April 2013

Can you imagine a headline that reads: “Many Ferguson streets to be closed to automobile traffic but open to bicyclists”? While we may not ever see a headline like this, it’s actually going to happen pretty soon. Read on for details…

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Three different opportunities to ride on car-free streets (“…streets closed to automobile traffic but open to bicyclists…”) are coming up in the next few months, one in May, one in June, and one in July:

  • Saturday, May 18, at the Ferguson Twilight 5K/10K: Bicyclists are needed to serve as race course monitors. Monitors will ride their bicycles on the car-free 5K and 10K routes while the race is going on and help keep the routes safe for the runners. In addition, volunteer opportunities are available for bicyclists to help with valet bike parking at the 5K/10K. Come enjoy a beautiful evening of riding and make the 5K/10K a little safer for the runners. Call me at the Ferguson Bicycle Shop, 314-315-4940, if interested in these volunteer opportunities.

  • Sunday, June 2, 1pm-4pm: Sunday Parkways is back for its 5th year of car-free streets. Come out and ride on Ferguson Ave. and around Forestwood Park. Enjoy the fun activities including the popular rock-climbing wall. The wall will be setup right in the middle of Ferguson Ave.! More info at Live Well Ferguson’s website: http://livewellferguson.com/main/live-well-events/sunday-parkways/

  • Thursday, July 4, Bicycle Race Down S. Florissant. Bicyclists will have a special opportunity to drag race down the main drag after it has been cleared of traffic for the 4th of July Parade. Come join in the fireworks!

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I don’t know how I failed to mention the Earn-a-Bike program that was recently started in Ferguson. Somehow it slipped my attention. Earn-a-Bike is a program developed by St. Louis Bicycle Works that gives youth an opportunity to earn a free bike while learning about bicycle safety and maintenance.

The program came together in a whirlwind of activity during the month of January: St. Louis Bicycle Works agreed to send an instructor to Ferguson to teach the class; the Ferguson Youth Initiative agreed to manage the program; and the Ferguson Bicycle Shop agreed to donate a % of sales to fund the program.

The first class was held from February 25 – March 29 and 9 young people graduated and earned free bikes!

Another class starts on April 29 and will run for 6 weeks. We anticipate that classes will continue while funding is available. If you’re interested in helping to fund this innovative program or in learning more about it, check out the Ferguson Youth Initiative website at fyifergyouth.org.

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National Bike Month is almost here again (hint: it’s the month of May)! And once again there will be a refueling station in Ferguson on National Bike to Work Day, Friday, May 17.

Trailnet hosts refueling stations on National Bike to Work Day all around the St. Louis area. These refueling stations provide coffee, orange juice, bagels, bananas, etc. for bicyclists on their way to work. Trailnet will be doing that again this year (see http://www.trailnet.org/events/bike-month for details) and so will we here in Ferguson! There will be a Bike to Work Day refueling station in front of the Ferguson Bicycle Shop from 6:30am-9am on Friday, May 17. Stop by and grab some fuel while bicycling to work that day!

And let’s not forget about upcoming bicycle rides and events in the area:

  • Saturday, May 11, 9am-noon: Bicycle camping demo at the Ferguson Farmers Market. If you have ever wondered how long distance bicycle tourers pack all of their gear on their bikes, or even what their gear consists of, come down to the Market and find out.

  • Saturday to Monday, May 25-27: Pedalers Jamboree. Overnight bicycle camping trip from Columbia, MO to Boonville, riding along the Katy Trail.

  • Sunday, June 2, 1pm-4pm: Sunday Parkways. Help us celebrate 5 years of Sunday Parkways by coming out and playing in Forestwood Park and along Ferguson Ave. during the first Sunday Parkways of the year!

I am also happy to report that planning has been completed for a Bicycle Fun Club (BFC) ride in Ferguson to be held on Saturday, September 21.

BFC rides are put on by Trailnet and typically attract 100s of riders. The ride in Ferguson is called the Historic Ferguson Bicycle Tour and is being sponsored by the Ferguson Bicycle Shop, Live Well Ferguson, Ferguson Twilight Ramble, Ferguson Farmers Market, Cork Wine Bar, Ferguson Brewing Company, and Vincenzo’s Italian Restaurant. Details are available online at Trailnet.org, but better yet, stop by the Ferguson Bicycle Shop and pick up a free calendar with dates, locations, and descriptions of all the BFC rides for the year, including the Historic Ferguson Bicycle Tour.

There is also a fresh supply of free Bike St. Louis maps at the bike shop. The maps show bicycle routes all around the St. Louis region.