We didn't need our car the whole time we were there and were able to ride or walk wherever we needed to go. Definitely something we will do again.
By Bob Leach
Published November 07, 2014
My wife and I recently decided to take a few days to go to Indianapolis for a bicycle get-away. This was a first for us.
We wanted to try Indy because I had read over the past year how they had developed an excellent cycle infrastructure making them one of the top rated cities in the United States for cycling.
So we put our bikes on the car rack and headed out for the eight-and-a-half-hour drive to Indianapolis. We decided to book a hotel downtown, park our car and only use our bikes for three days.
Just one block from our hotel we were able to get onto the Indy Cultural Trail, which is the recently developed centrepiece of the cycle network.
It's eight miles of trail through downtown that runs through five cultural districts and connects with other trails to take you to areas outside of the city.
Indy Cultural Trail
You can read more about the Cultural Tail.
It was thoroughly enjoyable and safe riding. In a number of places the tail is separated for bikes and pedestrians. There are also ample places to lock your bike, from bike racks to parking meters.
Separate paths for cyclists and pedestrians
Parking Meter bike locks
From the Cultural Trail, we connected with Canal Walk. This is a great 3 mile loop through downtown. Even though you are surrounded by office towers, apartments and condos it was a peaceful ride where you can stop at a café to relax or even take a gondola ride on the canal.
Another day we took a ride along the White River State Park Trail. We followed this 5 mile, soon to be 23 mile trail away from downtown. It's a nice scenic, peaceful ride through the state park along the White river with great views of the city in the distance.
White River State Park Trail
Our final trail ride was on the Monon Rail Trail. It's one of the busiest trails in the country that takes you 10 miles north of the city. It runs through neighbouring communities and connects with a number of other trails. Like all of the trails it was busy with both cyclists and runners. It has emergency telephones placed systematically along the trail and is even equipped with some bicycle repair stations.
Bike repair stations
We also rode on the two-way protected bike lanes in the city and never once during our three days did we have any problems with motorists. As a matter of fact, I was pleasantly surprised to see how car drivers were very aware and respectful toward cyclists. That was definitely a new experience.
Another nice feature was all of the trails were well-maintained and a pleasure to ride on. We would rate our first ever biking vacation a great success. We didn't need our car the whole time we were there and were able to ride or walk wherever we needed to go. Definitely something we will do again.
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