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2017 Bicycle Fun Club Volunteers

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Hang out with friends, enjoy some time in the countryside, and help us out all at the same time!

We need volunteers at our rides to help with

  • Ride registration
  • Signing up new members
  • Leading group rides
  • Staffing rest stops

Click here to sign up to help. Ride volunteers get a voucher for a free ride, a t-shirt, and a chance to meet lots of fun and interesting people!

Trailnet Champions, Ann and Vance Crowe

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Ann Crowe took up bicycling while living in Washington, D.C., where an extensive network of cycling paths made commuting by bike a convenient way to incorporate exercise into her daily routine. Ann moved to St. Louis to be closer to family and to pursue work in engineering. After deciding to make a career change, Ann began volunteering at Trailnet rides and fundraising events while completing her Doctorate in Physical Therapy. Her volunteer activities allow her to “meet many new people and see different parts of the city and surrounding areas,” she says.

Ann’s volunteer experience introduced her to a “warm and welcoming community,” and she believes that a “shared love of biking provides common ground” for people that participate in Trailnet events. Ann’s husband Vance now joins her on many of the weekend rides, which she credits with giving him “the same confidence and passion for cycling and health” that is so important to her.

As a physical therapist, Ann understands the critical importance of regular exercise for maintaining health and recovering from injury. She notes the abundance of research supporting the positive impact of exercise on mood and overall health, and sees evidence of these effects at Trailnet events. “It only takes a morning at a Trailnet ride to see this come to life in the laughter, support and friendships created through group exercise,” she says.

Even with many years of experience as a bike commuter and recreational cyclist, Ann is aware that for many people concerns about safety may mean that they don’t bike or walk if no specific infrastructure exists. She is committed to building a community where more people have access to the benefits of active transportation. “Having a network of safe and connected bikeways and sidewalks will make biking and walking easier and available to more people,” she says. She also predicts that “as more people use the bikeways and sidewalks, they will feel personally invested in supporting the growth of this network.”

In addition to volunteering time to Trailnet, Ann and Vance are Trailnet Peloton members, providing financial support for the protected bikeway vision. They strongly believe in “dedicating personal efforts and resources to build infrastructure that empowers communities.”

Ann and Vance also feel that positive change will come to St. Louis only if individuals take the initiative. “Whatever challenges we face, the best way to identify problems and solutions is to get personally involved, seeing the community by biking on the roads and paths, meeting our neighbors, visiting and supporting local businesses. Trailnet gives us the opportunity to come together as individuals and make our city healthier and more interesting, with access and opportunity for everyone to enjoy a more active lifestyle.”

 

Andy Mayberry – Trailnet Champion

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If you’ve ever been on a Bicycle Fun Club ride, you have probably been a recipient of Andy Mayberry’s generosity. If you have ever had a beer at a Trailnet event, you have definitely been on the receiving end of this equation. At the annual chili party five years ago, Andy noticed that we were serving beer with a hand-pumped keg. At the time, he worked for Grey Eagle Distributing and pulled equipment out of his truck to pressurize our keg and install a tap. He has been a valued member of the Trailnet family ever since, helping out in numerous ways at rides and other events.

Andy has been an avid bicyclist ever since buying a used Schwinn Continental at Goodwill while in junior high. He first rode the length of the Katy Trail in 2005 and now rides with a group called the Landsharks, that includes local friends and cyclists that come from other states to enjoy the country’s longest continuous rail-trail. To date, he has ridden the Katy Trail twenty-one times, and has also ridden with the group in Nebraska, Illinois, and along the shores of Lake Superior. “It’s the journey, not the destination…the people you meet and the sights you see,” he says.

Andy also participates in numerous fundraising events, and initially joined Trailnet to train with the BFC for his long-distance charity rides. “You get into riding because you like to ride and then you find a higher purpose with the charities,” Andy explains.

One of Andy’s favorite causes is The Delta Gamma Center for Children with Visual Impairments. As a volunteer, Andy rides a tandem with a visually-impaired child so that they can experience the freedom and joy of bicycling. “They just want to be normal kids and get out on a bike, and that is something I can help with,” he says with a smile.

Andy has helped to raise money for a variety of health-related causes by participating in numerous fundraising rides, including the Tour de Cure and Bike MS. “I’m never going to be the fastest, the strongest, or biggest fundraiser,” he says, “but I can give of myself and my time.” He also encourages drivers to be courteous to cyclists who “may be out there training for a charity ride that will help someone that the driver knows.”

A ride that has particular significance for Andy is Pedal the Cause, which raises money for cancer research and support of individuals with cancer and their caregivers. Andy has beaten cancer twice himself and refers to people with cancer as “fighters, not patients.” He rides to “let them know that there are a lot of people out here who have beaten it and offer support.”

In 2015, Andy provided support for an 8-man racing crew in the Tour Across America. The cycling team won the race from Ocean Side, California to Annapolis, Maryland. They rode over 3000 miles in 5 days, 21 hours, and 58 minutes, raising $600,000 for the Fallen Heroes Fund.

