Keep those wheels rolling through the cold! Bike, walk, or take transit to work and log your miles on shiftyourcommute.com. The program will keep track of your car-free trips, calories burned, and carbon emissions saved. Commuters who log the most car-free miles during the month of February will be entered to win some rad Trailnet gear.
This year also brings the Winter Limbo competition. Those who log biking commutes on the coldest day(s) of the winter will be entered to win a long sleeve jersey from Retro Image Apparel.
Tell your friends and colleagues and help us build a community around active lifestyles!
Help make sure that Congress doesn’t cut the Transportation Alternatives Program (TAP) funding in the next transportation bill. TAP helps local communities build sidewalks, crosswalks, bike lanes, trails and more. TAP funding supports Safe Routes to School initiatives throughout St. Louis City and County.
Without TAP, hundreds of millions of dollars used to improve streets for walking and biking would evaporate. Some of these funds have been used to support youth programs like Trailnet’s “Steps in the Right Direction” at Froebel Literacy Academy to help make walking and biking a way of life in St. Louis.
Please follow the link below to ask Senators Roy Blunt and Senator Claire McCaskill to support bill S. 705, the Transportation Alternatives Program Improvement Act. Thank you for supporting legislation that will keep our youth walking and biking safely.
While the conditions for single track riding in Lost Valley and Klondike Park were too spongy, the Hamburg and Katy Trails utilizing the Great Rivers Greenway connector were almost ideal. For mid-January, the weather seemed more like spring. The day started out in the low 40s with bright sunshine. Our partner, Missouri Department of Conservation, hosted the start/finish at the Weldon Spring Conservation Area maintenance facility near Highway 94.
At 9:00 a.m., 60 cyclists were ready to roll and begin their 14-mile loop. With temperatures unseasonably warm, the frozen ground thawed and was slightly soggy. Though soggy, the two trails served as great routes for a pleasant ride. Cyclists returned smiling and slightly speckled with white limestone mud. After resting briefly and getting some nourishment, cyclists who made the loop in less than 2 hours jumped back on for another go-around.
While the cyclists were out, Trailnet’s new Executive Director, Ralph Pfremmer, prepared chili for the after-party. Ralph was also the day’s announcer, calling out some of the faster or muddier cyclists. By noon most of the cyclists had returned from one, two, or three laps of the course and were ready for chili with all the fixings.
They were also treated to cold beer from O’Fallon Brewery. St. Charles County Parks, another Epic partner, prepared handmade plaques from sections of local cedar trees for all cyclists– a cool reward for finishing a fun ride! By 2:00 p.m., temperatures were in the low 60s and cyclists ended the day with their fill of food and drink at the after-party.
Trailnet’s Manager of Policy and Advocacy, Rhonda Smythe with Alderman Scott Ogilvie, and Trailnet’s Executive Director, Ralph Pfremmer
An update to St. Louis City’s Complete Streets policy passed on January 30, 2015 with unanimous support from the Board of Aldermen. Every aspect of our lives are impacted by the way our streets are designed and built. The comprehensive and collaborative approach laid out in this bill will have significant impacts on the quality of life for St. Louisans.
Major updates include:
A new framework for collaboration between City departments will be developed. The Departments of Health, Parks and Recreation, and Office of the Disabled will now have a formal seat at the table for the planning and implementation of future transportation projects. This means that air quality, public health, public safety, ADA improvements, and safe connections to major destinations will have a higher priority than in years past.
Street design standards will be updated to reflect the most current best practices, guidelines, and recommendations issued by the USDOT. This means no more bike lanes in gutters and appropriate pedestrian signals!
A targeted, data-driven approach to high crash intersections and corridors with prioritized improvements. Trailnet recently partnered with OpenDataSTL and Walker Hamilton to create an interactive map of bicycle and pedestrian crashes at http://bike-ped.confluencecity.com/. Tools like this enable data-driven decision making.
Performance measures and benchmarks will be identified and assessed annually.
Alderman Ogilvie sponsored this important piece of legislation and continues to be a strong advocate for pedestrians, bicyclists, and people with disabilities. Many partners joined Trailnet in advocating for the Complete Streets update, including Paraquad, American Heart Association, AARP, YMCA, and numerous neighborhood advocates. Our deep and sincere thanks for the valuable work they do to support a more livable St. Louis!
For more information on Complete Streets, click here.
Whether pedaling through neighborhoods with local corner shops and cafes, along the muddy Mississippi on the Riverfront and MCT Trails, or around the beautiful Queeny, Tower Grove, and Creve Coeur parks, bicycling enriches your day-to-day experiences. On a bike, you behold every thread connecting the vibrant fabric of our region. Spokes have been spinning since the early 19th century. Today, more people are choosing to get around by bike, improving their health, the environment, and creating more livable communities. From classic to concept, Trailnet’s 2015 Bike Expo celebrates the tradition and experience of bicycling! All are invited to attend the largest and oldest Bike Expo in the Midwest. Trailnet’s 2015 Bike Expo includes something for everyone with a classic bike show, swap meet, wheel & deal, fashion show, and more. We’ve rented all 40,000 feet of expo space at the Gateway Center to give you an event that will not soon be forgotten.
