Now that you don't have to wear a parka to enjoy a walk across the fairly new Big Four Bridge, it's a great time to give the kids some exercise and enjoy our city's newest outdoor recreational area.
Whether you're just taking a leisurely stroll or attempting a more serious workout, the Big Four Bridge is a wonderful playground for your family. We went over Spring Break on one of the "thank-goodness-it-finally-feels-like-Spring-days," so everyone and their dog (almost literally!) was there, but even with a big crowd on a pleasant day, it was still a great experience.
I took the training wheels off my kindergartner's bike the day before our excursion, so she was antsy to take that bad boy out for a spin. So I packed up three bikes and three helmets and headed to the bridge, hoping my kids could simply make it up the ramp. I was really impressed with how gradual the ramp was; if the thought of that incline has held you back from biking it yourself or from bringing the kids' bikes with you, put your fears aside. Even my three year-old (on training wheels) pedaled up with no problems at all.
The way down was a different story, however. Let's just say the kids mastered the art of braking. Much like the metaphor of throwing someone in the deep end of the pool to teach them how to swim—but please don't really do that—if your kids are speeding down the ramp while dodging passersby and also attempting to avoid their sprinting and panicked parents, they will certainly learn how to brake. Seeing cool skid marks on the fresh concrete is another plus.
When the bridge first opened in February, there was a lot of criticism about the amount of dog poop that irresponsible and rude pet owners were leaving behind. That's gross. Maybe we were there on a lucky day, or maybe the new sign at the bridge's entrance warning dog owners that it's illegal not to pick up pet waste is doing the trick, but we didn't see any dog poop.
And the Indiana side is still closed, so you can't actually cross into the Hoosier state until later this summer. For pictures of what the projected Indiana ramp will look like, go here.
For more information on the Big Four Bridge, go downtown and read the new plaques yourself. Or check out the Wikipedia entry.
Photos: courtesy of Anna Frye