April 2014

In a recent Facebook post I asked “What do Florissant, Nairobi, and Tucson have in common?” The answer: they are three of the only places in the world with gardens devoted to helping bees and other pollinators survive. In recent years we’ve read a lot about the fact that bee populations are declining. With that decline comes a threat to our food supply since bees are crucial to the process of pollination. With no pollination, no vegetables. These gardens hope to help reverse that trend.

Florissant’s garden is located at 601 St. Charles Street, near the Old St. Ferdinand Shrine. Right now the pollinator garden is in its early stages. But in a cooperative effort with the St. Louis Zoo, plans are for it to expand to 3.5 acres.

And what does the pollinator garden in Florissant have in common with bicycling? I’m glad you asked! A visit to the garden was the goal of a recent 10-10-10 bicycle ride.(You can read more about the 10-10-10 rides further down in this column.)

One beautiful Saturday morning in April a group of us rode from Ferguson to Florissant, a round trip of a little over 10 miles, in order to see the garden and hear a short presentation about it. One of the joys of bicycle riding is that opportunities for exercise can be combined with interesting learning experiences. This ride had them both. 

In another connection with bicycling, the garden is located directly adjacent to the Sunset Greenway trail. One of the trail’s gazebos overlooks the garden. And as the garden develops, informational displays about it will be posted along the greenway trail.

So…ride the Sunset Greenway, get some exercise, and visit one of the unique gardens in the world!

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National Bike Month is celebrated every May. And once again there will be a bicycle commuter refueling station in Ferguson on National Bike to Work Day, Friday, May 16!

Trailnet hosts refueling stations for bicycle commuters 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://trailnet.org/work/bicycling/bike-work-day-month/ for details) and so will we here in Ferguson! Live Well Ferguson will be sponsoring a Bike to Work Day refueling station in front of the Ferguson Bicycle Shop from 6:30am-9am on Friday, May 16. Stop by and grab some fuel while bicycling to work that day!

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As the weather warms, opportunities to bicycle increase. Here are some of the continuing and upcoming bicycling rides and events in the Ferguson area… 

Weekly 10-10-10 bicycle rides will continue through October. You’ve read about one of these rides up above. These rides leave from the Ferguson Bicycle Shop every Saturday and are open to all bicyclists. The rides will go 10 miles at 10mph. Meet behind the shop at 10:00am, and be ready to leave promptly at 10:10am. Come ride with us and enjoy some adventures!

Earn-a-Bike classes also continue through October. Six young people graduated from the first class of the year in early April. The current class has twelve young people in it, eager to learn about bicycling and earn a free bike for themselves. Three more classes are scheduled this year after this class completes in late May. This free program teaches young people basic bicycle maintenance and safe riding skills, while they also learn responsibility and teamwork. Every young person who completes the program earns a free bike, helmet, lock, and light! Please let any young people or families who might be interested know about this program. Applications are available at the Ferguson Bicycle Shop, the Ferguson Parks and Recreation building in January-Wabash Park, or online at http://fyifergyouth.org/programs/earn-a-bike-program-in-ferguson/

The Ferguson Twilight 5K/10K is on Saturday, May 17. Bicyclists will patrol the route and help keep the routes safe for the runners. Call the Ferguson Bicycle Shop, 314-315-4940, if interested in this volunteer opportunity. Or signup as a volunteer at http://fergtwilightrun.com/wp/sponsorships/volunteer/.

Trailnet Ride Calendars are available in the Ferguson Bicycle Shop. These calendars show a schedule of rides throughout the year, all around the St. Louis metro area. Stop by the shop to pick up a free copy and plan out the rides that you want to take this year.

The Pedalers Jamboree will be on Saturday and Sunday, May 24-25. This overnight bicycle camping trip departs from Columbia, MO and rides along the Katy Trail to Booneville, MO where a campground and music concert awaits. More info at http://www.pedalersjamboree.com/.

Sunday Parkways will kick off its sixth year on Sunday, June 8, from 1-4pm. Sunday Parkways are free community events hosted by Live Well Ferguson. This first one of the year will be held on the blocks surrounding Central Elementary School. Special activities will highlight the historic significance of the school and the neighborhood surrounding it. Other activities will include: free bicycle helmets, a bicycle-mounted blender for making smoothies, Earn-a-Bike info, a rock climbing wall, slide dancing, etc. More info at http://livewellferguson.com/main/live-well-events/sunday-parkways/. Come out and play!