As I rode “the loop” for the millionth time on Saturday, berating myself for being a boring rider by not mixing it up and taking another route, I had somewhat of a personal revelation. To me, the route has become a touchstone or grounding part of my life routine. It may seem like a repetitious ride but I always seem to take comfort in the ritual. I have come to the conclusion that we have a great downtown and I just love seeing it. I like to see what has changed. I like to see what is the same. I like having my own little variations on the route I take. To me, it has become a very personal way of taking stock of where my head is, where my heart is, seeing the reality of now.

I love riding south to downtown on the Monon Trail. Many people I talk with imply they think anything south of 54th street is unknown territory. I find it just the opposite. I like the challenge of seeing how many southbound Monon crossings I can make without clipping out too soon. I like the S curve before the fairgrounds. The trailers, the fair rides awaiting their assembly. Sometimes, if you are lucky, you can cross east and westbound 38th street all at once. The bridges over Fall Creek; I know exactly where the pavement allows a bump free crossing and where you might blow a tire. The guys at the lumber company always stop the forklift for me and wave me past. I even like the lift station.

Then downtown, and the Indianapolis Cultural Trail. I know, it is not the fastest route but again, the ritual calls me. Behind the Tap, the smell of roses at the Metro. The Nestle Inn and the English Foundation building. I like to ride with the traffic down Penn. Sometimes a stop at Starbucks, sometimes around Monument Circle a couple of times and then across Washington. All the families and festivals by the Eiteljorg. I sneak behind the stage at the Garden. I snake behind the Zoo and sometimes see the bicycle carriages. There are always fishermen on the canal. I am not a fan of fishing, but they all look like they are having a great time. The bridges across the canal, and then onto the White River Trail. Through the turnstile without a wobble, the water rushing over the dam. All of these things have become parallels to landmarks in my own life. Seeing if there are any condos I might like over by the Armory, the scary dark bridge on the parkway. I love the slow, gradual climb of the hill as you approach the IMA. Sometimes, if there is someone else riding, I will admit, I try to kick their butt on that hill. Left over weddings and party favors by the Lilly Mansion. Then, on to the frat boys with their front yard games and the colorful spandex clad street riders in Butler. The observatory, the fountains, all so beautiful. It is like I check these sites off my list. And then, it is back to the Monon. I feel sweaty, I feel happy, and I feel peaceful. It is my kind of church.

Name: Christie Barnhorst
Bicycle: Trek 7.5
City: Indianapolis
State: Indiana

Christie, your ride story weaves a rich tapestry of all that Indy has to offer to those of us that choose to see it by bicycle. Thanks from everyone at Bicycle Garage Indy for sharing Your Bicycle picture and story.

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