Michael Schwartz, Trailnet Champion
Born and raised in St. Louis, Michael Schwartz can’t remember a time when he wasn’t riding a bike. Better known as Mike, he grew up in Chesterfield riding around his neighborhood with friends. He didn’t know that this leisure activity from his childhood would turn into an activity that would follow him into adulthood and become his main source of exercise and enjoyment. As a young adult, Mike says he always had a bike, but it was never anything that he spent a great deal of time with until he was living in Washington D.C. There, he was introduced to the Rails-to-Trails biking system, which was one of the first and more well known Rails-to-Trails systems in the country. Having access to this system sparked Mike’s interest with using biking as a way to get from A to B without relying on a vehicle.
When Mike moved back to St. Louis, he was looking to fulfill the missing void of the D.C. bike community. After doing research and asking around, he found out about Trailnet. Once he was introduced to the Bicycle Fun Club rides as well as Trailnet’s advocacy work for better the biking and walking infrastructure within our city, he realized he had found the St. Louis biking community he was longing for since his move. He finds it amazing that in St. Louis, you have multiple parks and neighborhoods to ride in, but you can drive just twenty minutes out and find rural areas to ride in as well.
Even though Mike finds this diverse aspect of St. Louis biking satisfying, he still thinks there’s room for improvement. He feels that our region is not designed well for commuting, which is why he’s so excited about Trailnet’s master plan to develop protected bikeways and walkways within our city. Mike started as a rider, but once he discovered Trailnet’s core mission to develop this master plan, he joined the development committee of Trailnet. Now, Mike serves on the Board of Directors helping Trailnet work towards its master plan to make St. Louis an even more equitable and vibrant city.
Mike works as an attorney at Bryan Cave which is a global law firm that got it’s start here in St. Louis. His practice is in mergers and acquisitions, corporate finance, and commercial transactions. He assists a range of clients including major corporations, family owned businesses and start-up enterprises in industries that include manufacturing, financial services, retail, healthcare and biotechnology. For the last eight years, Mike finds fulfillment in doing a job that helps businesses strategize their goals and hopefully change their business for the better based on what they want to accomplish.
When Mike isn’t working 9 to 5 to help corporate businesses with mergers and acquisitions, he spends time doing pro bono work for new nonprofits in our area that he’s passionate about and finds beneficial for our region. He helps these new organizations gather the pieces of what they want to provide our community by writing up business strategies and helping these education and art based nonprofits find their voice within the St. Louis region.
Now living in University City with his wife and 18-month-old daughter, Ingrid, Mike doesn’t get to spend much time riding 100-milers over the weekend like he once did, but he doesn’t regret a single moment spent with his family. Mike stays involved with the bike community by being one of the leaders within his firm, Bryan Cave, to organize a bike group for riders that want to bike to and from work. This past Bike to Work Day, Mike led his group to the Missouri History Museum to enjoy baked breakfast goods and coffee with other passionate and excited members of the bicycling community.