Trailnet introduced their new business membership program at an event on Tuesday, February 24 at the Venture Cafe on the Cortex campus. This invitation-only event served as a great opportunity to share Trailnet’s 2015 plans, to launch Trailnet’s Business Membership Program, and to meet Trailnet’s new executive director, Ralph Pfremmer.
The attendees were board members, community partners, donors, and prospective business members who spent most of the evening networking and enjoying food and drinks. The room was abuzz with the latest in transportation news and Trailnet’s vision to make walking and biking a way of life in St. Louis.
As part of the event, Ralph Pfremmer and Jennifer Allen, Director of Strategic Initiatives, presented research on the economic impact protected bikeways and improved walking infrastructure can have on a community. They connected this data to the introduction of Trailnet’s Business Membership Program and how, in becoming a member, businesses can invest in Trailnet’s vision for better walking and biking infrastructure that supports a prosperous, healthy region.
Executive Director Ralph Pfremmer summed up the evening this way: “In a perfect world, collaboration is abundant, everyone is included, and transparency is the standard. The Trailnet business member understands that together we can foster a quality of life that supports a prosperous, healthy region.”
Confluence Business Advisors, Ron Tanner and Dave Fingerhut, partners
Collaborate with us
As we work to make walking and biking a way of life in our region, it is critical that we have the resources and support to bring about innovative and positive change in our community. Your business membership provides for us the support we need to be visionary and collaborative leaders for progress. Click here for business membership levels and benefits. For more information contact Kay Barnes, Director of Development – email@example.com, 314.436.1324 x 104
Host a DIY Bike to Work Day Station at your workplace on National Bike to Work Day, Friday, May 15. Join Trailnet in counting 500 cyclists throughout the STL area. We will help promote your station and your business!
How it works:
Recruit co-workers to run the station with you.
Decide what breakfast items you will provide. If your workplace’s budget allows, these items may be purchased, or donated by partner businesses.
Once you have an idea of who will run the station and what breakfast items will be provided, fill out the DIY Station form, found here. Trailnet will follow up with you to arrange for educational materials to be displayed at your station.
Make a plan to promote Bike to Work Day through your workplace’s employee newsletter, email, flyers in the breakroom, and social media (don’t forget, Trailnet will be promoting your station too, so someone from outside your workplace might stop by).
If your workplace doesn’t have one already, create a team on ShiftYourCommute.com. Co-workers can join your company’s team and log their car-free miles. On Bike to Work Day, everyone who logs their car-free commute is eligible to win prizes!
Provide support and encouragement for your co-workers leading up to Bike to Work Day. Some ideas include:
Route mapping – Provide links or maps in your company-wide newsletter or break room featuring bike-friendly routes. If you are a regular bike commuter, list your favorite streets, shortcuts, and parks to ride through.
Bike mentors – Pair novice cyclists with experienced bike commuters who can accompany them on their first ride to work.
Bike trains – Identify a handful of meeting locations to “pick up” fellow bike commuters on the way to work. Designate an experienced commuter to lead the group from each spot, ending at your workplace’s Bike to Work Day station.
On Bike to Work Day, make sure to track the number of people who visit your station (don’t forget to count yourself and any colleagues who help run the station), and send your final tally to firstname.lastname@example.org by Monday, May 18.
Thank your volunteers, pat yourselves on the back, and start thinking of ideas for next year. Share your successes through your company’s social media, employee newsletter, and partners. Share the experience with Trailnet and send any photos or quotes to email@example.com.
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.
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/
A real adventure! Trailnet’s Journey Across Missouri began on Monday, September 30 with a train ride from St. Louis to Kansas City. Spirits were high and the trip to Kansas City passed by quickly with a car of lively riders making acquaintances and sharing their excitement. Upon arriving in Kansas City, riders immediately got on their bikes for a short four-mile ride to the Kansas state line to mark the start of their Journey Across Missouri. Afterwards, riders cruised on a scenic ride along the Missouri River to the Monday night campsite.
The kickoff party Monday night was organized by BikeWalkKC and held at Harry’s Country Club. Delicious food and drinks were consumed as riders learned about BikeWalkKC and Kansas City.
The first day of riding was beautiful, but challenging. Riders made their way to Higginsville, a 67-mile trek with 3,000 feet in elevation change. Along the way, riders visited the Harry S. Truman Library and Museum in Independence and several Civil War sites before racking their bikes for the day. For dinner, the Higginsville Rotary Club provided a grand feast of rib-eye steak sandwiches with all the fixins’ and live entertainment. Riders set up camp in Fairground Park.
Wednesday morning started off with advancing thunderstorms. A few riders left before the rain and some waited and watched, however most everyone experienced a soggy ride. Seeking shelter from the rain, riders were treated to lunch at Arrow Rock in the historic J. Huston Tavern. Arriving in Booneville, riders looked forward to a savory dinner at Maggie’s Bar and Grill. A smoked pork barbecue buffet was served in a private upstairs dining room. The campsite that night was at Fredrick Kemper Park where the Boonslick Heartland YMCA provided hot showers. Unfortunately, the forecast predicted strong thunderstorms for Wednesday night. The YMCA graciously offered their gym for a night of unconventional camping. Many cyclists took advantage of this offer to stay dry.
Rain was an integral part of the ride on Thursday. Riders battled bouts of heavy rain on the scenic and hilly ride to Jefferson City. Campsite plans were altered due to the severe thunderstorms. Thankfully, the Jefferson City Parks and Recreation extended their multi-purpose room in the Ice Arena for riders’ use to stay dry that night. Dinner was held at Bones Restaurant and Lounge in downtown Jefferson City. It was a scrumptious meal with chicken and beef options. After dinner, riders were spooked at the famous “haunted” tour of the old Missouri State Penitentiary.
