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Food Delivery By Bicycle In Tower Grove South And Now Downtown

I never paid much attention to Griffin Delivery because they only delivered in the South Grand area, which I’ve never lived in. But recently I was attending a Public Safety committee meeting at the Board of Aldermen and Griffin Delivery owner Andy Heaslet was there to speak on another bill, mentioning they’d just started food delivery by bike in downtown. My ears perked up and I passed him my card when he sat back down.

ABOVE: Griffin Delivery’s initial downtown cyclist Micah Goulet on 6th St. outside Tortilla Grill.

Eager to try out their delivery service I ordered lunch through their website griffindelivery.com. At that time, last month, they only offered lunch from Pickles Deli  (701 Olive) but they’ve since added Tortilla Grille (200 N. 6th) and Lola (500 N. 14th). Heaslet & Goulet told me more restaurants will be added as the service ramps up.

ABOVE: Pickles Deli at 701 Olive was the first downtown restaurant to sign on with Griffin Delivery.

Ordering is done through griffindelivery.com, the menu for each restaurant is part of website. I was able to select the type of bread and cheese for my grilled cheese. You can select to receive email and/or text messages to be notified when the courier arrives at the restaurant and when your food is on the way. My food was still warm when it arrived!

ABOVE: Griffin Delivery’s website is easy to use but they offer a step by step guide, this from step 5. Click image to view instructions.

I personally hate talking on the phone but Griffin Delivery offers a high-tech way to get food delivered from localy-owned restaurants in a low-carbon way — by bike.

ABOVE: Griffin Delivery’s original service area
ABOVE: Griffin Delivery’s new downtown delivery area

Right now downtown delivery is weekday lunch and  dinner down south, but they are looking to expand hours in both.

On Wednesday morning I ordered lunch 90+ minutes before I wanted to eat, allowing me to concentrate on some work. I can already tell that I’ll be having food delivered more often now, time to set a monthly limit for myself.

— Steve Patterson


Bike Lane Ends…Start Sharing The Road

October 12, 2012 Bicycling, Featured, Planning & Design Comments Off on Bike Lane Ends…Start Sharing The Road

Each year more and more bike lanes are added to roads in St. Louis. Unfortunately, they are often disconnected from each other because they are placed where the road is excessively wide and/or where an alderman was willing to fund the paint and signs.

ABOVE: Sign posted on westbound Lafayette Ave just before Jefferson Ave. Click image to view the Bike St. Louis website.

For years I biked, even commuted 10+ miles to work, without bike lanes. But some like the designated space, I get that. What do they do when the lane ends, turn around? If someone is biking westbound on Lafayette Ave and wants to turn left onto southbound Jefferson Ave will they know how to do so properly? Probably not.

— Steve Patterson


Gateway Cup Bicycle Racing Weekend Starts Tonight

Tonight is the start of the 21st annual Gateway Cup bicycle races, four different events today through Monday.

Friday night is always the Tour de Lafayette, a great evening event.

ABOVE: Male riders before their race at the Tour de Lafayette, 2006
ABOVE: Females riders before their race, Tour de Lafayette 2006

Locations for  the other days have varied, but all are daytime events.

  • Saturday is the Tour de Francis Park in St. Louis Hills.
  • Sunday is the Giro della Montagna on The Hill.  Afterwards is the Giro Pasta Dinner “Sunday, September 2nd 4:00-8:00pm: St Louis Bocce Club 2210 Marconi @ Bischoff on race course. Menu includes all the Pasta you can eat, plus 2 meatballs, salad, Italian Bread, and dessert. $7 adults/$4 children. Tickets available at the door.”
  • Monday is Benton Park Classic in…Benton Park, the neighborhood, not the actual park.

Please consider biking or taking public transit if you plan to watch these events, parking is limited. Some bus routes will be rerouted due to the races to plan accordingly. The races happen rain or shine.