Tickets are $5 (free for children 10 and under) and can be purchased online or at the event. Online registrants will be allowed to enter 30 minutes prior to door opening to the general public and will have the first look at all of the merchandise and a better chance of winning Wheel & Deal prizes.
Click here to preregister online. Online registration closes on Friday, January 23 at 3:00 p.m.
Donate and Celebrate
Spread good cheer and make a difference this holiday season! Trailnet and BWorks are partnering for a great cause and opportunity. Donate a bike or bike parts and receive free entry to Trailnet’s 2015 Bike Expo. Designated drop-off locations at BWorks and 11 stores throughout the region provide donors with tickets to register online or to present at the Bike Expo for free entry to the event. Donated bikes and parts support BWorks and their Earn-A-Bike program. This local program gives kids the chance to earn a free bike while they learn about bicycle safety and maintenance.
Bike Expo Activities
Classic Bike Show Attendees are invited to enter their retro bikes in the Classic Bike Show. For $5 per bike, you can display your classic bicycles and compete for 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place trophies in a number of categories:
Registration is from 10:00 a.m. to noon.
BWorks Mini Tutorials These mini tutorials are selections from BWorks’ Earn-A-Bike curriculum. Students enrolled in Earn-A-Bike participate in more extensive hands-on versions of these classes that allow them to actively participate and apply the concepts being taught.
Fix-A-Flat Mini Tutorial: 1:00 – 1:30 p.m. and 2:30 – 3:00 p.m. Watch and listen as BWorks volunteers take you through the process of fixing a flat tire. Learn about the simple tools needed to change a flat, causes of flat tires, and ways to prevent flats on future rides.
Names of Bike Parts Mini Tutorial: 1:30 – 2:00 p.m. and 3:00 – 3:30 p.m. Recognizing the parts of your bicycle increases your understanding of how this wonderful machine works and can help you to diagnose problems. BWorks volunteers will take you through all of the parts of a bicycle so you can have the know-how to talk about your favorite ride.
Brake Adjustments Mini Tutorial: 2:00 – 2:30 p.m. and 3:30 – 4:00 p.m. Riding a bike without brakes is dangerous and riding with improperly adjusted brakes is just as scary. Learn how to make simple brake adjustments so that you have all the stopping power you need.
Swap Meet This year’s Bike Expo will feature everything and anything BIKES for your buying, selling, and trading pleasure.
Bike Corral Don’t have enough parts to warrant renting a booth? Are you ready to part with that classic bike in your garage? Do you have some old wheels or a frame that have since been upgraded?
Bring in your items to sell at the Bike Corral! Our friendly staff will sell your items for you in a secure area to Bike Expo attendees. To enter an item (bicycle, 2’x2′ box of parts, frame, wheel set, etc.) just fill out the form and submit to staff. Attendees looking to buy can then peruse the corral and make an offer. If accepted, we do all the financial transactions and notify you if your items sell.
Wheel & Deal Press your luck and participate in Wheel & Deal for a chance to win some awesome prizes donated by Bike Expo vendors. The format will be along the lines of the TV game show “Let’s Make A Deal” with our new Executive Director Ralph Pfremmer as our celebrity MC.
Fashion Show Models rocking the latest trends in bike gear will be looking fierce and having fun at the Bike Expo Fashion Show. Fashion selection provided by shops from the St. Louis region!
Live Music Enjoy the sweet sounds of South City Troubadors.
Kid’s Corner Fun for the WHOLE family – this year’s Bike Expo will once again include a Kid’s Corner with a rock climbing wall, bounce house, and MORE.
Tire & Tube Recycling Bring in your old tires and tubes and Trailnet will recycle them for you. Each tire and/or two tubes gives you an entry form for an exclusive drawing.
Trailnet’s Bike Expo includes a variety of vendors to peruse for the latest bike programs, events, groups, gear, and trinkets. Check out the vendor list here.
Biking Weather permitting, Andy Heaslet will lead a group ride departing Park Avenue Coffee downtown at 9:00 a.m. Shuttle Service Trailnet will provide free shuttle service between the Fairview Heights MetroLink station and the Gateway Center beginning at 10:00 a.m. and continuing until 4:00 p.m. Visit MetroLink’s website for train schedules to the Fairview Heights station. Parking There is plenty of free parking available surrounding the Gateway Center.
