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IndyCOG Now Bike Indianapolis

Interim executive director said change was meant to provide clarity

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When asked why Indianapolis bicycle advocacy group IndyCOG recently changed its name to Bike Indianapolis, Damon Richards, interim executive director, said it was all about clarity.

“Primarily, it was driven by the fact that the people who had not heard of IndyCOG could not immediately say what the name meant,” he said.

The group, which began as a blog in 2009, attained 501c3 nonprofit status in 2010.

However, Richards said when he attended national conferences of like-minded proponents, they would become confused by the name.

“They saw my name with IndyCOG [and] they'd come up and ask me what I was and why I was there,” he said. “When I explained it to them, more than once the response was, 'Oh, like Bike Indianapolis?' And, I thought, 'OK, this seems like a no brainier.'”

Richards said it made the most sense to follow other cities around the countries which had names in a similar mold.

“Most other cities have Bike Chicago, Bike Atlanta, Bike Pittsburgh,” he said. “It also makes it easier for somebody moving to town who is looking for the bike advocacy group to be able to find us. Because they are more like to look for Bike Indianapolis than to look for IndyCOG.”

Richards said despite the name change, the group was still proud of its history and tradition.

“We're not trying to separate from IndyCOG,” he said. “We just want to go forward.”

Rob Burgess, News Editor at NUVO Newsweekly, can be reached by email at, by phone at 317-808-4614 or on Twitter @robaburg.

Writer - Local Government and Justice

My background is that I'm the fourth generation in my family to work as a journalist. I also have a degree from Indiana University in Elementary Education. My wife, Ash, and I have two children, Harper, 4, and Emerald, 1.