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Momentum Indy to kick off festival month with fit, family fun

(Provided Photo/Momentum Indy)

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — Move over basketball, bikes are set to dominate the landscape of Indianapolis this August.

IU Health Momentum Indy has launched its race month calendar ahead of the two-day cycling festival downtown.

The event’s organizers describe it as a street party celebrating bicycling and human-powered movement.

Executive Director Jennifer Cvar co-founded the Indy Criterium Bicycle Festival 13 years ago and later acquired a separate local bike race called Mass Ave Crit.

In 2019, the two events were combined for the first time to the attraction of thousands of people for the festivities downtown, according to Momentum Indy.

“I think it really started out as really centered around the bike race and the spectating aspect of the fun and excitement of watching these cyclists compete on the city streets of Indianapolis. Then it grew into this fabulous festival celebrating movement and healthy activity and just being part of the community,” Cvar said.

The criterium races will take place for junior, novice, and professional riders on Aug. 25 – 26 on two separate, closed urban courses. Friday’s events are to take place in the Mass Ave Cultural Arts District with Saturday’s racing and festival located at Univeristy Park.

“We have so many family-friendly activities such as yoga, and obstacle courses and things for people to do in the downtown space,” Cvar said of the festival’s schedule.

New and experienced bike riders alike have been invited to take part in a longer-distance event as part of the weekend’s festivities.

The Honor Major Taylor Fondo on August 26 was created to celebrate the life of one of the world’s first black athletic superstars, Marshall “Major” Taylor. He was a pioneer who blazed his own trail as a champion cyclist during the late 18th century and early 1900s.

Participants will choose between a 14, 30, and 62-mile bike ride highlighting historical points of interest and supported rest stops.

IU Health Momentum Indy was set to kick off its month of activities at the Indianapolis Children’s Museum on Thursday, August 3. The organization has partnered to host a special Bike Night as part of the museum’s “First Thursday Nights” agenda.

Organizers will utilize the grounds of the Sports Legends Experience to offer bike and helmet giveaways, safety demonstrations, obstacle courses, and fitness challenges.