EVERYBODY’S DOING IT: BICYCLING: When spring is sprung, it’s time to let it ride

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BICYCLING When spring is sprung, it’s time to let it ride After months stuck indoors, at least 100 bicyclists-and maybe more-will hit the road March 18 for the Central Indiana B i cy c l i n g Association’s St. Patrick’s Day Ride, the organization’s spring season kickoff.

“It gets the cobwebs off; it’s usually the first nice day of the season and everybody’s excited to get on their bikes again,” new CIBA President Nancy Tibbett said of the ride, which begins at 1 p.m. at Westfield’s Shamrock Springs Elementary School, 747 W. 161st St. Riders can choose routes of 12, 25 or 37 miles.

The event opens a busy cycling season for CIBA, including the celebration of the 40th anniversary of the Hilly Hundred (Oct. 12-14), a new date for the 20-mile late-night N.I.T.E. Ride (June 30, which gets it out of the way of Brickyard 400 weekend) and a new series of rides called Sociables, aimed at bringing in new members and casual riders who’d like to socialize as well as get some exercise.

CIBA isn’t the only area group that organizes rides, but with more than 2,000 members, it is the largest. It offers at least one ride somewhere in central Indiana every weekend throughout the spring and summer.

Regular events include Carbos and Caffeine, which leaves from Cool Creek Park in Westfield every Saturday morning, weather permitting, en route to breakfast at a rural diner. There also are dinner rides, training rides and rides to Indianapolis Indians games-something for every level of cyclist.

For a full schedule, see cibaride.org or call 767-7765. (CIBA members get a copy in advance. Membership information is available on the Web site.)

“CIBA is a social club,” Tibbett said, “and it offers more than just what people might see as hammering bike riders.”

In fact, the club offers lectures and educational events such as bicycle-maintenance classes. Matthews Bicycles, 7272 Pendleton Pike, offers a maintenance class at Glendale Mall once a year for CIBA.

“CIBA really does a good job,” said Steven Southwood, Matthews’ service manager. “They’re always recruiting new members, and they have a huge range of different-caliber riders, so there’s always a place that you’re going to be able to fall into.”

Cyclists don’t have to be great to belong. Tibbett said she’s not. While the office manager/information technology person for Hetrick Communications rides more than 2,000 miles a year, she describes herself as “kind of low on the totem pole as far as riders in the club.”

“If you’ve seen a ride go by, it can be a little intimidating because there’s always that lead pack that’s powering through, and everybody looks to be clipping along pretty well. But that isn’t what it’s all about.”

CIBA is one of the most active bike clubs in the country, according to Andy Clarke, executive director of the League of American Bicyclists in Washington, D.C., which has about 600 affiliates.

“Their ride schedule is always busy, there’s always stuff going on, and there’s obviously great riding to be done around the Indianapolis area,” he said. “Their name has always stood out as being one of the better clubs around the country.

“My perception is that they are a wellestablished, well-run, good club and a fixture in the community. They do good work.”

What recreation trend would you like to see IBJ explore? E-mail “Everybody’s Doing It” ideas to doingit@ibj.com.

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