Trails in Indiana

4th Annual Mayor's Bike Ride in Indianapolis - 2012

June 2, 2012 Indianapolis Mayor Ballard’s Bike Ride

It was a great day for the Irish, and those originally hailing from Switzerland, South America, Italy and who knows where else joining native Hoosiers attending this sun-warmed, blue sky event.  
Indy Mayor Ballard’s annual bike rides have created, over time, a festive atmosphere during the events; gathering folks biking and celebrating the over 150 miles of the city’s burgeoning bike lanes and trails, and, the exercise and freedom that liberation from the inconvenience that automobiles sometimes impose.
Starting at the Arts Center in Garfield Park on Indy’s near south side, the ride looped from the Park, southward on Shelby Street to Madison Avenue, looping at Carson Avenue to Shelby and back.
And for the first time since its inception four years ago, it didn’t rain.

Eric Ellsworth -  Indy Bike Hub Director

The cordial group of cyclists welcomed the chance to ride the route, regardless of their country of origin.
An estimated 700 cyclists, up from an estimated 500 last year,  rode the nine mile circuit over some of Indy’s newest and most used bike lanes.  Mayor Ballard and Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department ( IMPD)  escorts blazed the trail for the  hour and half long, leisurely tour.
DJ music, conversations, Piazza Produce free bananas, free cycle repair by Bicycle Garage Indy ( BGI),  booths from IndyCog,

AARP, Matthews Bicycles, Phoenix College, Radio 107.1, the Hoosier Rails to Trails Council (HRTC), Flanner and Buchanan,  and Keep Indianapolis Beautiful (KIB) complemented the up-beat, community-oriented celebration.  

John Williams - Indy Parks Director
Olgen Williams

Ride participants that HRTC interviewed included Olgen Williams, Indianapolis Deputy Mayor of Neighborhoods, newly appointed Indianapolis Parks Director John Williams, YMCA Bike Hub Director Erci Ellsworth, and several south-side residents.  Those participants said they actively used the lanes from their south side homes for work and welcomed the relief that the lanes afforded them from threatening motor traffic.
Jamison Hutchins of the Indianapolis Office of Sustainability directed the event which began with Mayor Ballard proclaiming the Day, June 2, 2012 as Tom McCain Day.  The announcement honored the surprised volunteer, who has donated more than 1300 hours in public service to Indy’s growing Pedal and Park program.
Freewheelin’ Community Bikes, a community bicycle not-for-profit, ran a pre-ride children’s bike skills course, laid out and run with support from Marion County 4 H and HRTC.   Hoosier Rails to Trails Council also provided maps for the Mayor’s Bike Ride 2012 and mapped, implemented and led a 1.5 mile route they developed for children.  

Running concurrent with the Mayor’s event the ride hosted three children, two adults, and an HRTC volunteer under the watchful auspices of Police Sergeant Matt Grimes.
The event wrapped up by noon and seemed, reflecting on the satisfied ride-returnees’ faces, to have hit the spot as an enjoyable and satisfying Saturday morning workout.
Watch the video below available also on YouTube channel “Indiana Trails Community.”

Article by Mario Vian with editing by Tina Jones, HRTC.