“Once you ride, you get it. You can’t explain it to someone who doesn’t ride. For the time that you’re on the bike, you can put all that other stuff behind you.”

Andy has taken on many tasks to help Trailnet, including painting road markings for rides, driving SAG vehicles, and leading group rides. “As a group leader, you’re sometimes with people who haven’t ridden a bike in twenty years. You get to take them from zero to completing twenty plus miles,” he says.

The many ways that Andy Mayberry helps Trailnet have sometimes meant that he spends less time on a bike himself. “The more I’ve gotten involved, the more I am not on the bike,” he explains. “The satisfaction I get is to see the smiles on peoples’ faces when they come in, and I don’t care if the people know what I do at all.”

 

 

Movers & Shakers: Connecting St. Louis

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Join Trailnet for the unveiling of its bold vision for connecting St. Louis!

Movers & Shakers, our biggest fundraiser of the year, will feature cocktails, dinner, a silent auction, and keynote speaker Brian Payne, founder of the Indianapolis Cultural Trail.

For information about helping to sponsor this event, view our sponsorship packet.

For individual tickets, click here.

 

Trailnet volunteers rock, and may have counted you in September

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Did you happen to walk or bike past a suspicious person with a clipboard in early September? Were they looking at you and fastidiously scribbling mysterious information? Not to worry! That was likely one of our remarkable volunteers recording data on bicycle and pedestrian activity.

Trailnet, with support from Great Rivers Greenway, participated in the National Bicycle and Pedestrian Documentation (NBPD) Project for the fifth consecutive year. By continuing to collect data each year, we can show changes in bicycling and pedestrian activity in St. Louis.

On September 13 and 14, Trailnet coordinated 122 volunteers to perform counts at 71 different locations across the City of St. Louis, St. Louis County, and St. Charles County.  This year saw a 44 percent increase in volunteer participation, accounting for 244 hours of volunteer service.

A lack of documentation of cyclists and pedestrians makes it difficult to measure the positive benefits of investments in these modes of transportation. The NBPD sets detailed standards and guidelines and provides tools for performing bicycle and pedestrian counts and surveys. This allows for a uniform method of accounting for walkers and cyclists across the country.

Locations for the counts are determined by a collaboration between Trailnet, Great Rivers Greenways (GRG), and the Gateway Bike Plan Working Group. The primary purpose is to find out how many people are walking or biking for transportation, although all pedestrians and cyclists are counted. All counts are performed on streets, even if there is an adjacent trail.

Trailnet compiles the data and shares it with GRG as well as regional governments, planning agencies, and key partners in the Gateway Bike Plan Working Group. The information is used to inform projects and educational efforts. It helps our advocacy in the region by providing data to lobby for better conditions and makes the case for advancing funding in infrastructure by local and national government agencies.  We would like to thank all of those who volunteered for their time. Stay tuned for the results!

Bike Ped Counts

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We need YOU to help us count people walking and biking at locations throughout St. Louis City, St. Louis County, and St. Charles County. Volunteers commit to using a pen and paper to count at one street location from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. on Tuesday, September 13, Wednesday, September 14, or both days. In case of rain, counts will be done the following week on September 20 and 21.

The Counts help to paint a more complete picture of where people are using walking and biking routes and where planning for new routes is needed. Bring a lawn chair and get comfortable as you help make St. Louis an even better place to walk and bicycle!

Click here for more information. To sign up as a counting volunteer, click here.

All volunteers who submit a completed counting form are eligible to win an Apple iPad!

Bike Ped Counts

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We need YOU to help us count people walking and biking at locations throughout St. Louis City, St. Louis County, and St. Charles County. Volunteers commit to using a pen and paper to count at one street location from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. on Tuesday, September 13, Wednesday, September 14, or both days. In case of rain, counts will be done the following week on September 20 and 21.

The Counts help to paint a more complete picture of where people are using walking and biking routes and where planning for new routes is needed. Bring a lawn chair and get comfortable as you help make St. Louis an even better place to walk and bicycle!

Click here for more information. To sign up as a counting volunteer, click here.

All volunteers who submit a completed counting form are eligible to win an Apple iPad!

 

September Trailnet Champion Stewart Drolet

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StewartTNSignIf you look up the word “sag” in Webster’s dictionary, you will find this definition: “to hang down in the middle especially because of weight or weakness.” That definition might apply to some bicyclists, but for most, the word is an acronym for Support And Gear. Trailnet can thank Stewart Drolet for providing some of our most reliable and versatile SAG services.

His work with Trailnet is not the first time that Stewart has taken his mechanical skills on the road. After owning a bike shop in his hometown of O’Fallon, Illinois from 1994 through 2004, he started a traveling bike repair service, working out of a 16-foot step van. He describes one of his successful forays into mobile bike repair:

“I got together with a guy in St. Louis who put the word out to all of the tenants in his apartment building – I worked on the bikes all day and when people got home, their bikes were ready to go,” Stewart said. “I really liked that but eventually the truck died.”

