Little 500 Organizers Prepare For Next Year’s Event

Organizers of the annual bike race have been trying to make the Little 500 weekend a more "family friendly" event.

bicycles

Photo: Alex Dierckman/WTIU News

Bicycles lay on the ground waiting for their riders before the Little 500 men's race on Saturday, April 20, 2013.

A week after Indiana University’s annual Little 500 bike race, preparation is underway for next year’s event. Officials believe the atmosphere surrounding the race is improving for the better.

Not that long ago, Bloomington police chief Mike Diekhoff says partygoers in town for Little 500 would wreak havoc.

“Over the history of it, you know, 20-25 years ago when we had a lot of problems; basically riots and trying to turn ambulances over in Varsity Villas,” Diekhoff says.

This year Diekhoff says his department made fewer than three dozen arrests and not all of his officers were even required to work.

Still excise police issued a record number of citations – more than 230. Dana Cummings organizes the Little 500 for IU. She says the event does still have some problems.

“The men’s race definitely tends to draw a bigger crowd and perhaps a rowdier crowd. We try not to let anyone in if they are in a terrible condition,” Cummings says.

Cummings says despite some of the problems linked to the Little 500 she still considers it a success. Over the course of its 63 years the race has raised more than $1.5 million for scholarships.

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