— Steve Patterson


St. Clair County Buses Finally Equipped With Bike Racks

August 16, 2012 Bicycling, Featured, Public Transit Comments Off on St. Clair County Buses Finally Equipped With Bike Racks

In 2010 I did several posts about St. Clair County Transit District not having bike racks on their bus fleet:

I didn’t think this policy was good for a transit district.

ABOVE: Metro bus without a bike rack at 5th & Missouri in East St. Louis, IL. 2010

The St. Louis Beacon followed up on the topic and quoted St. Clair County Chairwoman Delores Lysakowski as she blamed cleaning issues for the lack of bike racks:

Lysakowski said it would be impractical for workers to remove the racks each day for cleaning. “Every time that bus goes through a wash rack, which is every night, you’re not going to stop and take a rack off and then put it back on again when it gets off of the rack,” she said.

The five-member transit district board never has allowed bike racks on buses in St. Clair County and isn’t considering changing its policy, she said. “It’s been a policy that we don’t have them so we don’t discuss it,” she said adding that the district receives few complaints about the policy. “Maybe one every five years,” she said. (St. Louis Beacon: Want to bike and ride on Metro buses in St. Clair County? Forget it)

This is why I was shocked to see bike racks on bus after bus on a recent visit to East St. Louis.

ABOVE: St. Clair County MetroBus in East St. Louis with a bike rack, August 2012
ABOVE: Another St. Clair County MetroBus with a bike rack heading east on Old Missouri Ave in East St. Louis, IL, August 2012

I began searching for confirmation, just to make sure I wasn’t  seeing a few exceptions. I searched minutes of the district for 2012 — no mention. I emailed them last week asking for an effective date and/or a copy of the press release, they’ve yet to respond. Unlike Metro, they don’t have a press release archive online.  Maybe they don’t issue press releases…

ABOVE: Notice on the scctd.org website, retrieved on 8/13/2012

One sentence on their homepage is the only confirmation of the change I was able to find.  I don’t know when this change happened, although it’s listed after the July 1, 2012 fare increase notice. I’m not sure who made the policy change, or when, but I’m very glad to see the change.

— Steve Patterson


A Great Saturday

August 4, 2012 Bicycling, Events/Meetings, Featured Comments Off on A Great Saturday

Saturday a week ago was a great day from morning until evening. In the morning I collected food for the hungry and in the evening watched a bike ride from a local business.

ABOVE: Quite a bit of food collected in just two hours! This food went to the pantry at The Bridge.

I met many kind and generous strangers that morning. It’s so nice to see people willing to help others in need.

Later I met a friend at The Map Room on the corner of Lemp & Withnell (map). They’d moved the tables and chairs from the patio to the sidewalk so we could watch the World Naked Bike Ride St. Louis roll by.

ABOVE: Spectators outside The Map Room waiting for the World Naked Bike Ride St. Louis to roll by.
ABOVE: Yes, that’s a scantily clad woman on a high bike
ABOVE: Most riders had just enough clothing to cover their privates
ABOVE: Organizers estimated the ride had 1,000 participants.

From the press release after the event:

The ride took place Saturday, July 28, taking a 10 mile loop through St. Louis’ busiest business districts, including South Grand, Cherokee, Soulard, Downtown, and Washington Avenue, Locust Business District, and Grand Center before ending in the Grove. Several businesses along the route took it upon their own to stage watching parties to support the riders. The ride drew crowds of all ages throughout the route cheering and supporting the ride. “Everywhere we went, we were greeted with smiles, laughter, cheers, high-fives, and at times stripping from onlookers who wanted to join in,” Stephanie Co says. “It’s an incredibly fun event, whether you’re riding or watching.”

The clothing-optional bike ride is known for its dress code of “as bare as you dare”; riders came out in a spectrum of dress and undress. The ride functions to protest oil and car dependency, raise awareness of cyclist rights and vulnerability on the road, and advocate positive body image, as well as provide some creative spark and energy into the city.

I put a couple of short clips together to demonstrate the enthusiasm of us spectators:


If you want to know about the 2013 ride visit the website, like the WNBRSTL Facebook page or send an email to wnbrstl@gmail.com

— Steve Patterson