a company's road to becoming more bike-friendly, and are super easy to implement at any level of your organization.
An unfortunate feature of adult life is that it requires most of us to spend 8+ hours a day at work. While it might be necessary for paying the bills and providing for our families (and maybe buying some new bike gear here and there), it leaves a lot of folks-even us-feeling like there's too little time in life for riding.
Read about the 5 ways you can get more cycling in your day. http://blog.performancebike.com/2014/09/11/real-advice-5-tips-for-the-workday-cyclist/