Stewardship of a Growing Bike Culture
Indianapolis Community Q&A:
Bike Indianapolis, previously IndyCOG, is the local bicycle advocacy organization for the city of Indianapolis, Ind. Staring as a blog back in 2009, the organization has evolved into a positive force promoting, advocating and educating on behalf of the local cycling community.
Our Indianapolis episode features a rolling bicycle interview with former director Kevin Whited to explore how the organization has helped shape Indianapolis into the bicycle friendly city it is today.
Anthony: “Why do you think cycling is so important to incorporate into a city?”
Kevin: “One of the things that makes cities nice to be in is a walking and biking culture. And, by promoting bicycling, we’ve seen a lot more people riding their bikes. It makes it a much more livable city.”
Anthony: “What would you say is your greatest achievement during your time here with Bike Indianapolis?”
Kevin: “That would be the development of the Indy Ride Guide. The guide is a city bicycling map on adrenaline! Through the support of multiple local partner organizations, we used data from the city to create a map that uses color codes to indicate the bike friendliness of roads and bicycle paths. It’s helpful for navigating, but it’s also just fun to look at and explore.”
Anthony: “What if you’re not from Indianapolis, but are looking to visit and want to use the guide?”
Kevin: “So if you’re not in the city, but want to do some planning before you get here, you can get on Bike Indianapolis’s website and go to the Indy Ride Guide page. There will be a PDF you can download, no matter where you are.”
Anthony: “What steps has Bike Indianapolis taken to promote cycling safety and education in the city?”
Kevin: “We have several resource and education programs for bicycle parking solutions, bicycle registration and tips on securing your bicycle when parked.”
The bicycle registration allows cyclists to register their current bicycle and also report if their bicycle is stolen. That information is then entered into a larger, global database and can give owners a fighting chance to retrieve their bicycle if it’s stolen.
As far as safety, we have a great ‘Riders in the Know’ program, which aims to make Indianapolis a safer environment for cyclists and motorists through bicycle safety education.”
Watch Mobile Cyclist Anthony Barr interview Kevin Whited while the two cycle through the city in the Indianapolis Episode.
Anthony: “What are some of the more unique events that Bike Indianapolis has helped put on in the city?”
Kevin: “We’re involved with numerous events around town, such as ‘Bike to the Ballpark’ in partnership with Sun King Brewing. We also have the annual ‘Tweed Ride’ and, of course, ‘Bike to Work Day.’
A new event we’re excited about is ‘Bike to the 500,’ a 4-mile trek to Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Police escort the cyclists during the ride, and it ends at a local brewpub near the track. Riders can park their bikes while they enjoy the race.”
Anthony: “How are you able to have such a pulse on Indianapolis’s cycling plans?”
Kevin: “My successor, Damon Richards, and myself have tried to lead the effort in working with the city to improve overall bicycling conditions. We’re key members of the Indianapolis Mayor’s Bicycle Advisory Committee. On that committee, we push for new infrastructure and review plans the city is doing for other infrastructures.”
Anthony: “How have you seen Indianapolis evolve in terms of being a bicycle friendly city?”
Kevin: “In eight years basically, we’ve striped a hundred plus miles of bike lanes, and we have separated bike lanes. We also have the cultural trail, and we have green ways, about 60 or 70 miles of green ways.”
Jump to More Indianapolis Content:
2. Read Mobile Cyclist host Anthony Barr’s Top 5 Biking Spots.
3. Read Anthony’s interview with a popular local bike retailer.
Or, just visit our Indianapolis page to access it all in one place.