I love a good magical adventure, especially by bike. The spontaneity of pedaling aimlessly until some kind of entertainment unfolds almost always leads to a new perspective on all that Indy has to offer.
For instance last Saturday, I enjoyed several IndyFringe offerings on Mass Ave before deciding to flee the theater-y buzz of the avenue to see what else downtown held in store. Bicycling past the City Market, I heard the echoes of engines revving. I made a circle around the Monument, comparing bikes to leather-clad, tattooed Moto GP revelers.
I rolled past the Capitol building and to the canal, where families filled the paddle boat queue as the sun bore down on their strollers and baseball caps. Winding around to the convention center, GenCon gamers lined Georgia Street sampling Indy's best food trucks. But soon the geekdom of Georgia Street Cos Play gave way to more motorcycle mamas and papas. And I headed back toward Mass Ave to find some dinner. The ride was the perfect diversion to work up an appetite and recharge my batteries for more theater.
Whether I'm people watching at a festival or admiring public art, I find its best to adventure by bike. If you're bored at home, just start pedaling and the city will open itself to you. Here are a few suggestions to get you started on your own magical bike adventure.
1) Find a festival: Everyone knows that Indiana loves a festival, which means you can still people watch a-plenty. Take your bike to the IndyFringe Theater Festival, Indianapolis Greek Fest or the Festiv-Ale this weekend for great food and entertainment. Still to come WARMfest in Broad Ripple, the Indy Slovenian Festival, Oktoberfest, Indy Jazz Fest, Irish Fest and more!
2) Free is always fun: When you ride your bike, you've already saved yourself the cost of gas. Why not pack a picnic and enjoy a thrifty afternoon at free events like the Georgia Street Block Party, the White River Community Fun Day or a Colts Kickoff Concert.
3) Eat!: Devour Downtown is my favorite biannual offering. Find a date with a bike, and you'll work off the calories of your sumptuous (and cheap) meal before you've even eaten it. Or look up your favorite food truck's schedule and bike to them for lunch.
4) Play A Game: The Geocache app on my phone has been endless fun, particularly because I can cover so much ground by bike. There are plenty of similar apps that put a digital spin on exploration. Or better yet, make up your own game. See how many pieces of public art you can take a picture in front of and start an online album.
5) Get creative: Adventuring is about spontaneity. Get on your bike and ride; the spirit of adventure will surely grab hold of you.