Beans, Bikes and Brews is BACK! Trailnet’s signature rides calendar release and fundraiser returns on March 23, 2023 from 6 to 9 pm at The Heights Community Center.
We’ll be bringing back crowd favorites – delicious chili, a 50/50 raffle, and the release of the rides calendar. You can be among the first to register for all of Trailnet’s 2023 Classics!
Plus, you’ll have the opportunity to purchase a season pass at an unprecedented discount.
This year, we will also feature new opportunities for you to engage with our mission. Experience a pop-up traffic calming demonstration. Ask questions about the 2022 Crash Report. Take action with our Advocacy team. Practice fixing a flat with our bike educator.
From intern to Programs Director, Taylor March left a lasting impact on Trailnet and the St. Louis region. Now, he is taking his talents to the state level, advocating for better walking and biking across Missouri as the new Executive Director of Missourians for Responsible Transportation.
For eight years, Taylor was the smiling face of Trailnet. It’s only right that we reflect on the legacy he leaves behind—a legacy of kindness, knowledge, professionalism and passion.
Taylor first joined Trailnet as an intern in the winter of 2010, while he was studying environmental engineering at Murray State University. He had worked as a bike mechanic since high school and was an avid environmentalist.
Though he didn’t know it then, Taylor’s passion for Trailnet’s mission (and his handiness with an Allen wrench) would serve the organization for years down the line.
Five years after his internship, having worked for several years as a solar engineer in between, Taylor returned to Trailnet on February 24, 2015 as our Youth Programs Specialist.
In his first full-time role, he led Trailnet’s bike education programs and designed our curriculum for smart cycling. He also worked on a number of Safe Routes to School projects, including one with Froebel Literacy Academy in south city. Taylor worked with Froebel through eight years and a handful of title changes at Trailnet.
“Working with Froebel and seeing that relationship develop and change throughout the years was so satisfying,” said Taylor. “From the walking school bus, to the installation of speed humps on Nebraska Ave., to the Calm Street now under construction on nearby Louisiana Ave… It was really cool to see the community buy in.”
Advocating for Change
Midway through his tenure with Trailnet, Taylor shifted his focus to the advocacy and policy spaces. As a long-time bike commuter, he was a natural advocate for safe, alternative transportation. As a leading expert in bike/ped best practices, he influenced change-makers across the state. And as an exemplary colleague, he fostered relationships that would blossom into our strongest partnerships today. To name a few…
Taylor co-created the annual Juneteenth Community Ride with our partners at 4theVille and grew the ride into a collaboration between the Missouri History Museum, Northside Community Housing and other aligned partners. The event draws over 200 riders each June and celebrates Black music, art, culture and history.
Taylor spearheaded our state-wide advocacy efforts. In collaboration with BikeWalkKC, Local Motion in Columbia, and Ozark Greenways, he helped create Missourians for Responsible Transportation and Hands-Free Missouri.
The Work Continues
Now, Taylor is off to lead the statewide partnership that he once helped to create. Trailnet looks forward to many more years of collaboration with Taylor and his team at MRT.
“Trailnet will miss him and his careful and precise explanations of the transportation system we are trying to change, his help changing a flat, and his ability to always find time to listen,” said Trailnet CEO Cindy Mense.
For your years of dedication—Thank you, Taylor! Let’s continue to work together to make Missouri better for people outside of cars.
Board Bill 120: What is it, and why should you care?
A provision for equitably implemented enforcement, such as automated enforcement, which would reduce traffic violence and dangerous driving behaviors without adding to current racially biased enforcement strategies,
A line item that explicitly names the city’s commitment to Vision Zero, and the creation of a position to oversee and follow-through on said commitment to a Vision Zero plan.
This amount of money, if used correctly, could be seriously transformative—the first draft of the bill proposes over 4x the average yearly annual budget that goes toward street maintenance in the city.
This is a massive step in the right direction. Trailnet is proud of the part we have played in advocating for these changes. Now we look forward to helping the City make these improvements as quickly and effectively as possible, so that sometime in the near future, our Streets can truly be forAll.
St. Louis, MO – The Board of Directors of Trailnet support the following statement:
The Trailnet Board commends Mayor Tishaura Jones for proposing that the City commit $40 million to a comprehensive, city-wide street plan. We recommend the Board of Estimate and Apportionment and the Board of Aldermen pass this much-needed legislation with the provision that a portion of those funds be spent on a Vision Zero Action Plan and a media campaign to encourage responsible driving.
We also call on other organizations and individuals to get behind both initiatives and send letters and emails to the Board of Estimate and Apportionment and the Board of Aldermen. Together, we may make our streets safer for all.
The Bipartisan Infrastructure Law (BIL) lays out several steps for states, Metropolitan Planning Organizations (MPOs), and cities to take to better support the needs of people who walk, roll, bike, and use public transit.
