Indianapolis Mayor Greg Ballard will again bring in the new year with hundreds of bicyclists on a ride starting in downtown Indianapolis. Over 600 riders have already registered for the Polar Bear Pedal II, which will take place on Saturday, January 5th, 2013. The Polar Bear Pedal will start from the Indy Bike Hub YMCA, located in the the east wing of the Indianapolis City Market.
The 11 mile ride will start at 10 AM, and include recently completed bike lanes south and east of downtown Indianapolis, including the Fountain district. The Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department will be directing traffic along the route. Hot chocolate and snacks will be available after the ride.
Courtesy bicycle parking will be provided before and after the event on the City Market east plaza by Pedal and Park, and inside the Indy Bike Hub YMCA. Participants can also ask for tours of the Hub, and use the shower and lockers rooms after the ride. The weekly Indy Winter Farmers Market will also be going on the west wing of the City Market.
Interested riders can pre-register for the the free event on-line at http://www.indy.gov/eGov/City/DPW/SustainIndy/Bikeways/Pages/Polar-Pedal.aspx. Day of event, registration, and commemorative T-shirt purchases will be available inside the City Market beginning at 9:00 AM. All riders will are required to wear a bicycle helmet.
Mayor Ballard, now in his second term as Indianapolis mayor, is an active bicyclist. He speaks frequently about creating a bicycle culture in Indianapolis, as a part his overall strategy to draw new companies to Indianapolis. His bicycle-related accomplishments include over 70 miles of new bike lanes, with 150 additional miles planned by 2015. His administration also supported of development the Indy Bike Hub YMCA, a unique combination bicycle parking and fitness facility. These efforts have brought national attention to Indianapolis as bicycle friendly destination.
Last year, over 500 riders participated in the inaugural event, held with falling snow and wind chills in the teens. Some riders came dressed in hi-tech, specialty winter riding gear, while others rode in normal winter wear. Bicycle Garage Indy, with a location inside the Indy Bike Hub YMCA, has a Cold Weather Gear Guide (pdf) you can download.
The Polar Bear Pedal II is presented by Coca-Colar. Other sponsors include Bicycle Garage Indy, NUVO, Central Indiana Bicycle Association, Sun King Brewery, 24 Hours of Booty, Infrastructure Engineering Inc., Big Car.org, the Indy Bike Hub YMCA, Crawford, Murphy, & Tilly Engineering (CMT), Green Bean Delivery, Pedal and Park, Indiana Living Green, and INDYCOG.