Biking with My Brother

The holiday weekend found me in Indianapolis visiting my brother. On Sunday, we rode the Monon Trail from his neighborhood to downtown, a roundtrip of somewhere around 14 miles. The trail, built along the path of an old railway was beautiful, the snazzy Bianchi bikes we borrowed from a high school friend were nimble, but the best thing about it was spending some time riding bikes with my brother again.

Charlie and me on bikes today.

Charlie and me on our borrowed Bianchis.

This is an old favorite hobby of ours, as you can see.

Charlie and me, with our bikes in 1987.

Charlie and me, with our bikes in 1987.

We’re no longer quite so blond, and I no longer carry a groomable dog toy with me when I ride, but other than that, things were pretty much the same as when we used to ride around our neighborhood in Minnesota, or to the convenience store from our house in Alabama: fun!

Indianapolis seems to be following the path of Chicago and other Midwestern cities like Madison, and has created some wonderful cycling facilities in recent years. Check out these shots from the Monon Trail, which, unlike the other trails I’ve ridden, was mostly used by cyclists — we saw only one jogger and a handful of other pedestrians.

Murals like these decorated the trail.

Murals like these decorated the trail.

Crossing the river.

Crossing the river.

Unfortunately the trail ended abruptly at a construction zone.

Obstacle course

Obstacle course

Under I-65

Under I-65 -- trail exit is to the right.

Green is for bikes!

Green is for bikes!

Once we negotiated all that, things got bike-friendly again. Bikes had special paths on several streets downtown — including Alabama Avenue, of all places. And not everyone felt the need to lock their bikes. A cyclist’s paradise?

Cyclists taking advantage of the facilities. Beautiful flowerbeds like these were everywhere in Indy, and I loved it.

Cyclists taking advantage of the facilities. Beautiful flowerbeds like these were everywhere in Indy, which made the downtown area even more pleasant.

The downtown war memorial from beneath the Bianchi's handlebars.

The downtown war memorial from beneath the Bianchi's handlebars.

As an English major and an engineer (I’ll let you guess who’s who!), Charlie and I have gone in different directions at different points in our lives, but we share enough in common (besides our genes and a set of great parents) that spending time together is a lot of fun. Since I only have one sibling, I’m especially glad I ended up with the one I did. Thanks for the tour, Charl!


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19 thoughts on “Biking with My Brother

  1. dottie says:

    Great pictures! You two are adorable! Indy looks like a really interesting place to ride a bike.

  2. Cool childhood picture(and on bikes!).

    I like the colorful bike crossing. Indy is indeed like the other bike-cities. It has trails that end abruptly!

  3. What a great, nostalgic childhood photo! The two of you loo fabulous then and now!

  4. Jennie says:

    I love this post! Great pictures of you and Charlie!

  5. Philip says:

    Biking with your brother is a great way to catch up, get fit and realise how competative or unconpetitive either of you might be, lovely post

  6. Doohickie says:

    Great post. Indy looks cool.

  7. Doohickie says:

    And by the way, Let’s Go Ride a Bike cracked into the “My 5 Favorite Bike Blogs” list over on Beginning Bicycle Commuting. LGRAB rocks!

  8. Charlie says:

    Right on

  9. Kyong says:

    what great pictures! you guys look so cute then & now.

  10. dottie says:

    Those Bianchis look pretty sweet. I’ve never seen Bianchis set up so nicely as commuters. What’s the info on them?

    • Trisha says:

      Aren’t they cool? I’d never seen them before, either, but I think it was because I was focusing on their city bike line, and for some reason these are part of their S-Road series (I’d say they’re more commuter/touring). The Bianchi Spillo.

  11. Ashley says:

    Love the kid pictures!! You guys were so freakin’ cute…well, not “were”, but you know what I mean;) Looks like Indy is a really nice place! I need to travel more.

  12. Man says:

    Great post!
    Especially love the retro picture juxtaposed to the recent shot.

  13. ksteinhoff says:

    That looks a lot like the Sears Spyder my kid brother rode when he was about 10 years old.

    I look forward to going home and riding with him at least once a year, even if he IS a go-fast weight wienie.

  14. Adam Jay says:

    i live in Indy and it is a great place to ride bikes, new bike lanes have made it a much more cycle friendly town, and there are so many more plans for more lanes and trails in the near future. Its very easy to put 100 miles a week on the paved trails here and never have to leave the city limits. i love it.

    Next time you plan to come to indy, let your readers know before hand and we can organize a fun ride!

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