Taking in the always spectacular Little 500 from a different vantage point

This weekend, I’m venturing 65 miles south to Bloomington, Indiana for the annual Little 500 Weekend. Most of the students have been going at it for a week now. I remember those days. They were fun, but man were they exhausting…

I haven’t been able to make it back for Little 500 weekend since graduating, as I’ve always had the Pacers postseason to cover. But with them not qualifying this season, I have a little more freedom — and thus I’ll be soaking in the festivities for the first time as an alumni. (Ew. Still sounds weird.)

Little 500, if you don’t know, is the annual bike race at IU. The women’s race is late Friday afternoon, and the men’s is on Saturday (although, due to expected storms this year, it has been rescheduled for Sunday at 2 p.m. Sunday). April in Indiana is hit or miss. It’s been sunny and given attendees nasty sunburns, it’s been sunny but windy, and it’s been sloppy and wet.

Little 500 is special because the university joins together to celebrate the race and enjoy the weekend (or the entire week). As an undergrad, friends at other schools tried to call dibs on a couch months in advance.

As a member of the greek community, we had theme parties each night, went out on pontoon boats on Lake Monroe at least one afternoon during the week, and had a blast come the weekend. By Sunday, a nice greasy meal with a large glass of water and your bed was necessary.

While I’m disappointed that my fraternity, Phi Kappa Psi, made an error in judgement during qualifications and won’t be in the race — it’s a big deal as they were the only group to have participated in every single race in history — a fun time is still guaranteed.

(Watch the video at the top for a hint at what race day was like. There’s absolutely nothing like it. The togetherness, the cheering, and the memories.)

It’ll be fun catching up with old friends who have been taken various places because of their jobs, and seeing a town that has always been special to my heart — like Kilroy’s, Sports, Nick’s, and Mother Bear’s. Bars and bartenders will have their best weekend of the year as beverages will be flowing.

Saturday is an all-day event, with most springing to their feet before 7 a.m.

And now, because of the race being rescheduled to the typical recovery day, Monday classes will be a literal headache for most students.

Can’t wait to reunite, Btown. See you soon.

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