Archive for the “Rides” Category

Century Club

New for 2015 – become a member of the Century Club!

Complete five centuries throughout the season and earn a Century Club patch and recognition on Trailnet’s website. Eligible events include the Ride the Rivers Century, other BFC rides that include century options, or any of our partner fundraising events that include a century ride.

Eligible BFC rides:

Partner fundraising rides with century options:

By completing one or more of your centuries on fundraising rides, you will earn a star on your patch and special recognition on the website.

It’s easy to “join” the club.  For each ride, the online registration page includes a check box to participate in the century. If you are riding for one of our partner fundraising rides, let them know you are participating in Trailnet’s Century Club.

See the list of riders who are on their way to completing their 500 miles!

Also new this year for Trailnet members – a Season Pass for Trailnet’s BFC Rides and Cultural Tours. No need to register for individual rides, no waiting in line at the registration table. Click here for more information on this great deal.





Trailnet’s St. Charles County Epic Mountain Bike Event – January 17, 2015

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TRN Epic 2015 Schwigen-5031While 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.

TRN Epic 2015 Schwigen-5077At 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.

TRN Epic 2015 Schwigen-4996While 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.

TRN Epic 2015 Schwigen-5004They 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.

TRN Epic 2015 Schwigen-5039Trailnet’s St. Charles County Epic Mountain Bike Event was funded, in part, by Great Rivers Greenway District, in partnership with Missouri Department of Conservation, Missouri State Parks, and St. Charles County Parks, and sponsored by Alpine Shop and The Bike Surgeon.

Trailnet’s Journey Across Missouri – September 30 to October 5, 2014

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TRN_JAM2014_schwigen_Select_Full-1596WEBA 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.

TRN_JAM2014_schwigen_Select_Full-1538WEBThe 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 TRN_JAM2014_schwigen_Select_Full-2124WEBracking 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 TRN_JAM2014_schwigen_Select_Full-2090WEBdining 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.

TRN_JAM2014_schwigen_Select_Full-1979WEBBy 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.

TRN_JAM2014_schwigen_Select_Full-2256WEBSaturday 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.

TRN_JAM2014_schwigen_-1880WEBOn 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.

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Thank you to our Journey Across Missouri partners: Apache Village, BikeWalkKC, Hermann, Higginsville, St. Charles Economic Development Center, St. Luke’s Hospital, Hogan, Katy Bike Rental and Morgan Street Brewery.

Special thanks to photographer Mark Schwigen.

Old Frenchtown Bicycle Tour

One of the oldest neighborhoods in the city, Soulard is known to many residents for its plentiful restaurants and bars, and Obtoberfest and Mardi Gras festivals. Weaving through the tree-lined streets and courtyards in the neighborhood, Harold Karabel lead a group of fifteen cyclists on a tour of Soulard and the adjacent LaSalle Park neighborhood on August 23. As always, Harold provided a fascinating commentary that highlighted some of the architectural gems of the area, explained the area’s long and colorful history, and showed photographs of how specific sites in the neighborhood had changed over the years.

Stops on the tour ranged from tiny stone houses, to brick row houses, to several of the massive churches that soar over the neighborhoods. These churches are a tangible reflection of the area’s cultural past, having been built by the early German, Czech, and Lebanese immigrant communities who settled in the area. The tour also made a stop at Soulard Farmer’s Market, the oldest farmer’s market west of the Mississippi, which has been in continuous operation since the late eighteenth century.

FrenchtownMarket FrenchtownSchool FrenchtownRowhouse LaBerta LaBerta2

The final stop on the tour was LaBerta and Sons Cycles at 1007 Russell Boulevard. Matt LaBerta has provided eco-sag support for Trailnet’s Community Bicycle Tours for the past two seasons. Riders got a chance to admire the latest frame that Matt is constructing, have a guided tour of the shop by his sons, and received much appreciated ice water.

Trailnet is grateful to George Dennis of the Church of St. Vincent DePaul, who opened restrooms, provided ice, and a shaded pavilion for our ride’s starting point. Many thanks to Harold for his enthusiasm, knowledge, dedication to the city, and ability to locate shade as temperatures neared 100. Thanks to Matt, Mylo and Mason, who almost had a carefree morning, until a rider got a flat at our last stop. Finally, thanks to the cyclists and volunteers who braved the heat to join in on the tour. This tour was funded, in part, by Great Rivers Greenway District.

2014 I Love STL: Bicrobrews Microbrewery Bicycle Tour

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photo (3)Saturday morning, August 16, started off with a steady drizzle of rain and temperatures in the mid 70s. Checking radar, it appeared the skies would clear for our 11 a.m. start but the rain kept coming. Despite the weather, cyclists arrived ready to check out some awesome St. Louis breweries.

Ann Mack’s “Growler” group was the first to start. Behind them was George Nelson’s “blue circles” and then Hawkie Moore’s “let’s party.” As groups departed, more cyclists arrived excited for the tour.

