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Indianapolis or Nashville -- Good areas for biking?

Milwaukee, WI
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Indianapolis or Nashville -- Good areas for biking?

We are planning to head to Indianapolis this weekend and bring our bikes along (hybrids or roads, NOT mountain bikes). Are there good bike trails or road routes in the Indianapolis or Nashville area? Would other areas of Indiana be better? Hoping to enjoy some biking but also nightlife, dining, and culture would be nice additions as well. Thanks for your input.

Greer, South...
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1. Re: Indianapolis or Nashville -- Good areas for biking?

I've only really ridden my bike on the Monon Trail here in Indy. It's a good ride. Not too scenic on the Northside/Carmel area, but I think if you go further south towards Broadripple it might be better. You can also connect to the downtown River Walk I'm pretty sure. There are maps available online. BING.com it!

This is a pretty simple trail. Not too many ups or downs and a paved path. Lot's of riding if you were to start up near Carmel and take it all the way downtown. There would be lots of good places to stop along the way to eat.

A co-worker has told me about an unpaved trail that runs along a creek off of 96th street near Allisonville. I don't think it's paved, but it goes for 14 miles and this is Indianapolis so I don't imagine it's too hilly. This would be a more wilderness-type option, but if you're looking for that sort of thing you're probably better off going to a state park.

Indy
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2. Re: Indianapolis or Nashville -- Good areas for biking?

Since you probably aren't that familiar with Indianapolis, I would second the recommendation of the Monon. The roads/drivers here in Indy are not exactly bicycle friendly. I would start the Monon around the Broad Ripple area and head north. You can also bike around the canal in Broad Ripple for a change of pace. The negatives about both are the crowds - the trails are very popular with walkers, runners, in-line skaters as well.

The canal downtown is another option, and there are some Cultural trails along Alabama to Mass Ave. Again, somewhat crowded.

I'd recommend Nashville (Brown County State Park), but I do know that there are some steep hills and blind curves in the park.

Not sure if I've helped, but I think you're getting the drift that this city isn't bicycle friendly and the trails that are, are very well used!

Indianapolis...
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3. Re: Indianapolis or Nashville -- Good areas for biking?

If you are looking for a combination of biking with nightlife, dining and culture then you probably want to stick with Indy and surrounding areas. I see people riding through Southern Indiana (Nashville) when I am down there but Nashville is more of daytime shop hopping area. Brown County State Park would probably be great for mountain biking but I wouldn't spend a lot of time on the roads there (as stated above) The Monon Trail should be ok for a visitors' ride and you will have your choice of other things to do downtown and Broad Ripple. Do you know where you are staying (hotel, friends/family) or where you going to decide that later?

Milwaukee, WI
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4. Re: Indianapolis or Nashville -- Good areas for biking?

We haven't booked any hotels yet...but people have mentioned the Mass Ave or Broad Ripple areas for dining and nightlife. What would be some good options there for lodging, dining, etc.? With regard to nightlife, we are more lounge or wine bar folks....not really into the music scene beyond jazz. Thanks!

Indianapolis...
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5. Re: Indianapolis or Nashville -- Good areas for biking?

Mass Ave. is "downtown", but Broad Ripple will require a cab ride and no hotels nearby. Also, if you are more into "lounge" type places I would stick with downtown. Broad Ripple is a cool place to hang out but it tends to attract singles so it seems to be more of a "club" atmoshpere (IMO) even though there are really cool bars/restaurants. There are endless choices for places to stay downtown and all nightlife/dining is walkable. Do you have a budget? I have some personal favorites and all for different reasons. The Indy Jazz Fest started this week, but not sure what kind of effect that will have on hotels. Unless you were planning to bring your bikes for something specific (obviously exercise but you do not necessarily need it to get around), you can really walk to everything worth seeing/doing downtown. Let me know about hotel budget.

Indy
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6. Re: Indianapolis or Nashville -- Good areas for biking?

Indianapolis has a great cycling club, the Central Indiana Bicycling Association (CIBA). For a list of rides and other cycling information, go to www.cibaride.org. Click on Rides at the top and choose Non-Repeating-GT rides and you will see the various one-off rides that club members organize. As it turns out, there is a ride this Sunday being organized by the Nebo Ridge cycling shop/race team. The ride is for riders of all abilities and will offer four different lengths ranging from 17-65 miles. Please note that helmets are mandatory on all CIBA rides and the pucker factor on safety has just gone thru the roof due to the tragic loss of a rider on a recent fast-paced training ride (Sunday's ride is not of that variety).

If you want to stick to the trails, you can access the Monon, mentioned above at 10th street, just past where it intersects Massachussets Ave. downtown. The trail runs north roughly 15 miles from there. About halfway up, you can access the Fall Creek Trail, which runs northeast from there for a about 7 miles. As mentioned, in Broad Ripple, you can also access the Central Canal Towpath trail (this is a crushed stone trail, the Monon and Fall Creek are paved). The Monon trail carries the most traffic, though it is typically heaviest in and around Broad Ripple - there also seem to be a disproportionate number of idiots on this section of trail, leading one of my colleagues to dub it the "moron trail." There is also the White River Greenway Trail that can be accessed from White River State Park near downtown and runs up the White River for about 5 miles. Please see the Indy Parks website for comprehensive information about the trail system in Marion County (Indianapolis). The website is indy.gov/eGov/…home.aspx

Enjoy the trails or the CIBA ride!

7. Re: Indianapolis or Nashville -- Good areas for biking?

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