The Midwest Bicycle Expo and Swap Meet was conceived in 2001 by Don Humphreys, the president of The Touring Cyclist. He offered warehouse space in Bridgeton to the St. Louis Regional Bicycle Federation (Bike Fed) for a fundraising swap meet. His generous offer meant the Bike Fed could set prices for booths or displays and keep all the proceeds. The first Swap was cold and the warehouse didn’t have much heat or light, but 300 people and a couple dozen booth vendors showed, scored deals, and got stoked about the upcoming ride season. Everyone agreed it should be repeated. The avid cyclists at THF Realty provided a bigger space in 2002. They had a warehouse with no tenants in the Chesterfield Valley. Thanks to the persuasive powers of Bike Fed Swap manager Carrie Zukoski, THF donated the cavernous space. Unfortunately there were only three work lights, no bathrooms, plumbing or heating, and there were only a few electrical outlets. Carrie rented lights, portapotties, a sound system, a generator, tables, and chairs. Vendors were allowed to set up the day before the event – which necessitated overnight security for the bikes. The first “night-before” bike watch set the standard for years to come. It’s believed the sport of cyclotubing was invented that night, given that a hundred bikes were just sitting there in a space the size of several football fields. Limping, bruised volunteers staffed the Bike Swap that year. A tradition of poor weather conditions was beginning to emerge as the morning of the second event saw iced over roads with several inches of snow atop that. Snowplows weren’t even operating, so many roads, including highways, were essentially impassable. Yet several hundred people braved it, had a great time, tested out bikes, and planning for the warm weather to come. For year three, Summit Realty, another local company run by avid cyclists, offered a vacant big box store in Maplewood. The space was heated, lit, and had parking but because the building had been vacant for quite a few years, the bathrooms were “unreliable” and parts of the floor had buckled underneath the leaking roof. The night before the Swap, volunteer security staff quite possibly set an indoor speed record using a racing tricycle on the slick floor, slaloming around columns. Shopping carts, it turns out, can haul passengers just fine behind a bike. Bruised volunteers welcomed more than 800 cyclists and 60 vendors the next morning. It was a turning point for the Swap Meet – proving it could be a successful event with momentum for years to come. This was also the debut of the Bike Corral and the Classic Bike Show, both of which are now standard features at the Swap. The night before the Swap, volunteer security staff quite possibly set an indoor speed record using a racing tricycle on the slick floor, slaloming around columns. Shopping carts, it turns out, can haul passengers just fine behind a bike. Bruised volunteers welcomed more than 800 cyclists and 60 vendors the next morning. It was a turning point for the Swap Meet – proving it could be a successful event with momentum for years to come. For the next two years, Summit lent its space and the Swap Meet continued to grow. In 2006 Carrie retired and a replacement could not be found in time to hold the event that year. Due to the Swap’s success, the Bike Fed decided to look for convention space where bathrooms, security, and heat would be available. The Gateway Convention Center in Collinsville was chosen for 2007. It is a great facility, worthy of expanding to attract bike manufacturers and distributors from around the region. In 2010 Trailnet joined with Bike Fed to jointly sponsor the Swap. In 2012 Trailnet took sole responsibility for producing the event. From 2001 to the present day, this is an event that is not to be missed. It is THE event to get you thinking about warm weather and getting out onto the open road.
Volunteer at Trailnet’s 2015 Bike Expo! The perks for volunteering are awesome- exclusive t-shirt, free meal, and free early entry to the even! There are a variety of positions available from cashier to cowboy. See the volunteer web page for a complete list.
New Directors of Transportation in City and County
St. Louis news of late has been filled with death, tragedy and crime. We know that’s not the entire story. There is a lot of positive activity happening below the surface of the news cycle. St. Louis has become an entrepreneurial hub. Our region has talented, creative, and energetic people working every day to create a vibrant, active region. Organizations and agencies are collaborating at an increasing rate. Together, we are focusing our collective activities towards the same targeted outcomes – economic inclusion, talent attraction, and increasing transportation options.
We are in a moment of great opportunity with significant changes in City and County staff. County Executive Stenger is working to fill high-level positions in his administration, and the selections he makes will shape the future of the region. Mayor Slay announced this week a new Chief of Staff, Deputy Chief of Staff, and Director of Operations. We applaud his decision to promote the next generation to positions of power. They know better than many which assets will bring new residents and businesses to our region.
Both City and County are working to fill vacant Director of Transportation positions. The importance of placing the right people into these positions cannot be overstated, as they will determine how streets are designed throughout the region and who can safely use them. The Directors of Transportation can choose to continue on the current path of car-centric road design or choose to diversify transportation options. They can help make St. Louis a more livable region with a North-South Metrolink line, protected bike lanes the whole family can ride, and pedestrian crossings that accommodate all people regardless of age or ability.
