Indy gets national attention for bike trails, Cultural Trail highlighted

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INDIANAPOLIS — The nation is taking notice of Indianapolis and the city’s progress when it comes to being bike-friendly.

An article in the New York Times this week highlights the 8-mile Indianapolis Cultural Trail.

In total, the city has 142 miles of bikeways and is on track to reach 200 by 2015, according to the Department of Public Works. That includes both bike trails and on-street bike lanes.

“There’s been a lot of push for more bike lanes and more bike paths,” said Seph Hatley. “I feel like there’s a lot more interest in building that infrastructure.”

Hatley isn’t new to the bike scene. He got his first road bike in 1984. He’s excited to see more and more people hopping on bikes and the city embracing it.

He works at Bicycle Exchange along the Monon Trail in Broad Ripple. They recently moved into a bigger shop because business is booming.

“We see plenty of people of all ages riding by all the time,” said Hatley. “I see people quite a bit year-round, whether it’s 100 degrees or whether it’s ten.”

Most casual riders wait until it’s warmer to hit the road, but believe it or not, plenty of people ride in the winter.

Chris King got his bike out a month ago.

“I try to catch the warm days,” said King. “It’s a lot easier than walking of course, and it’s a lot easier than taking a cab or driving in traffic.”

“Usually I don’t have any kind of traffic jam and you get fit without even really knowing it,” said Hatley.

Most shops around the city like Bicycle Exchange offer bikes in a wide price range, but you’re not out of luck if you want to ride and don’t have a bicycle.

Bikeshare launches in Indianapolis in May. You can check out a bike for a small fee and check it back into one of 25 kiosks along the city’s Cultural Trail. There will be approximately 300 bikes. Typically, bikeshare programs have 24-hour, 3 day and annual memberships available.

The initial equipment is funded by a federal grant. Memberships, user fees and sponsorships will fund the ongoing operation of the Bikeshare program.

More details on Bikeshare will be released soon.

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