Indianapolis Cultural Trail inspires Portland

Indianapolis Cultural Trail (WTHR file photo)
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There's no question the Indianapolis Cultural Trail is popular.

“Probably the best thing to happen to Indianapolis,” said Andy Howard, who uses the trail daily to commute to work.

And, perhaps, residents of the Circle City are more active because of it.

"I remember the days before the Cultural Trail," recalls Howard. "No other bikers, very few walkers but now you see everyone everywhere."

But can a city known best for fast cars really teach Portland about life on two wheels?

"Oh, I'm blown away by it!" exclaimed Indycog’s Kevin Whited who feels it's proof: Indianapolis has come of age.

"For years people are like, I'm gonna go to Portland. I'm gonna go to Portland to live this. Now we're educating people. Now maybe we can get some of the people to come here now," said Whited.

More people riding bikes is fine by Andre Phillips.

"I fix (flat) tires all day long," explained Phillips, who owns Veloworks, a bike shop in Fountain Square.

He's had so many flats and other repairs, that after just two months in business, he's hiring bike mechanics. Its location, not far from the Cultural Trail, is a prime reason.

"I think that if it weren't there, I wouldn't get nearly the business I was getting, that's for sure," said Phillips.

So while Portland may be known as the healthiest city in the United States, it still has something to learn from the Circle City's eight miles of urban trails.

"I'm pretty into biking and stuff and one of the big things you say is what can you do to make biking safer, it's to have more bikers," said Howard.

Bike Portland