We are counting on our leaders to choose wisely, selecting staff who are innovative, with a collaborative and transparent nature, and are willing to work hand-in-hand with private and public businesses for the betterment of the region. We need a 21st century vision and plan for the St. Louis we want to become, and stand ready to support our leaders and put in the work to take the region to the next level.
As we plan for our future, we should always focus our energies towards principles that ensure community advancement. We must collaborate, be inclusive, and promote transparency to meet our region’s highest potential. Together, our region can lead in fostering a healthy, active community where walking, biking, and public transit are a part of our daily lives.
Trailnet’s Bike Expo includes a variety of vendors to peruse for the latest bike programs, events, groups, gear, and trinkets. Check out the list below! Vendor booths are still available, register today.
The day started out chilly with temperatures in the upper 30s for our final road ride of the season. The cold air reacted with the warmer river water to create some foggy conditions near the Mississippi and Missouri rivers. The fog moved in after registration opened at 7:30 and lingered for another hour, seemingly clearing from the top down. The effect created some beautiful and eerie scenery.
It was a slow start Sunday morning with most cyclists opting to start after the sun was brightly shining overhead. The routes were hilly but short compared to other rides this season. The long route traversed many rolling hills, with riders visiting historic Augusta twice in their 31-mile journey. As the temperatures climbed to the 60s, the bright sun and colorful autumn leaves created a perfect fall ride.
Riders enjoyed sampling wines from Sugar Creek, Noboleis and The Yellow Farmhouse along with the host winery, Chandler Hill. By 11:00 a.m. Chandler Hill Winery was hopping with crowds of people spending a fantastic fall day at the vineyards. All 80 riders had a great time.
An unseasonably warm day welcomed Kirkwood residents young and old to the Farmers’ Market in Downtown Kirkwood. The blue skies and pleasant fall breeze made for prime pumpkin patch and harvest market perusing and a perfect day for a Pop-up Plaza on Argonne Drive.
Early Saturday morning Trailnet staff and volunteers, including City Councilwoman Nancy Luetzow and her husband Mark, constructed makeshift infrastructure for the Pop-up Plaza. Using chalk paint, they stenciled traffic-calming apples on the streets in the area surrounding the plaza. Reflective duct tape and chalk paint were used to design crosswalks on Argonne. Kirkwood resident Mary Hanson later expressed her appreciation: “I love this crosswalk. It makes cars really kind of stop and think that there are pedestrians here and it gives you a safe place to cross.” Hay bales on either side of the plaza acted as bulb-outs – narrowing the traffic, slowing speeds, and protecting the pedestrian space.
The Pop-up Plaza served as an inviting atmosphere for residents to learn about and provide feedback on Kirkwood’s Pedestrian and Bicycle Master Plan. Planning Manager Marielle Brown and Trailnet staff were on site for questions and to further explain the elements of a bikeable, walkable community. Enthusiastic volunteers in reflective vests welcomed residents and joined them in examining large maps of Kirkwood to identify walking and biking routes and areas of concern. Resident Jennifer Pangborn Dolde explained her concerns: “I think the two big things to improve biking and walking in Kirkwood is connectivity and the speeds of vehicles.” Planning Advisory Committee members David Eagleton and Robert Trottman volunteered at the event, sharing their involvement and discussing the Master Plan with attendees. Residents also participated in the Plan Review by selecting infrastructure options they prefer for Kirkwood.
Trailnet has enjoyed working with Kirkwood since January of 2014, leading a series of meetings with the Planning Advisory Committee to develop Kirkwood’s Pedestrian and Bicycle Master Plan. The lively gathering and chatter among residents at the event revealed the community’s enthusiasm and desire to improve walkability and bikeability in the Kirkwood area. Nathan Leming, a volunteer at the event, recognized the impact stating “The downtown area is the center of the community. If you make the community more bikeable and walkable, you’ll see more people down here. There wouldn’t be as much traffic.”
Kirkwood residents are not only enthusiastic but great supporters of their community. Kirkwood resident, Jennifer Pangborn Dolde, expressed “We love the feel of community you get, just being around it, it’s the aura, it’s the people . . . We have this great downtown that draws people from all over the city.” Showing his support, Mayor of Kirkwood Arthur J. McDonnell visited with event attendees discussing the Master Plan and asking little ones about their Halloween festivities. Event volunteer and Planning Advisory Committee member, James Myers, shared “I’ve lived in Kirkwood for 12 years. It feels like a real town, it’s really close-knit.”
The input and presence of the community made Kirkwood’s Plan Review and Pop-up Plaza a success. Proactive residents showed interest in making our vision a reality in Kirkwood with valuable feedback and a desire to get involved. We hope to finalize the Pedestrian and Bicycle Master Plan in December 2014. For additional information and updates on the Master Plan: http://trailnet.org/work/transportation-planning/communities/kirkwood/