The Best Biking Spots in Town
Indianapolis Top 5:
Below are my hot spots for cycling in Indianapolis, Ind. These are places that are not featured in my Indianapolis episode, but are a must-see for any cycling enthusiast that is visiting the city with some extra time.
#5 – Central Canal Towpath
At a little over five miles long, the Central Canal Towpath is a crushed-limestone greenway utilized by numerous runners, walkers and of course, cyclists. This easy to navigate trail links the popular Broad Ripple neighborhood north of Indianapolis to downtown Indianapolis via the White River Wapahani Trail.
Trail riders can view landmarks like the Indianapolis Museum of Art and the Holcomb Gardens. There is even a trail that connects to the campus of Butler University. Need a coffee? About one mile from the north end, cross the pedestrian bridge to the Starbucks located at the Illinois St. shopping center.
#4 – FreeWheelin’ Community Bikes
FreeWheelin’ Community Bikes is a unique, multi-purpose community bicycle organization. It serves as a bike shop, offering service and new and refurbished bicycles for sale, but it also provides accessible bicycles and teaches youth life and leadership skills through various cycling programs.
As a cyclist, this organization represents an opportunity to not only give back to an often under supported part of the community, but to experience another example of how a bicycle can positively impact others. FreeWheelin’ is located approximately 3.5 miles from downtown at the intersection of 34th St. and Central Ave.
“The velodrome hosts regional and national caliber cycling track competitions and is home to Marian University, one of the top collegiate cycling teams in the U.S.”
#3 – White River / Wapahani Trail
The 4.75-mile long White River Wapahani Trail, or the White River Trail, is another main artery in the Indianapolis Greenway system of trails. The surface is asphalt and relatively flat, making it an easy ride for most cyclists.
The trail winds its way along the banks of the White River, crossing under a few bridges. You’ll also see nature there, like blue heron, wood ducks, osprey, golden eagles and several varieties of hawks. This greenway passes by several Indianapolis cultural attractions, including the Indianapolis Museum of Art, the Downtown Canal Walk, White River State Park, the Indianapolis Zoo and the Indy Cycloplex/Major Taylor Velodrome, our next top cycling spot.
Cyclists can access the trail on the north end at Riverside Regional Park at 38th St. and the southern end at the southwest corner of the Indy Cultural Trail near the Indiana State Museum grounds.
#2 – Indy Cycloplex / Major Taylor Velodrome
The Indy Cycloplex is a must-stop destination for any lover of cycling. This multi-purpose bicycling facility includes the historic Major Taylor Velodrome, a newly renovated BMX track and the main hub of track cycling for Central Indiana. The velodrome hosts regional and national caliber cycling track competitions and is home to Marian University, one of the top collegiate cycling teams in the U.S.
The cycloplex is located at the southeast corner of 38th St. and Cold Springs Rd. For more information on upcoming Cycloplex events, visit www.indycycloplex.com.
# 1 – Monon Trail
The other bookend of the “dynamic duo” (the other being the Indy Cultural Trail –see Mobile Cyclist – Indy episode) of the best biking spots in Indianapolis is the Monon Trail Greenway. The Monon got its name from the original train service that connected Chicago and Indianapolis until the late 1970s.
The southern point of the trail begins at the north end of the Indy Cultural Trail at 10th St. and extends approximately 10 miles up to 96th St., where it continues into the town of Carmel, Ind. for over five more miles.
This entirely flat urban cycling and walking path is tree-lined and passes through multiple neighborhoods, various dining establishments and several municipal parks. The beautiful resource is used by 1.3 million people annually, according to the Hoosier Rails to Trails Council, and has become a coveted attraction for real estate builders, as well as a residential destination for Indianapolis and Carmel. One ride along the length of this trail, and you’ll see why.
Jump to More Indianapolis Content:
2. Read Anthony’s interview with the city’s leading bike advocate.
3. Read Anthony’s interview with a popular local bike retailer.
Or, just visit our Indianapolis page to access it all in one place.