In this joint letter, MRT, its leadership, and leaders from the health and accessibility sectors across the Show-Me State asked for details on how MoDOT plans to support these vulnerable road users through their implementation of the BIL. You can read the full letter below:
CEO Ralph Pfremmer reflects on three decades of Active Living while looking ahead
For me, the middle of January always marks the halfway point of St. Louis’ winter doldrums. I was reminded of this one recent morning, waking up to zero-degree weather, feeling the sting of windchill on my face. As I travel the streets downtown, I am warmed by the fact that I still see bicyclists braving their way to work despite the cold! They are not waiting for the spring thaw to commit to a healthy, active lifestyle.
Inside our offices, with heaters plugged in, we are off to a great start to 2018 and you can feel the energy among the team members. This year is unique! This year is so much more significant than years past. This year marks Trailnet’s 30th anniversary and there is so much to look forward to. Whether consciously or not, we all start the new year thinking about healthy resolutions. Trailnet has resolved to make the healthy choice the easy choice. We want to make it safe and comfortable to walk and bike to the places you want to go. We think the best way to celebrate 30 years of making walking and biking better in St. Louis is to make significant improvements in community connectivity now, in 2018, while setting the stage for 30 years from now!
We embark on our 30th year with the tremendous momentum that your support is giving us. Take a look at Our Impact featured in the January/February newsletter, and if you haven’t yet, join us and count yourself among the people who are taking to the streets for healthy, active living. Join the fun.
Looking back, it’s really quite remarkable what Trailnet has achieved: so many people supporting our organization and so many diverse partners ready and willing to collaborate for change. Having started as a group of recreational bicycle enthusiasts, Trailnet has grown and evolved into—among other things—a very significant regional planning and advocacy organization. It goes without saying that Trailnet now exists as an important civic organization centered on improving the way we live in St. Louis, leveraging our past while staying committed to the platform of walking, bicycling and active living for all St. Louisans.
Trailnet’s staff and board of directors invite you to attend the kickoff of our 30th anniversary at our special event on Friday, February 9. Trailnet supporters, Cindy and John Lynch, will be our hosts at their unique venue, Break Room Concerts at Show Me Cables in Chesterfield. Seating is limited, so hurry to get your spot. Please join us as we kick off the new year and officially put an end to the winter doldrums!
So let’s look forward to having a fantastic year together. Get involved by participating in our events. Come to Beans, Bikes, and Brews on Saturday, March 10, when we announce all of our Bicycle Fun Club and Community Rides. Consider coming to one of our Peloton events. However you choose to participate, we promise you the opportunity to share your voice. We want to hear your Trailnet story. We’d like to know about how things have changed for you since Trailnet started and what your desires are for a region filled with so much promise as you enjoy a commitment to a healthy, active lifestyle.
The forecast for walking and biking is good, the weather is about to change. What better reason to challenge ourselves to renew our commitment to healthy, active living? It’s my hope that we all strengthen our commitment to ourselves and to the work that Trailnet is doing. Let’s join arm-in-arm as we propel St. Louis forward!
Ann Crowe took up bicycling while living in Washington, D.C., where an extensive network of cycling paths made commuting by bike a convenient way to incorporate exercise into her daily routine. Ann moved to St. Louis to be closer to family and to pursue work in engineering. After deciding to make a career change, Ann began volunteering at Trailnet rides and fundraising events while completing her Doctorate in Physical Therapy. Her volunteer activities allow her to “meet many new people and see different parts of the city and surrounding areas,” she says.
Ann’s volunteer experience introduced her to a “warm and welcoming community,” and she believes that a “shared love of biking provides common ground” for people that participate in Trailnet events. Ann’s husband Vance now joins her on many of the weekend rides, which she credits with giving him “the same confidence and passion for cycling and health” that is so important to her.
As a physical therapist, Ann understands the critical importance of regular exercise for maintaining health and recovering from injury. She notes the abundance of research supporting the positive impact of exercise on mood and overall health, and sees evidence of these effects at Trailnet events. “It only takes a morning at a Trailnet ride to see this come to life in the laughter, support and friendships created through group exercise,” she says.
Even with many years of experience as a bike commuter and recreational cyclist, Ann is aware that for many people concerns about safety may mean that they don’t bike or walk if no specific infrastructure exists. She is committed to building a community where more people have access to the benefits of active transportation. “Having a network of safe and connected bikeways and sidewalks will make biking and walking easier and available to more people,” she says. She also predicts that “as more people use the bikeways and sidewalks, they will feel personally invested in supporting the growth of this network.”
In addition to volunteering time to Trailnet, Ann and Vance are Trailnet Peloton members, providing financial support for the protected bikeway vision. They strongly believe in “dedicating personal efforts and resources to build infrastructure that empowers communities.”
