Pardon my quiet these past few days, but I've been spending my free time zooming around on my brand spanking new road bike. While I used to ride quite a bit, I haven't had a decent bicycle in a few years, so I've been on something of a binge since I bought my new one last week. Indianapolis is a surprisingly bike friendly town. We don't have nearly enough bike lanes, true, but we make up for it. It's real flat, the roads are real wide and frequently empty, and the motorists are, generally, not completely bat-shit crazy. I would contrast this with the experience of biking in Boston. Boston has way more dedicated Bike lanes, but Boston roads are narrow and crowded with crazy-ass Boston drivers.
Indianapolis should develop this asset. Given how wide most roads are in Indianapolis to begin with, dedicated bike lanes would be very inexpensive and, at the very least, should always be considered when the city is redoing existing roads. I'm baffled, for example, why the city's redevelopment of 38th street didn't feature bike lanes. The city's development of the Monon is laudable, but recreational biking trails -- the Monon and the White River/Canal trails -- aren't quite the same thing as urban design with bike transit in mind. In addition, the Monon is convenient if you live in the College Ave corridor, but it's pretty worthless if you don't. In the meantime, as the city has focused its parks resources on maintaining and extending the Monon, it seems like it's been giving short shrift to other routes. The canal trail around Meridian, for example, is hazardous on bikes at a couple of points. In any case, the city needs to take cycling more seriously as a transportation issue, rather than simply regarding it as a leisure/recreation issue.
On a side note, I only encountered one asshole motorists in all my rides. He thought it was a bright idea to pass me in the middle of the intersection at 52nd and College. I can understand the frustration of motorists waiting behind bikes on busy, fast roads, but if the cyclist is following traffic laws (I had stopped behind a car in front of me at the red light rather than passing him and going through the intersection, which I easily could have done) it's extremely rude (not to mention illegal and dangerous) to pass them. It was particularly stupid because it's virtually impossible to go much faster than a bike on 52nd street because of the frequency of stop signs. I predictably caught up to him at Delaware and knocked on his window. You don't want to chat with a sweaty, adrenaline infused Tyrion near the end of his ride. It's not pleasant. Words were exchanged.