It seems everytime I talk to someone about bicycling in Indianapolis, they are looking for a way to get from home to work or somewhere else by bike. Just last Friday I was talking with someone at an event who had been commuting to work last year. But he didn’t like his choices and wanted to know how to get to the Monon from where he lived instead of riding on Binford Blvd. Once I found out where he lived, it was easy to find him a great route on neighborhood roads that will connect him to Fall Creek Trail and then the Monon. 

The first tip in finding a bike route to work is to look at a map of Indianapolis. There are often low-traffic roads that connect where you are with where you want to go. Often they parallel higher traffic roads. Look for roads that you don’t use for driving your car.  In general you want to look for the straightest route on the lower traffic streets. However, sometimes it is much more enjoyable to go a little out of your way to avoid very busy roads.

The next step is to map out your preferred route and try it on a weekend, just to get your bearings. It may not give you a sense of how your route will be in rush-hour traffic, but it’s better to get lost or turned around when you don’t have a time-crunch.  It will also give you an idea how long it will take you to get from home to work. 

The 3rd step is to try your route on a work day.  It’s often good to have a few routes in mind for variety to explore different areas on your way home.

A 4th step is to talk about riding to work with others – chances are you’ll find a group of bicyclists you can ride with at least part of the way to work.

Bicycling in Indianapolis takes some skill, knowledge and experience, but it can be a lot of fun.

If you’re in need of some guidance in finding a better bicycle commuting route to work or in feeling more confident bicycling in Indianapolis, email me at cschmucker@bgindy.com  I’ve been bicycling in Indianapolis for more than 20 years and can say from experience there’s lots of great riding within Marion County. You just have to know how to find it.

Connie Szabo Schmucker, Advocacy Director
Bicycle Garage Indy
Indianapolis, IN
cschmucker@bgindy.com
www.bgindy.com