2 minute read

Today was the National Bike to Work Day. A couple of weeks ago I decided I would participate in this year’s event. This meant getting the bike out and working on a bit of distance so I would be comfortable with the 14 mile out and back (28 mile round trip) today. Due to all of the rain we’ve had this Spring, I only managed to log about 5 trips in the 6 – 8 mile range before today. Still, today’s forecast was awesome and the legs felt good this morning. I loaded up the bike and a backpack with all I would need.

The ride in was great. I spent just over an hour on the bike and had no real issues on the greenways. The slowest part of the trip was navigating downtown Indy between the Monon Trail on the east side and the Canal and Wapahani Trail on the west side. Here are the stats for the ride and the route:

Distance: 13.7 miles; Time: 1 hour, 7 minutes; Average speed: 11.8 mph

Ride to Work (MapMyRun)

On the way home, I traveled further north along the Canal and avoided some of the downtown traffic. The route was slightly longer but I finished 5 minutes faster than the morning ride.

Distance: 13.9 miles; Time: 1 hour, 2 minutes; Average speed: 13.2 mph

Ride Home (MapMyRun)

I was glad to have the on/off road bike I currently possess (I ride a Giant Sedona DX). A couple of miles of the Fall Creek Greenway are little more than trail including a patch of sand I nearly wiped out on in the morning. Still, it was a great day for cycling and I plan to ride into work on a regular basis, weather permitting.

Riding into work semi-regularly means I will need to make a few adjustments to the bike, including:

  • Carrier – I used a backpack today but that was rather limiting. Flat tires were a low risk item today since my existing tubes have ‘slime’ but I would prefer to carry at least 1 extra tube, a pump and tire levers.
  • Lights – Plenty of daylight right now but always good to have — just in case.
  • Pedal clips and shoes – I rode in on standard pedals and running shoes. This worked fine but cycling shoes and clips are more efficient allowing the rider to push and pull through revolutions.

Addendum, or perhaps, full disclosure … I’ve been a runner for 30+ years. I’m not into the competitive scene but I have consistently run 3 – 5 miles per run at least 3 (and usually 4) days a week for the last 30 odd years. While Jill and I lived in Ohio during the early ’90s (I was on active duty at Wright-Pat AFB), I did a lot of cycling on a Fuji touring bike, racking up 100+ miles a week and logged a few rides including the century ride that is part of the Troy Strawberry Festival. We moved back to Indiana in ‘92 and I did very little cycling because, quite frankly, Indiana’s rails to trails program was rather pathetic then.

After nearly 20 years and today’s ride, I must say I am pleased with the progress Indiana has made in providing pedestrians and cyclists with a greenway system in central Indiana that is top notch. And this is good because my knees (after 30 years) are telling me it is time to give up running. 😀