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The Mississippi Valley Bike + Outdoor Expo hours are Saturday, 1 - 6 p.m. and Sunday, 10 a.m. - 4 p.m. Cost is $8 through January 11 online (https://www.eventbrite.com/e/mississippi-valley...) or $12 on site. Youth age 12 and under are free.
With more than 100 vendors selling new and used outdoor gear, sharing information about upcoming adventures, and advocating for an improved recreation landscape, the 17-year-old show is the premier consumer event and cultural gathering for the regional outdoor community.
With Terrain Magazine (http://terrain-mag.com/) taking over the management of the Expo three years ago, it has evolved from its inception as simply a bike swap in the early 2000s. St. Louis BWorks (http://www.bworks.org/) is the lead nonprofit organization involved with and benefiting from ticket sales for this year's Expo.
New at the 2019 Mississippi Valley Bike + Outdoor Expo:
• The Gateway Outdoor Summit (https://www.eventbrite.com/e/gateway-outdoor-su...) on Friday, January 11, which includes a keynote address by St. Louis native Luis Benitez (http://luisbenitez.info/), director of the Colorado Outdoor Recreation Industry Office. Benitez has climbed Mount Everest six times and currently serves as an advocate for Colorado's bustling outdoor industry. The Summit is free, but online registration is required (https://www.eventbrite.com/e/gateway-outdoor-su...).
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• VIP Party. Celebrate Terrain Magazine's 5th anniversary and rub elbows with Expo vendors and enjoy select food, beverages and entertainment at this mixer from 6 - 8 p.m. January 12 at the Expo. Cost will be $15 in advance (https://www.eventbrite.com/e/mississippi-valley...) or $20 on site (cost includes entrance to the Expo).
Other features include:
• Climbing Wall: Test your ability on several different routes of varying difficulty. The wall is 23 feet tall, with holds and features that simulate a real rock surface.
• Mountain Bike Demo: Ride a demo mountain bike on a series of stationary obstacles while friends and family cheer you on.
• RockR Trainer: Take a simulated ride with this large visual display that engages participants in a virtual bicycle experience.
• Mobile Life Base Camp: Tour the latest overland vehicles, mini travel trailers and toy haulers and take your future outdoor adventures on the road.
"This year's Expo is shaping up even better than we hoped," said Brad Kovach, editor/publisher of Terrain Magazine. "The amount of early vendors signing up and their enthusiasm about this year's event has been exhilarating. And the new location at St. Louis Union Station hotel just adds to the excitement."
In 2018, the Expo attracted nearly 2,500 exhibitors and attendees — a 25-percent increase of the previous year.
For more information about attending and exhibiting at the Mississippi Valley Bike + Outdoor Expo, visit www.bikeandoutdoorexpo.com.
The Mississippi Valley Bike + Outdoor Expo started with a bicycle-only focus in the early 2000s, and ticket proceeds the past two years have benefited St. Louis BWorks (http://www.bworks.org/) and its Earn-A-Bike program. In 2018, BWorks received $7,250 from the event.
"The Earn-A-Bike program aims to teach kids that they can set goals, and reach them," said Patrick Van Der Tuin, executive director of BWorks. During the free program, kids attend a series of hands-on courses held once a week for six weeks. "They learn about bikes, including maintenance and safety, but the other lessons they learn are even more valuable. They learn to solve problems individually and as a group. They also learn a sense of responsibility, as students must attend every session to graduate," Van Der Tuin said. Upon graduation, kids receive their own bike, helmet, light, and lock and participate in a group safety ride with adults and peers.
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BWorks is currently celebrating its 30th anniversary and has given away or youth have earned tens of thousands of bikes since its beginning.
About St. Louis BWorks
St. Louis BWorks Inc. is a not-for-profit tax-exempt 501(c)(3) institution. Its primary mission is to increase the probability of positive life outcomes for youth by providing them the incentive and opportunity to develop their academic, vocational and social skills through programs using bicycles (Bicycle Works), books (Book Works) and computers (Byte Works). Its work is funded mainly through the sale of refurbished adult bicycles. www.bworks.org. Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/stlbicycleworks/). Twitter (https://twitter.com/StlBicycleWorks). Instagram (https://www.instagram.com/stlbworks/?hl=en).
About Terrain Magazine
Launched in January 2014, Terrain Magazine is the only publication dedicated exclusively to outdoor recreation and active living in St. Louis and the Midwest region. Its mission is to provide inspiration, information, and access to products and services for those who want to explore the many facets of the outdoors, whether for competition purposes, for their health or simply for enjoyment. Learn more at www.terrain-mag.com.Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/terrainmag/).Twitter (https://twitter.com/TerrainMag). Instagram (https://www.instagram.com/terrain_magazine/). #MVBikeExpo
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