In his current job, Stewart works on airplanes instead of bikes, but he continues to get his bike “fix” through his work as a Bicycle Fun Club SAG driver.

2014 Route 66 Edwardsville“I really enjoy all of the people, I like being outside and I love fixing things,” Stuart said. “I like being able to see something that’s broken work again. We get a lot of people that are doing 100 miles for the first time because they have the support. Lots of these folks just wouldn’t feel confident doing it on their own.”

Many bicyclists that participate in these rides may not realize the commitment of time and energy given by the SAG drivers. “I usually leave the house by 5 a.m. to start putting water out so it’s ready for the early riders,” Stewart said. “I bring my own tools and repair stand. Between doing repairs, moving supplies around, and picking up riders, you keep really busy all day. Even though SAG support usually ends at 3 p.m., you still have to collect everything, so you may not finish until six in the evening.”

The repairs Stewart makes range from airing up tires, to adjusting brakes and derailleurs. His most complicated fix was completely rebuilding a rider’s wheel that had become “untensioned” within a few miles of the start. His most frequent task is fixing flat tires.

“I had a group come in who had three flats on the same tire between downtown and the Chain of Rocks Bridge,” he said. “When I checked it out, I found a wire stuck in the tire. They were surprised that they kept getting flats with such a ‘small hole.’”

In addition to his mechanical expertise, Stewart uses his skills as a photographer to benefit Trailnet. He frequently volunteers his time taking photos at Trailnet events, and occasionally takes photos on the rides. Stewart also does his part to spread the word about Trailnet on the Illinois side of the river. He lets his friends and co-workers know about Trailnet events and encourages them to go on the rides.

As for himself, Stewart said he has too many work and family obligations to bike these days. But he remembers always being into bikes, and introduced his daughter to biking when she was an infant.

“When I had the bicycle shop, my daughter came to work with me,” he said. “I would pull her to work in my bike trailer and take her on any errands that I had.”

Stewart believes that encouraging more kids to bicycle should be a focus for Trailnet. He was pleased to hear that Trailnet has “Bike Weeks” planned at three area schools this fall: two in Kirkwood and one in south St. Louis. Stewart said he’s happy his daughter still rides a bicycle and hopes that Trailnet will be able to “teach more kids about bike safety and give them opportunities to ride – do outreach to more schools and maybe even provide loaner bikes. If kids got a chance to ride, maybe they would ask for a bike for Christmas instead of a video game.”

 

Slow Roll to Big Muddy Blues Festival

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BigMuddyAll of the cool folks will be biking to the Landing for this year’s Big Muddy Blues Festival.

Meet at Big Daddy’s in Soulard at 1 p.m. on Saturday for a drink, then enjoy a relaxed roll to the festival. Trailnet will also be hosting a free bike valet from 3 to 11 p.m (Saturday only). Simply park your bicycle and go enjoy some of the best blues on the planet!

Share the Street Party

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RideTheRivers_RegistrationBanner

Save the date Saturday, August 13, for one of Trailnet’s biggest fundraisers of the year, held alongside our most famous bicycle ride. The Ride the Rivers Century and Share the Street Party are an opportunity for the dynamic St. Louis population to come together downtown and celebrate art, music, food, craft beer, and active living.

August 13 from 1 to 6 p.m. is your chance to party for a cause. Don’t miss out on live music with the South City Troubadours, a high-energy 3/4-mile Dance Walk along shaded sidewalks, delicious food from Urban Eats, at least 9 craft beer vendors, and art and craft vendors. We’ll also have a chalk-art balance bike course for kids and a community ride with one of our favorite guides, Harold Karabell. Most importantly, this party helps us make it easier for everyone to get from place to place. Your support helps Trailnet push for better walking and biking policies, plan for safer streets, and enable and empower people to travel by foot or by bike. So save the date and stay tuned!

RtR_Design_TEEVolunteer! Our party and fundraiser draws thousands of people downtown. You can join the fun and help with set-up, registration, merchandise, advocacy or membership, bike valet, refreshments, our bike balance course, or tear-down. Share the Street volunteers are hugely appreciated and get a free shirt (pictured) and drink ticket.

Click here to see all the opportunities. Questions? Contact Marcia Quint at 314-436-1324 ext. 116 or marcia@trailnet.org.

Sponsored by Missouri American Water,  Ballpark Hilton and Big Shark Bicycle Company

Need more information? Check out our Frequently asked Questions

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We will be featuring craft beers from the following breweries:

Alpha Brewing Schlafly Brewing Morgan Street Brewing
Urban Chestnut Civil Life Old Bakery Brewing
O’Fallon Brewing Standard Brewing Main Street Brewing
Ferguson Brewing Square One Brewery http://excelbottling.com/beer/