March 2014

People have been running in the Boston Marathon for a long time. It’s the oldest annual marathon in the world. The first one was run in 1897.

If you remember, the 2013 Boston Marathon ended abruptly at 2:50pm when a bomb went off near the finish line. Thousands of runners were still on the course and were unable to finish the race. More than 5,000 of those runners were invited back to run in this year’s race, to finish what they were unable to finish last year. One of them has a story that’s entwined with the local bicycling community because she is a runner and a bicyclist. Let me tell you her story…

Mary Ruth Casey is a bicycling safety instructor with the Cycling Savvy program. So am I. She’s also a marathon runner. Together we’ve held Cycling Savvy classes here in Ferguson the last few years.

Cycling Savvy consists of three courses that teach a person how to handle their bike and ride safely on streets and with traffic. Last year we had all three courses scheduled in Ferguson for the week after the Boston Marathon. Mary Ruth ran in the marathon and was about one mile from the finish line when the bomb went off. She made it back to teach the course with me, but the story of her trip home was fascinating.

She and her husband were staying at a hotel right near the finish line. In the aftermath of the bombing, every place near the finish line was locked down and searched, including their hotel, so they were unable to return to the hotel. They found a place to stay elsewhere but both Mary Ruth and her husband literally had only the clothes on their backs with them. And the clothes on Mary Ruth’s back were the clothes she was running in. Everything else was in their hotel room. Including their ID. Including their airline tickets.

The hotel told them that all of their items would be packaged and shipped to them after the investigation was complete. And it was, about a week later. But that was no help to them for their flight home the next day.

So they went to the airport on Tuesday, Mary Ruth in her running clothes, no tickets and no ID. As she said, “The only ID I had was the number on my runner’s bib.” At least she wasn’t the only one showing up at the airport in the exact same situation.

As it ends up, airport security and the airlines were very gracious to all the runners who were in this situation and processed them through with a minimum of hassle.

So…Mary Ruth is running in the Boston Marathon again this year on Monday, April 21, and we’ve scheduled Cycling Savvy classes here in Ferguson again for the week after the marathon! Classes will be held Thursday, April 24, and Saturday, April 26. That will give Mary Ruth plenty of time to get back! If you would like to take the course and hear more of Mary Ruth’s story directly from her, you can sign up by going to Scroll down until you find the Ferguson courses and register. 

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A few updates on upcoming bicycling rides and events… 

Weekly 10-10-10 bicycle rides will begin in April. These rides will leave from the Ferguson Bicycle Shop every Saturday and are open to all bicyclists. The rides will go 10 miles at 10mph, and will leave at 10:10 in the morning. The first one of these rides will be on Saturday, April 5, and then every Saturday after that. Please join us!

The Ferguson Bicycle Shop 3rd Anniversary Celebration will be held from 1-5pm on Saturday, April 12 (previously it had been listed as being on April 26). Join in the celebration with raffles, giveaways, discounts, paint-a-bike and paint-with-bike activities, bike science demos, and lots of other fun stuff.

Earn-a-Bike needs more youth to sign up! 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! The next 6-week session starts Monday, April 14. Please let any young people or families who might be interested know about this program. Applications are available at the Ferguson Bicycle Shop or online at

The Ferguson Twilight 5K/10K is on Saturday, May 17. If you are a runner, you should run in it! If you are a bicyclist, help us keep the routes safe for the runners as we patrol the routes on our bicycles. Call the Ferguson Bicycle Shop, 314-315-4940, if interested in this volunteer opportunity. And if you are a runner and a bicyclist…take your pick!

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.