Trailnet’s initial group of 12 Walk Bike Ambassadors are now trained advocates! Their day-long training on January 23 featured a variety of activities and speakers, including St. Louis Alderman Christine Ingrassia and St. Louis County Councilor Pat Dolan, who provided their views on effective advocacy. Richard VonGlahn of Missouri Jobs With Justice presented a two-hour “empowerment training,” outlining key elements of organizing people and campaigns.
The Ambassadors are developing their plans for the year, which will focus on at least one of Trailnet’s priority campaign issues. They will work in their respective communities to build relationships with key leaders and organize residents who are supportive of Trailnet’s work.
Bicycle Fun Club (BFC) Rides and Events: great volunteers assist before each ride by helping staff set up tables and tents, sell tickets, work registration, sell memberships, hand out maps and refreshments, answer general questions, and clean up. BFC volunteers ride free at the close of registration AND receive a free ride voucher for a regularly priced BFC ride of their choice!
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.
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.
Trailnet’s 10th Ride the Rivers Century was another outstanding success. More than 480 participants admired the scenic confluence of the Illinois and Mississippi rivers at the new event location in beautiful Pere Marquette State Park. We had 46 amazing volunteers help assemble ride packets, set up registration, welcome riders at rest stops all along the route, and assist with teardown.
Set-up began before sunrise at the Marina Pavilion where riders picked up their packets and sipped hot chocolate and coffee supplied by Mississippi Mud Coffee Roasters. Morning temperatures were in the upper 50s but the sky was clear and the sun was bright.
With the new location, riders boarded the Brussels Ferry in the first mile and traversed the challenging hills of Calhoun County. The new location also offered a metric century option that crossed the eastern section of St. Charles County and rejoined the full “traditional” century after crossing the Clark Bridge into Alton, Illinois.
At the Old Chain of Rocks Bridge, riders enjoyed buffet-style lunch and entertainment provided by Big Chief and the Smoke Signals. Riders faced their biggest challenge of the day along the Mississippi River Road – a 20mph headwind. This obstacle entitled riders to bragging rights at the finish and a much-deserved celebration.
At the after-party, hungry riders were in for a treat. Riders enjoyed a fresh fish dinner courtesy of master fish fryer Joe Beck. Beer was provided by Morgan Street Brewery and Noe & Diekemper entertained with live music. Dropping their wristband tabs in bins at each of the four rest stops, riders listened as winners were announced for prizes (two $100 gift certificates and two $125 entries to the Southern Illinois Fat Tire Festival) from our shop sponsor Bike Surgeon. As dusk approached, the day wrapped up welcoming the final riders to the party.
FEATURES: Enjoy the fall apple harvest on this pleasant ride in the countryside. Stick around afterwards to enjoy BBQ and beer available for purchase. Order a fresh baked pie from Mills Apple Farm by calling 618.887.4732 for pick-up after the ride.
Beautiful Pere Marquette Park is our start location this year. Choose from a traditional or a metric century – two of the best rides in the Midwest. The traditional century takes in two states, six counties, five trails, three rivers, two bridges, two ferries, and one arch. Registration fee includes century socks or patch, a filling lunch, SAG support, and food and beverages at all rest stops. After the ride, stay for music, food, and drink (available for purchase).
Bike Shop Sponsor
Funded, in part, by
100 km (62 miles)
Flat to rolling hills, some big hills
Costs and Registration
Through April 15 – $50
April 16 through July 31 – $60
August 1 through September 1 – $70
After September 1 and day of ride – $75.
Registration fee includes Century socks or patch, a filling lunch, and food and beverages at all rest stops.
Preregister online (closes September 17th) here.
Day of ride registration is from 6:30 to 8:00 a.m.
START: Pere Marquette State Park
DIRECTIONS: From Alton, take Illinois Route 100/ Great River Rd. through Grafton and go 6 miles to the park. Park in the marina lot on the left (river side) and cross the road to the ride start.
PERE MARQUETTE LODGE: rooms are sold out for Friday, September 19 and Sunday, September 21; a limited number of rooms may still be available for Saturday, September 20. Camping arrangements can also be made through the Lodge. Click here or call 618.786.2331 for information and reservations.
GRAFTON AREA LODGING: Rubel Hotel (618.786.2315)
Grafton Inn (618.786.2222)
ALTON AREA LODGING: Super 8 Alton (618.465.8885)
Best Western Plus Parkway Hotel (618.433.9900) Holiday Inn Alton (800.465.4329)
Comfort Inn (618.465.9999)
Be a part of the excitement! Volunteer opportunities include helping at Pere Marquette to set-up and register riders; providing food, drinks and encouragement at rest stops along the route; helping at the after-ride celebration and cleaning up. We could not make this great event happen without our terrific volunteers. Click here and scroll down to 9/21/2014 for volunteer options.
FEATURES: Take the Regatta ride only, ride-to-the-ride on Saturday, camp Saturday night, or do all three. Campers will enjoy dinner and live music by the campfire and Sunday breakfast. BBQ and drinks will be available for purchase after the ride.
ROUTES: 67, 40, 33 miles; 50 or 30 mile ride-to-the-ride Saturday is optional
PRICE: Online – $8 member, $13 nonmember, $3 child. Day of ride – $10 member, $15 nonmember, $3 child.
Visit trailnet.org for ride-to-the-ride and camping pricing.
START: Dam West Recreation Area
DIRECTIONS: From St. Louis, go east on I-64. Take exit 19B and follow US 50 to Carlyle. At Hwy 127 turn left/north, go .2 mile and turn right onto William Rd. Follow the signs to the parking area by the Visitor Center.