November 2013

Without Bicycles We’d Have Never Made It To The Moon! Wouldn’t a headline like that intrigue you? And the interesting thing is that it’s true! Read on to see what Wikipedia says about it…

“The Wright brothers, Orville (August 19, 1871 – January 30, 1948) and Wilbur (April 16, 1867 – May 30, 1912), were two American brothers, inventors, and aviation pioneers who were credited with inventing and building the world's first successful airplane and making the first controlled, powered and sustained heavier-than-air human flight, on December 17, 1903.”

“Capitalizing on the national bicycle craze (spurred by the invention of the safety bicycle and its substantial advantages over the penny-farthing design), the brothers opened a repair and sales shop in 1892 (the Wright Cycle Exchange, later the Wright Cycle Company) and began manufacturing their own brand in 1896. They used this endeavor to fund their growing interest in flight.”

“They gained the mechanical skills essential for their success by working for years in their shop with printing presses, bicycles, motors, and other machinery. Their work with bicycles in particular influenced their belief that an unstable vehicle like a flying machine could be controlled and balanced with practice. From 1900 until their first powered flights in late 1903, they conducted extensive glider tests that also developed their skills as pilots. Their bicycle shop employee Charlie Taylor became an important part of the team, building their first aircraft engine in close collaboration with the brothers.”

There you have it! The Wright brothers were owners of a bicycle shop. The skills they learned, and the money they made, in working with bicycles helped them develop “the world’s first successful airplane”. They started man on the path to the moon. Like the headline says, without bicycles we’d have never made it to the moon! 

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Superheroes ride bicycles too! Don’t believe me? Well, a group of “superheroes” on bicycles recently visited EarthDance Farms. You can read about their adventures in EarthDance’s October 2013 newsletter, posted at Here’s an excerpt:

“Twenty-five superheroes descended on the farm on Tuesday evening, with the goal of selfless service as well as the aim of finding a place to lay their heads for the night. These aren't your average superheroes either (if there is such a thing as an average superhero): these are bicycle-travelling folks who ride 'as long as there is energy' with a focus of spontaneously responding to every call for help that they receive.”

Who needs a Batmobile when you can ride a bicycle to your adventures!

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And who needs warm weather in order to bicycle to adventures. Some of the most pleasant rides of the year are in cooler weather. For example, the “Ghosts of the Past” tour of Calvary Cemetery took place on Saturday, October 26, and took bicyclists past the graves of some amazing people. The gravestone of one of the residents of Calvary Cemetery is shown in the accompanying photo.

Then on Sunday, November 3, the 4th annual Twilight Ramble took place. Ask your friends if they rode in it. If they did, I can guarantee they enjoyed it! Good weather, good food, and good music made for a great bicycling adventure. 

And there are yet a few more organized rides (“adventures”) coming up in December:

Sunday, December 1: Northern Lights Parade.  As part of the Ferguson Northern Lights celebration all are welcome to decorate their bikes with blinking Christmas lights and ride with us in the Northern Lights parade.  Blinking lights to put on your bikes will be provided free by the Ferguson Bicycle Shop. Please call (314-315-4940) and let us know that you plan to come so we can make sure to have blinking lights for every bike.

Sunday, December 8, 3-7pm: Ferguson Holiday House Tour! Last year the Ferguson Bicycle Shop led a group of 14 bicyclists on the popular holiday house tour in Ferguson. And this was no cool weather ride either. Even though the tour was in early December, it was about 70 degrees out! Here’s your opportunity to improve your health, be good to the environment, and tour some beautiful homes, all at the same time!  The homes will be open from 3pm - 7pm. Many homes along the way will also be lit up so the evening should sparkle. Tickets are $12 in advance, $15 on the day of the tour, and all proceeds benefit the Ferguson Caring League. Please contact Gerry Noll at if you are interested in riding on the Holiday House Tour with us.

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As in previous years here are some suggestions for cycling-related Christmas gifts. You probably know someone who likes to ride. These are relatively inexpensive gifts that enhance the cycling experience and might be just what they are wishing for:

  • Water bottles
  • Bells and mirrors
  • A good lock 
  • Blinking front and rear lights 
  • Gloves and socks
  • Bike tools 
  • Helmets
  • Saddlebags or handlebar bags 
  • Cycling computers

And of course the best gift of all...a new bike!