Ann and Vance also feel that positive change will come to St. Louis only if individuals take the initiative. “Whatever challenges we face, the best way to identify problems and solutions is to get personally involved, seeing the community by biking on the roads and paths, meeting our neighbors, visiting and supporting local businesses. Trailnet gives us the opportunity to come together as individuals and make our city healthier and more interesting, with access and opportunity for everyone to enjoy a more active lifestyle.”
If you’ve ever been on a Bicycle Fun Club ride, you have probably been a recipient of Andy Mayberry’s generosity. If you have ever had a beer at a Trailnet event, you have definitely been on the receiving end of this equation. At the annual chili party five years ago, Andy noticed that we were serving beer with a hand-pumped keg. At the time, he worked for Grey Eagle Distributing and pulled equipment out of his truck to pressurize our keg and install a tap. He has been a valued member of the Trailnet family ever since, helping out in numerous ways at rides and other events.
Andy has been an avid bicyclist ever since buying a used Schwinn Continental at Goodwill while in junior high. He first rode the length of the Katy Trail in 2005 and now rides with a group called the Landsharks, that includes local friends and cyclists that come from other states to enjoy the country’s longest continuous rail-trail. To date, he has ridden the Katy Trail twenty-one times, and has also ridden with the group in Nebraska, Illinois, and along the shores of Lake Superior. “It’s the journey, not the destination…the people you meet and the sights you see,” he says.
Andy also participates in numerous fundraising events, and initially joined Trailnet to train with the BFC for his long-distance charity rides. “You get into riding because you like to ride and then you find a higher purpose with the charities,” Andy explains.
One of Andy’s favorite causes is The Delta Gamma Center for Children with Visual Impairments. As a volunteer, Andy rides a tandem with a visually-impaired child so that they can experience the freedom and joy of bicycling. “They just want to be normal kids and get out on a bike, and that is something I can help with,” he says with a smile.
Andy has helped to raise money for a variety of health-related causes by participating in numerous fundraising rides, including the Tour de Cure and Bike MS. “I’m never going to be the fastest, the strongest, or biggest fundraiser,” he says, “but I can give of myself and my time.” He also encourages drivers to be courteous to cyclists who “may be out there training for a charity ride that will help someone that the driver knows.”
A ride that has particular significance for Andy is Pedal the Cause, which raises money for cancer research and support of individuals with cancer and their caregivers. Andy has beaten cancer twice himself and refers to people with cancer as “fighters, not patients.” He rides to “let them know that there are a lot of people out here who have beaten it and offer support.”
In 2015, Andy provided support for an 8-man racing crew in the Tour Across America. The cycling team won the race from Ocean Side, California to Annapolis, Maryland. They rode over 3000 miles in 5 days, 21 hours, and 58 minutes, raising $600,000 for the Fallen Heroes Fund.
“Once you ride, you get it. You can’t explain it to someone who doesn’t ride. For the time that you’re on the bike, you can put all that other stuff behind you.”
Andy has taken on many tasks to help Trailnet, including painting road markings for rides, driving SAG vehicles, and leading group rides. “As a group leader, you’re sometimes with people who haven’t ridden a bike in twenty years. You get to take them from zero to completing twenty plus miles,” he says.
The many ways that Andy Mayberry helps Trailnet have sometimes meant that he spends less time on a bike himself. “The more I’ve gotten involved, the more I am not on the bike,” he explains. “The satisfaction I get is to see the smiles on peoples’ faces when they come in, and I don’t care if the people know what I do at all.”
Trailnet volunteers rock, and may have counted you in September
Did you happen to walk or bike past a suspicious person with a clipboard in early September? Were they looking at you and fastidiously scribbling mysterious information? Not to worry! That was likely one of our remarkable volunteers recording data on bicycle and pedestrian activity.
On September 13 and 14, Trailnet coordinated 122 volunteers to perform counts at 71 different locations across the City of St. Louis, St. Louis County, and St. Charles County. This year saw a 44 percent increase in volunteer participation, accounting for 244 hours of volunteer service.
A lack of documentation of cyclists and pedestrians makes it difficult to measure the positive benefits of investments in these modes of transportation. The NBPD sets detailed standards and guidelines and provides tools for performing bicycle and pedestrian counts and surveys. This allows for a uniform method of accounting for walkers and cyclists across the country.
Locations for the counts are determined by a collaboration between Trailnet, Great Rivers Greenways (GRG), and the Gateway Bike Plan Working Group. The primary purpose is to find out how many people are walking or biking for transportation, although all pedestrians and cyclists are counted. All counts are performed on streets, even if there is an adjacent trail.
Trailnet compiles the data and shares it with GRG as well as regional governments, planning agencies, and key partners in the Gateway Bike Plan Working Group. The information is used to inform projects and educational efforts. It helps our advocacy in the region by providing data to lobby for better conditions and makes the case for advancing funding in infrastructure by local and national government agencies. We would like to thank all of those who volunteered for their time. Stay tuned for the results!