June 2014

June 2014

Last June’s column included an excerpt from an old book of bicycling tips that was given to me. The book was written back in 1979, but many of the tips still ring true. Check out this tip, along with a few of my comments in parentheses:

“The traditional bicycle job is a paper route --- and becoming a newspaper delivery boy or girl is still an ideal job for a person with a bike. (Comment: newspaper delivery seems to have been taken over by adults in vans. Maybe that’s because newspapers are delivered very early in the morning…before dark. When I had a paper route it was for an evening paper, delivered after school.) But there are other possibilities. For instance, more things need to be delivered than just newspapers. Grocery stores, drugstores, restaurants, and all sorts of businesses have customers who would like things brought to them. There are professional messenger services, sure, but they’re very expensive and many small businesses can’t afford them. So offer your services to store owners and other merchants in your town. You may be surprised at how willing they may be to take you up on the offer. (Comment: these opportunities existed in 1979. They still sound like good ideas and might be opportunities for young people to earn a little cash.) Also, when you deliver groceries, drugs, and other goods, you normally will get a tip for each trip you make. Paper boys and girls usually only get tipped at Christmas. (Comment: we would get tipped at Christmas, yes, but we also were tipped every week when we collected each customer’s newspaper subscription in person.)”

“Here’s another suggestion: perhaps there are people in your neighborhood who would like speedy errands done for them, such as going to the store or delivering a package or hand-delivering party invitations. Advertise your services on homemade signs and post them in shopping and other public areas.”

The Bike Book (Doug Colligan and Dick Teresi)

Moms and dads, grandmas and grandpas, some of these ideas might still work! You might even entice your kids and grandkids to try these ideas by letting them know that they will be on the cutting edge of competing with Amazon drones for delivery services!

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Have you tried riding in the rain yet? Last month I encouraged you to try it. Now with hot, dry summer weather here the opportunities for riding in the rain will lessen. Take advantage of wet weather when you can! Just don’t ride when lightning or thunder is around.

Earn-a-Bike graduates have been riding together every other Wednesday. A few Wednesday’s ago it threatened rain and in fact was drizzling a little bit just before we started our ride. Were the kids put off by the rain? Not at all! They were ready to go. So we rode and it didn’t rain more than a few drops. The moral of the story: we miss a lot of opportunities for riding out of fear that we will get wet. Many times the rain never comes. And if it does…so what, you get a little wet.

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July and August have some great rides in store:

Weekly 10-10-10 bicycle rides. Leaving from the Ferguson Bicycle Shop every Saturday, these 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!

Two Wheeled Tour Series. This series of family-friendly rides, sponsored by St. Louis Bicycle Works, will give you the opportunity to visit historic areas of St. Louis. Each ride starts at 9:30 AM. More info at http://www.bworks.org/events/

  • July 12th • Central West End / West End Literary Tour. Meet in the parking lot of Five Guys Burgers and Fries, 4183 Lindell Blvd.

    In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, St. Louis’ Central West End and West End were home to a surprisingly large number of writers who became part of the American literary tradition.  This ride includes stops at the former homes of several renowned authors and short readings from their work on a route through architecturally fascinating neighborhoods.
  • August 2nd • Automobile Row/Locust Street. Meet at the intersection of Locust and Theresa, one block north of Olive and east of Grand

    This tour visits several of the buildings from “Automobile Row” as well as other sites of historic importance, and perhaps the most overlooked literary landmark in the entire country.
  • August 30th • Old North St. Louis. Meet at Crown Candy Kitchen, 14th & St. Louis Avenu

    This tour begins and ends at Crown but explores the entirety of a neighborhood that began its existence as an independent city with an unusual and visionary urban plan.

The Moonlight Ramble – “The World’s Original Nighttime Bike Ride”, Saturday, August 9. The granddaddy of them all! Just like last year, you will be able to pick up your t-shirt and registration packet in advance at the Ferguson Bicycle Shop. And this year there is an added twist: a moonlight run! Runners start at 12:30am and run the same course as the bicyclists. More info and online registration at http://www.moonlightramble.com/.