By Friday morning, a cool front had moved in and the skies were clear. Riders started with a hot breakfast at the Downtown Diner then took off for a quick ride to the historic German-settled town of Hermann. With a strong tailwind, some riders made the 50-mile ride in under three hours, arriving before noon. Dinner that night was at Stone Hill Winery. Before dinner, riders enjoyed a tour of the historic winery with some of the largest underground cellars in the nation. The fun continued after dinner with riders attending the first night of the Hermann Oktoberfest, an event that lasts all month. Settling down for the night, the campsite in Hermann was in City Park.
Saturday morning began with sunny skies and very cool temperatures due to a strong northwest wind. It was another hilly ride en route to Defiance. In Defiance, riders checked out the old railroad depot town of Mokane on the Katy Trail. They also enjoyed visiting the historic Daniel Boone Home and Heritage Center. Riders camped out at Katy Bike Rental, conveniently located on the Katy Trail. Live entertainment, great food, and good times were had at the Defiance Roadhouse Saturday night. Back at the campsite, a big bonfire created a warm and reminiscent night with riders sharing their favorite moments of the 6-day adventure.
On the final day of the ride, the wind shifted from the south bringing warmer temperatures. Many riders opted to take the Katy Trail to Page Avenue Bridge, crossing the Missouri river and avoiding the rolling hills. Arriving in St. Louis, riders rode throught quiet neighborhood side streets and admired many St. Louis sites. Trailnet hosted a rest stop at the Missouri History Museum. The ride finished at Laclede’s Landing on the Mississippi River.
An after-party at the Admiral Portico welcomed riders. To celebrate the completion of their 340-mile Journey Across Missouri, riders made their way to the river for the ceremonial dip. Friends and family joined riders for the festive after-party with music by Tim Ryan Quartet, food from Sundeckers, and beer from Morgan Street Brewery.
Dutchtown Better Block is a community event that rebuilds a street or geographic area using grassroots efforts, to show the potential to create a great walkable, vibrant neighborhood center.
The Little Red Reading House, pop up bookstore featuring St. Louis City Southside independent authors, as well as many used books for sale for all ages
Panel discussions by authors NiNi Harris, J.E. Billiot, Eric Lundgren, Susan Weigand
Story telling and kids’ storytime
Chess pocket park
Beer & mead tastings
Grand Opening of new store Urban Matter
Pop up sidewalk café
Dutchtown Domestic Arts, a pop up artisan store, with merchandise from Rae Sews Art, Squaresville,
Maude’s Market, Pie Craft, and more
Completion of two-story high mural by the Screwed Arts Collective
Tree well plantings and demonstrations
Walking and biking improvements
Public and interactive art
Neighborhood-based food vendors
VAL Community Garden tours
Presentations on development possibilities for Dutchtown’s commercial corridors
Showcase of for-sale mixed use and commercial properties
Outdoor family movie, with popcorn & snow-cones, beginning at dusk
The 4700 blocks of Virginia currently contain occupied residential buildings, a mix of occupied and unoccupied business storefronts and two empty lots, one of which is slated for conversion to display native plant naturescaping. A large and well-maintained community garden and an associated large lawn are immediately adjacent in the 4700 block of Alabama.
Contact Tonya Dean,
Dutchtown South Community Corporation
(314) 352-4865 (office) • (314) 779-6251 (cell)
Get excited for the best century in the Midwest and drop by Morgan Street Brewery from 3:00 to 7:00 p.m. Enjoy the company of other riders as you peruse through your ride packet and check out large maps of the course. Trailnet staff will be available for questions and to chat about century details. Snacks provided and beer and other drinks available.
On June 21, Trailnet hosted our first ever bicycle-powered bakery tour, “Bakeries on the Rise.” The day was slightly overcast, offering a reprieve from the hot summer sun, with a slight breeze all morning. Conditions were prime for a ride– and 94 people (!) of all ages came out for this 8-mile South City ride.
We began our quest for pastries at Whisk: A Sustainable Bake Shop. Owner and baker extraordinaire Kaylen Wissinger offered up some cookie samples, as well as a little history on her Cherokee Street storefront. We then made our way through Dutchtown, across Grand, and into the South Town neighborhood to visit the Companion Earlybird Outlet. Only open on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays, this hidden gem is a great place for anyone on a budget who wants top-notch breads and pastries. From here we crested a great BIG hill (whew!) into the Tower Grove South neighborhood and then turned into Tower Grove East, where we visited the brand new Grove East Provisions and Red Fox Baking and Catering. Proprietor Barry Kinder told us all about the process behind building a wood-fired brick oven, and how Red Fox and Grove East Provisions came to enter a neighborhood cornershop partnership. Our final stop took us back to Cherokee Street, where we paid a visit to Black Bear Bakery, which is operated as a cooperative establishment.
Many riders said that we visited places they had either never heard of, or had been meaning to try for some time. We saw bike baskets and panniers filled with loaves of bread, bagels, and sweets to take home, and heard plenty of riders saying they will be back to visit these local businesses again soon!
Thank you to Great Rivers Greenway District and Enterprise Holdings Foundation who provided funding for this ride, and to everyone who came out, supported local business, and learned some new bicycling routes through the city. Special thanks also to the participating bakeries who welcomed our riders with great service and plenty of delicious treats to choose from. Life is sweet when you’re two-wheeled in St. Louis!