The next groups to depart were Dave Beattie’s “Oranges” and Ian Hackett’s “purple shooters.” Groups were initially divided with 20 riders in each but approaching the end of registration, groups included close to 40 cyclists. Barrett Schmidt’s “blue balls,” Brian Hanke’s “black beards” and Steve’s “Crazy Train” began the ride at around 11:30 a.m.

photo 12Even with the rainy start, 250 cyclists participated in the I Love STL: Bicrobrews Microbrewery Bicycle Tour. Luckily, the rain cleared by the second stop and cyclists enjoyed pleasant weather for the remainder of the day. With eight breweries (4 Hands Brewing Co.Alpha Brewing CompanyThe Civil Life Brewing CompanyMorgan Street BrewerySchlafly BeerSix Row Brewing CompanySquare One Brewery and Distillery, and Urban Chestnut Brewing Company) there were a lot of stops to make and beer to sample. All cyclists had a fantastic time and some die-hard groups did not finish until after 7:00 p.m. This bike tour was sponsored by Mike’s Bikes.

Time Lapse Video – Bridge Birthday Bash

Thanks to one of our riders, Chris Marshall, for the view of out Chain of Rocks Bridge Birthday Bash.


Revitalization, one Invested Neighborhood at a time

Trailnet partnered with InveSTL to produce the I <3 STL: Invested Neighborhoods Community Ride on Saturday, June 28. Riders gathered in Greg Freeman Park at Four Corners in the Skinker Debaliviere neighborhood and hit the road for an 8-mile ride showcasing the phenomenal community work taking place north of Delmar. The Skinker Debaliviere Community Council sent us off.

Our journey took us down the Ruth Porter Mall trail, part of the beautiful St. Vincent Greenway network. photo 13 Our first stop was the St. Louis Association of Community Organizations (SLACO), located in the West End neighborhood. SLACO serves as an umbrella coalition for the St. Louis Metropolitan area neighborhood associations. Joining us at the SLACO offices was Elizabeth Simons of Great Rivers Greenway District, who discussed how trails and greenways can transform our sense of place. She also shared exciting developments from St. Vincent Greenway, Inc., and how they strive to advance the health and safety of the neighborhoods surrounding the greenway.

Next up, we ventured to Pagedale to visit Beyond Housing’s Family Support Center. InveSTL7 This community anchor organization has worked directly with residents to gather input on Pagedale’s potential. They host children’s summer camps, family-friendly evenings in the nearby park, and have even worked to bring a supermarket to Page Avenue. All of these activities have helped empower residents to access greenspaces, affordable childcare, and healthy food.

InveSTL1Our 26 riders all expressed that they enjoyed the ride immensely – especially for the opportunity to learn more about communities north of Delmar Boulevard that are too often overlooked.

2014 Bridge Birthday Bash and Bicycle Ride

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Saturday, June 29 started off cloudy and followed a rainstorm so the pavement was still damp when this classic Trailnet BFC ride started. The temperature was warm, in the mid-70’s, and the humidity was high.

Many eager riders arrived before 7:00 ready to roll but were held off until about 7:20. It seems like arriving early is the new “fashionably late.”

Turnout was excellent, with more than 500 riders of all ages and biking experience. The parking lot at the Old Chain of Rocks Bridge was filled to capacity. We created four routes ranging from 20 to 65 miles so there was something for everyone. Riders of all routes went to Wilson Park in Granite City for their first stop. That stop was staffed by great Bike MS volunteers who provided snacks for the riders. The middle, long and extra long routes went out to Horseshoe Lake State Park for the next rest stop. That is a quiet and scenic oasis in the middle of urban Metro East. The long routes then went on to Edwardsville and our friends at Sacred Grounds for another tasty rest stop. The extra long riders had their final stop at the Confluence Tower in Hartford, IL.

All routes crossed the Old Chain of Rocks Bridge and ended up at the famous Birthday Bash. At the bash riders were treated to live music from Generation Gap, hot dogs from Roger’s Hot Diggity Dogs, lunch from Steamroller Bagel, and three special micro brews from Square One Brewery. For dessert there was outstanding birthday cake from The Cakery and always-delicious frozen custard from Ted Drewes.

Even though the clouds looked ominous at times throughout the day, not a drop fell on any part of the ride or party.

Thanks go to our Bike Shop sponsor, the Bike Factory, and Great Rivers Greenway, who provided funding for the ride.

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Recap of new ride: the Cottleville Country Classic

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The new Cottleville Country Classic had a fantastic first run. It will truly become a classic ride for Trailnet’s Bicycle Fun Club BFC).

Registration was held at the centrally located Red Barn in Cottleville. It was a great location that seemed to be specifically set up for events like ours, that is, we found it complete with bike racks. It is an iconic structure that defines Cottleville. At registration the local confectionery/wine bar/restaurant VB Chocolate Bar was on hand with free iced coffee and some amazing cinnamon rolls and muffins.

About 350 riders turned out – a great number for a new ride, and we are happy to say we signed up a good number of new members. Riders had three routes to choose from – all featured scenic roads not often used for BFC rides. All routes went to the old town of St. Paul and visited the historic Dog Prairie Tavern for a rest stop. On the way they were able to take in the views of St. Paul Catholic Church built in 1898 from local limestone. Medium and Long route riders were able to view Lake St. Louis on their way back.

After the ride, participants were treated to cold watermelon, Nesquik provided by the St. Charles County Economic Development Center, and award winning beer from Exit 6 Brewery.

This ride was funded, in part, by The Great Rivers Greenway District and Momentum Cycles was the bike shop sponsor.

Our first Bakeries on the Rise bicycle tour–a sweet success

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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!