Little 500 board game to be released before race


IU alumnus and former Little 500 champion Alex Bishop's board game Glory Gears.  The game will be sold by more than 40 retailers around the country before this year's race. Courtesy Photo and Courtesy Photo Buy Photos

Production of Glory Gears hinged on the success of a $10,000 Kickstarter campaign. A week and a half away from his deadline, the creator was barely halfway there.

That was in December. Now, IU alumnus Alex Bishop is busy preparing shipments of his completed board game.

“It was my first Kickstarter,” Bishop said. “I didn’t really know what to expect. Obviously I did everything I could to be successful.”

The board game, “Glory Gears,” is a strategy-based game where two to eight players compete to get their team of cyclists around the game board. It’s based on the Little 500 race.

When Bishop first came to IU, he knew he wanted to ride in Little 500 for the Cutters. He spent months asking strangers if they knew anyone on the team.

In 2007, he became a Little 500 champion riding with the Cutters.

Now, Bishop says he is thrilled his game has become a reality. He said he’s had the idea for “Glory Gear” for about a decade, and has been working on it for the past three or four years.

Bishop said he hopes his game reaches a wide audience. He said anyone can have fun playing “Glory Gears.”

“When you look at the game you would think it’s only going to appeal to a certain crowd,” Bishop said. “But the way I designed the game, it really appeals to everybody.”

He said that the game is quick to set up and easy to learn. It can be played simply, or players can add in the game’s optional rules to make it more realistic.

Bishop said, Glory Gears is a fast-paced game where each player’s turn drastically changes the game. It works in real time, so while players are waiting for their turns, their riders are still moving.

Glory Gears will be sold by more than 40 retailers across the country,Bishop said. He currently has five dealers in Bloomington, including T.I.S., Greetings, Common Room Games, Salt Creek Bike Shop and Bloomington Toy Chest. He said it should be available in Bloomington starting this week.

The game is also available for purchase online.

Going forward, Bishop plans to do a lot of traveling this year as he continues to promote the game at various conventions and expositions around the country.

He will also be having “Glory Gears” game nights at some bars and breweries in Colorado, where he lives.

After “Glory Gears,” Bishop said he plans to launch more games in the future. He said the success of his first Kickstarter campaign was a big learning experience. Next time he does one, he said he’ll be a lot more prepared.

Utilizing social media to advertise his game was one of the more difficult aspects of the whole process, Bishop said, as he’s not very fond of technology.

“That’s kind of the whole point of why I make board games,” he said, laughing. “I want people to be in the same room and converse and have a good time.”

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