Monday, May 10, 2010

Implementing a Canoe Race & Bike Race

With Thunder on the Ohio every summer on the river, the Indy 500 every spring in Indianapolis, and the Little 500 bike race in Bloomington every year, Evansville is ripe for racing on its greenway.

Luckily, Evansville has an awesome greenway that runs along pigeon creek where both a canoe race and bike race could take place.

First the canoe race:

A few weeks ago, I took a stroll down Pigeon Creek in my newly bought canoe. I went from the canoe launch area off Heidelbach Ave all way down to the Joan Marchand Bridge at the entrance to the Ohio River. With amazing views of Pigeon Creek and the success of Canoe Evansville, I can't help but feel that a canoe race down pigeon creek would be a huge success.

The date of the race would have to fall sometime in the summer perhaps the week leading up to Thunder. It would involve 2 classifications of canoes with any boat over 14'' being in the big boat category and the rest being in the small category. There would also be a category for kayaks. There would also be different age groups with the number of heats determined by the number of participants. Admission into the races would be between $10 and $20 with half the money going to the winner and the other half going to clean, fix, and maintain Pigeon Creek.

For the bike race:

Like the Little 500 held every year in Bloomington, the Evansville bike race would be open to amateurs only. Unlike the Little 500, the race would be on a greenway not on a circular race track meaning the finish line wouldn't be in the same complex as the starting line. Ideally it would be nice to start at Garvin Park and end at the Ohio River on the greenway but that is currently not possible since the trail has not been completed. Either 1. a temporary track could be layed down 2. a detour could be set up or 3. a the race would be shortened to the completed trail only.

Whatever the course, the set up would be similiar to the canoe race in the sense that admission would be between $10 and $20 with the proceeds being split and the races would be divided by age. To me, it would be a good idea to have the bike race the same week as the canoe race.

With a magnificient greenway and a call for more people to come experience the Evansville outdoors, a canoe race and a bike race on the Pigeon Creek Greenway would be a perfect addition to the Evansville calendar.


  1. A canoe race down Pigeon Creek would be wonderful... but only after the City has cleaned up the waterway. E coli and nitrate levels are so high in the creek that it is unsafe for recreational use. The CSS system that Evansville currently operated put RAW sewage into the water. That's right... raw sewage. In spite of the EPA lawsuit vs. the City, there has been little action. So yes, this activity would be wonderful...but the City needs to step up and get this waterway clean first.

  2. You hit the nail on the head Jimmy. When I went canoing in Pigeon Creek this past spring, it always creeped me out to see "Warning Raw Sewage" signs all down the creek. Never in a million years would I expect to see raw sewage in a creek in 21st century America. The EPA really needs to throw the book at the city, we cannot afford to keep treating Pigeon Creek like this. It's too big of an asset to neglect