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Momentum Indy: Sprint cyclists are set to take over downtown’s Mass Ave Cultural District

IU Health Momentum Indy returns to downtown Indy

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — IU Health Momentum Indy, one of the nation’s largest cycling events for racers, spectators, and casual riders kicks off Friday in downtown Indianapolis.

Hundreds of sprint cyclists will carve around 90-degree turns — or sharper — as they race for thousands of dollars in winnings. Momentum Indy starts Friday afternoon with the first race of the weekend, the Mass Ave Crit.

Mass Ave Crit is dubbed as “one of the longest-running urban bike races in the Midwest.” It’s a sprint bike race that has five turns in less than one mile through the Mass Ave Cultural Arts District.

It’s a giant race in its own right, but also somewhat of a warm-up for Saturday’s 13th Indy Crit. Indy Crit is the ninth stop on the American Criterium Cup. There’s a combined total purse of $500,000 that will be equally split among the women’s and men’s fields.

Both days are adrenaline-filled and fun for the whole family. For spectators planning on heading downtown to watch, outdoor patios — think Ralston’s — are prime real estate and fill up quickly.

The start/finish line for Friday’s Mass Ave Crit will be on Massachusetts Avenue between Michigan Street and Vermont Street.

That’s right out front of places like Bru Burger‘s giant patio (hint hint), Silver in the City, and Sub Zero Nitrogen Ice Cream. If it’s too crowded at these hot spots, there is nearly a mile of downtown curbside where you can catch the riders. The main straightaway will be in the 500 block of Mass Ave near Goodfellas, Condado, and others.

Unlike Mass Ave Crit’s more twilight, party vibe, the Indy Crit is very family-friendly. Saturday events include a kids’ bike race, bike obstacle course, BMX stunt show, and more. Children can sign up for their race for $15 on the day of, but pre-registration is highly encouraged.

There will also be food trucks, drinks, and plenty of other entertainment. It also has a different course and location for the start/finish. You can watch cyclists take off for the main event from New York Street between Pennsylvania and Meridian Streets near University Park and 16-Bit Bar+Arcade.

Organizers also say anyone “with a bike and helmet” can take part in the Honor Major Taylor Ride on Saturday morning.

As far as parking is concerned, there are several options, including metered street spots, the lot at Old National Centre for $10, or a free “pedal and park” option at University Park. Bikes left at the park will be unattended after 7 p.m.

Several streets in downtown Indy will be closed Friday and Saturday. Downtown visitors can find a list of road closures at the IU Health Momentum Indy website.