I mentioned in my last post that a recurring foot injury prohibited me from taking many of the group fitness classes offered during the Fitbloggin’ conference, but I sure didn’t stay sedentary. I rode a bike around the city… TWICE!
Indianapolis has a fantastic program called the Indiana Pacers Bikeshare. There are stations all over downtown – including two within a block of my hotel. For a few bucks, at any of the stations, you can borrow a bike, ride wherever you want, and then drop it off at any of the other stations.
It’d be great for running errands, meeting up with someone that’s slightly too far to walk, or, if you’re like me, the great way to get in a workout. For $8, I got a 24-hour bikeshare pass, so I could go for a ride one evening, and again the next morning. The only caveat is that you can only have a bike for 30 minutes at a time, but you can swing by a station, return your bike, and then immediately check it out again. Visit Indy was a sponsor at Fitbloggin, and they gave me a handy pocket map of all the stations, so I planned my routes so I was never too far from one.
Even though biking is no-impact for my foot, I didn’t push myself on these workouts. I didn’t want to aggravate anything further. Plus, the bikes are heavy, 3-speed cruisers that aren’t built for crazy workouts anyway.
I started my first ride in the heart of the city: Monument Circle, a plaza that’s home to the Soldiers & Sailors Monument. I was able to fit the Chase Tower into this selfie, too – it’s the tallest building in the state.
From there, I biked through a series of parks that extend north from downtown. I stopped in front of the Indiana World War Memorial, because it had a ton of steps.
I didn’t climb them, on account of my foot, but if I lived here, I’d totally train for my stair races here!
There’s tons of public art in Indianapolis. Memorials, monuments, sculptures. I was very impressed. There were murals and sculpture in out-of-the-way places, like under overpasses. My favorite sculpture is this long-limbed headless spider-person, hanging out at the library:
The other great thing about biking around Indy is that you can follow the Indianapolis Cultural Trail, which conveniently takes you from neighborhood to neighborhood. It snakes through downtown and other nearby neighborhoods, and it’s easy to follow, because it’s paved with brown bricks and stands out from the rest of the sidewalks.
The next morning, when I headed out again, I start by biking away from the city, on a path that’s tucked behind the zoo and next to the river. There’s a long limestone wall on the zoo side, and all I could think about were what kind of animals were right on the other side. Bears? Alligators? Moose?
I paused for a quick selfie at the farthest point from downtown that I went:
After that, I explored the canal, which is what’s left of a 1800s canal project that was abandoned due to money issues. Now it stretches 5 or 6 blocks downtown, lined with apartments and offices. There are paddleboats and gondolas you can rent, but they weren’t open at 9am on a Sunday morning, when I rode past.
A nice stranger took my picture with some woolly mammoths:
And then I went back to visit my long-limbed friend at the library. This time, I got more up close and personal.
The sculpture is called thinmanlittlebird, by an artist named Peter Shelton. I looked and looked, but couldn’t see the little bird anywhere!
Time for some stats! My first ride lasted 1 hour, 37 minutes, and I went 10 miles.
My second ride was 70 minutes, and I went 7.5 miles. I forgot to start my Runkeeper app until I was a little ways into the ride, but I pieced together the total route (red lines + blue dots):
A new bikeshare just started in downtown Los Angeles this month… I’ll have to check that out soon!
Keep it up, David!