Monday, July 9, 2007

Racing in Indianapolis Day 37

Today we cycled to Indianapolis, the state capitol. Although we were less than 40 miles from our destination when we awoke, a combination of side trips increased my total day's mileage to 67 miles.
Our first stop was at the Roark factory, where titanium is made into components for the aerospace industry--and they also make titanium bicycles. Jim, pictured above, guided us through the factory. We saw bicycle frames in various stages of preparation. All bikes are made to order, and they are excellent, and expensive. The bike in front of Jim has an aerodynamic down tube and seat tube (they are "flared" in the back, not round), with a "cut-out" in the lower, posterior portion of the seat tube to accommodate the front portion of the rear tire. Way cool! That bike will be shipped to its new owner, perhaps today.
On entering the city, we took a side trip to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. It's huge! We were allowed to walk on the track, but elected to wait for a possible chance to ride our bikes on the track tomorrow. We'll see if that can get done.
Later we stopped at the Major Taylor Velodrome. This is an outdoor bicycle "arena", with sharply banked curves. When you ride at a high speed, you can turn sharply. None of the riders in our group had much trouble getting "up" on the curves, but we all agreed it felt weird, and that after riding several laps at high speed we felt tired. Pictured is Howie, coming into the curve. He rode very well there, and "got the hang of it" much more quickly than Pete or I did. We also had a visit with Tom and his wife. Tom, an Indiana native, was on the AbB staff for the first two legs of our trip. He had raced at the velodrome in the past and told us some funny stories. While it sounded interesting, we agreed it's a sport that might be more fun to watch than race, at our ages!
After navigating through the heart of the city (with the obligatory picture of the State Capitol building), we found our hotel.. We're staying near the heart of downtown for a change, instead of on the city outskirts. We've ridden about 630 miles in the past seven days, and tomorrow is a "rest day".

No comments: