Whitestown, Ind. - If you had to guess what the fastest growing community in the state is, would you pick Whitestown? It's topped the list for five years and it's expected to happen again this year!
The population in the Boone County town has boomed to 8,000, more than doubling in just the past six years. It is one of the youngest communities around, with an average age of just 30-years-old.
Whitestown was founded in 1851.
It grew and flourished, thanks to the Big 4 Trail railroad line through town. That's why the train is on the town logo, by the way!
Today that old rail line is a two-mile walking and biking trail that will eventually connect Whitestown to Zionsville and Lebanon.
"We like to ride around in Zionsville and Whitestown," said Lee Ann McKay. "We find it very charming and fun!"
And Lee Ann and her good friend Robin hated hearing their friends weren't riding much anymore.
"The reason being, things like, I can’t keep up with my husband or I don’t feel very balanced on bikes much anymore. We thought, well that’s a bummer, we think everybody should ride. It's so much fun and such great exercise."
Robin suggested opening an electric bike shop.
"And I thought, that’s lazy, we’re not going to do electric bikes! She goes, no, you have to try it."
The ladies went to St. Louis to try electric bikes because they couldn't find any in the area at that time.
"The guy had to dust it off in the bike store and take it out," said Lee Ann. "We went out there and jumped on and the first pedal you take, you’re just like, whoo-hoo! You’re like a kid! It just was fantastic and I was hooked and she was hooked."
Lee Ann and Robin then traveled to a big bicycle conference in Las Vegas and tested 60 electric bikes in the desert.
"An electric bike is a bicycle like you know it, but it has a battery and a motor," said Lee Ann. "You can pedal it like a bike like normal, or if you want to add a little bit of juice to help you out, you put the lever up and you can go faster. It’s especially great for commuting to work because you don’t get all sweaty and hot "
E-Boom Electric Bikes opens in Whitestown at 6659 Whitestown Parkway in May. A ribbon-cutting is set for May 12 at 11 a.m.
"We picked this area because it seemed like an area that’s really booming for bicycles. I hope everyone has as much fun as I have!"
Let's head across town and pick up the speed a bit now.
"The guys really get excited about it at the race track," said Mark Robinson. "They say, hey I wrapped that car! So that's fun."
You've certainly seen the work of Indy's Pro Graphix somewhere! If not at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway or another big sporting event, then probably on a vehicle you've passed on the interstate.
"I actually lettered the pit wall in 1981, believe it or not! We've wrapped transporters for several teams. We offer anywhere from small signs, small decals, to full vehicle wraps."
Robinson has been in the business for 35 years, but it was twenty years ago he made a big change.
"Well I started working at Mayflower Transit and I did hand lettering, so I striped a lot of cars and a lot of trucks. Mayflower was bought out and they moved to St. Louis so I was kind of kicked out of the door and it gave me the opportunity to be my own boss."
Robinson has a big shop now, but he started in his basement.
"Everybody was pitching in to help. All the kids and the neighbors, everybody."
"I actually got my first client at a gas station. I was pumping gas and this guy named Dan who was working with Weber Concrete, we got to talking and he gave me a 500 piece order for signs and it all took off from there."
Four years ago, Mark found the perfect shop space in Whitestown and says he feels at home there.
"The thing that’s made us really special and made us grow is the people we surround ourselves with. The people that have joined us, they make it fun."