And so it begins

Free outdoor summer fun in St. Louis arrived last night with the first Wednesday night concert at the Botanical Garden.  One of the big perks of bike riding is attending events without having to worry too much about parking, traffic, etc.

Instead of rushing to get there early, we cooked a nice dinner (featuring local black beans and salsa so delicious that I could just eat it by the spoonful).  After a bit of digesting, we biked over to The Garden.

We arrived to find the bicycle racks full.  No worries, on to the Forbidden Light Posts.

Background: Until about a year ago, when The Garden finally installed decent bike parking, the bicycle rack was a classic fail: wheel bender style, not bolted to the ground, sitting in the middle of the parking lot with obvious signs that it had been hit by cars in the past.  Look my bike up there like a sitting duck?  No thanks.  Many other bikers obviously felt the same way; we preferred the safer and more secure alternative of locking our bikes to the light posts.  The Garden disapproved and sent their minions in golf carts to inform us about the “proper bike parking.”  Uh huh.  After several failed attempts to communicate like reasonable people and explain to security why their idea of bicycle parking was unacceptable (and several attempts to contact higher-ups at The Garden to discuss ideas for remedying the issue, which received no reply), we resorted to simply ignoring the security guards and going about the business of locking our bikes to the Forbidden Light Posts.

Whether it was through our civil disobedience, or the contact attempts, The Garden finally got the memo.  Since the installation, I have enjoyed the new bicycle accommodations on many occasions, but last night, with the “lot” full, we resorted to old patterns.  (This is not a complaint in any way — I love indications that lots of people are bicycling.  A full bike rack sends a powerful message!)  No one gave us trouble, which was good, because what would they have suggested?

We suggest doubling the amount of bicycle parking.  While  the current amount is more than enough (at least right now), for business as usual at The Garden, the bicycle parking will continue to fill to overflowing during special events.  For a relatively small investment of money and space (especially compared to car parking), they could accommodate all of the bicycles we saw last night, no light posts needed!

No Impact Man in the Lou

Colin Beaven, AKA No Impact Man, will be in St. Louis next Monday, June 7th to speak and sign copies of his book at the Schlafly branch of the Saint Louis Public Library (225 North Euclid Avenue, in the CWE) from 7:00pm – 8:30pm (event info here).

Though I admit I have yet to read his book, I’ve followed his adventures on his blog for awhile now, and I’m excited to hear him speak.  I just now requested the book from the library — with a bit of luck I’ll have it in my hands by Friday.

Open Streets in St. Louis!

Open Streets is coming to St. Louis, with four events from May through October!  The first Open Streets takes place this Saturday, May 1, from 8am to 1pm.  This great event features five miles of city street from Forest Park to Busch Stadium open exclusively for bicycles and pedestrians (i.e., non-motorized traffic), with lots of fun activities along the route.  Click the image above to go to the official website for more details and a route map.

Sadly, I will miss the inaugural event this weekend, but I plan to volunteer at all of the others.  To sign up as a volunteer, visit the St. Louis Regional Bicycle Federation website.  View this Trailnet blog post for more information on volunteering and the event in general.