Two Lifetime Advocates Making St. Louis Better for People Who Bike, Walk and Roll
Q&A with Bill and Carla Sauerwein, owners of Pedego St. Louis
Conducted by Trailnet Marketing & Communications Coordinator Justin Seaton
Justin: Hi Bill! I understand you and Carla have long histories as bike/walk advocates. Tell me about how you got involved in this world.
Bill: Both Carla and I have been cyclists all of our lives. Carla is a pediatric RN and for years ran the St. Louis SAFE KIDS Coalition. She led education and advocacy to prevent childhood injury, including supplying and promoting bike helmets and car seats. I served as Mayor of the City of Oakland form 1997 – 2001 and with the idea of providing safe streets and walkways for residents, constructed almost all of the sidewalks you see in the city of Oakland and redesigned many of the streets. As Mayor, our city-wide capitol improvements plan was nominated for a state-wide landscape architect design award.
J: How did you first become involved with Trailnet? Tell me about your partnership with us over the years.
B: I suppose my first connection to Trailnet came when I attempted to acquire a small strip of abandoned railroad property within the City of Oakland in order to construct a park. In that process, I met Ted Curtis, then the Director of Trailnet, who introduced me to Trailnet and its mission. Trailnet ended up completing the northern leg of the Grant’s Trail with the property and the City constructed a park around the trail. Our store is adjacent to the park. Thereafter, Carla and I became supporters of Trailnet, participating in Trailnet rides and learning about the many projects undertaken by Trailnet.
More recently, as we met the dedicated staff of Trailnet—Cindy, Corrine, Kevin and others—and witnessed firsthand their hard work and dedication, we knew that Trailnet was an important organization to support. We share its mission…. and over the years we have helped raise funds so that they can continue to make streets and trails safer and available to all.
J: When/How did you open Pedego St. Louis, and how has your business connected you to the St. Louis cycling community?
B: We opened Pedego St. Louis in June, 2019 by rehabilitating an old, run-down building adjacent to Grant’s Trail in Oakland. From our location, we meet and talk to cyclists and trail users every day. We have greatly expanded the cycling community by putting people back on bikes that had for one reason or another gotten away from cycling. We have gently introduced the St Louis cycling community to electric bikes which are now widely used for commuting, leisure riding, trail riding and for the all around enjoyment of bicycling.
J: Speak briefly about the E-Bike that you are contributing to Trailnet’s upcoming raffle (winner to be announced at the 2023 Paving the Way Soiree)
B: The bike we have donated to Trailnet this year is a Pedego Avenue. Since this model was introduced a year ago, it has become the number one selling Pedego Electric bike. The Avenue utilizes a “hybrid style” frame that is familiar to everyone and is a great bike for riding and commuting on streets and paved trails. It is quality-designed, lightweight and balanced. Like all Pedego Electric Bikes, it comes with a 5 year warranty that includes the electrical components. Everyone loves this bike.