In 2001 my wife and I moved to Speedway, IN. We moved from near downtown Indianapolis. The move was only a few miles. Speedway is within the city limits of Indy. We didn’t move to the next county or the bedroom suburbs: we were still in the circle city. However, the relocation brought with it multiple changes and one of those was my biking habits and routes.

I don’t bike as often as I did when I lived near downtown. I loved accessing the trails and biking downtown Indy. I realize I could do the same, and should, but when I lived near downtown it was so convenient. It was easy.

I’d begin my ride at the Indianapolis Zoo, and from there I might bike White River State Park or head to the canal. I sometimes would head north on White River and access the Monon trail near Riley Children’s Hospital. More than once I’ve biked to Broad Ripple and stopped for a beer. I’ve even biked to the Carmel Town Center. On other days I’d bike to the Monument Circle and then head north on Meridian riding through all the wonderful parks.

It’s More Than Exercise

Biking is great exercise, and its low impact (my knees thank me) but city biking is more. I don’t know of a better way to learn what a city is about other than biking it. Driving through and around a city only gives you a glimpse at the city, a familiarity. Walking is intimate, one learns the inside of what’s going on, but the area covered is limited. Biking allows for the intimacy of walking, and at the same time the ability to cover large areas. If you really want to learn about a city—bike it.

What if you don’t Live Downtown?

This post began with me searching how to bike downtown. I could ride from Speedway. From my doorstep to the Indianapolis Zoo is only five miles. I could load my bike in my car and drive to downtown or I could rent a bike, here’s one example, Wheel Fun Rentals. Whether you ride your bike downtown, transport it there, or rent a bike, when you visit Indianapolis the best way to know the city, to feel it in its bones, is from the seat of a bicycle.

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