Thursday, January 31, 2013

Commuter Essays: Bradley Kottkamp

Posted By on Thu, Jan 31, 2013 at 3:44 PM

click to enlarge Bradley Kottkamp - SUBMITTED PHOTO

This is part of a series of commuter essays written by transit participants. For more click here and here.

Indianapolis' road system was originally designed with horse and carriage in mind. This somehow translated to extremely accessible roadways for the cycling community over time. Between the Cultural Trail and the bicycle lanes, Indy is easily one of the friendliest commuter cities in the US. I can vouch for it as I rode my bike every single day for six months, regardless of the weather or time of day. I moved to downtown Indy for the sake of an easier commute to work.

Now about 30 pounds lost and easily a thousand dollars saved on car insurance and gas, I feel like a true urban commuter. I first made this connection when I tried parking my bike on a rail outside a PNC bank only to have a security guard tell me I wasn't allowed to, with which I exclaimed, "get a bike rack!" Another unfortunate setback is when I try to ride my bike through the drive-thru of Taco Bell only to have my business turned away.

All complaints aside, this city truly is rider friendly, especially with the brand new Indy Ride Guide which gives an outstanding portrayal of the biker friendliness of streets throughout Indianapolis. Beside the fact that my commute to work is only a 15 minute bike ride, I am also conveniently located 3 blocks from the local grocery store as well as one of the biggest cultural areas of downtown Indy, Mass Ave. Working in the hospitality industry, it is very beneficial for me to know the downtown area, so exploring the city on a bicycle has helped improve my knowledge greatly. The benefits of commuting have far outweighed the downsides.

My experiences as a cyclist have carried on inspiring some of my co-workers who now choose to walk or cycle themselves as often as possible. If you are looking to lose a few pounds, save a good chunk of change, or simply benefit the environment, I strongly recommend giving cycling in Indy a try; this commuter will continue to fully support the cycling lifestyle.

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