Photo courtesy of St. Louis Bicycle Works
In past years, the Outdoor Expo has focused on bicycles. But this year, it will include running, camping, hiking, climbing, paddling, and more.
If the wheels in your head are spinning about your next adventure in the great outdoors, then pedal over to the Mississippi Valley Bike + Outdoor Expo on January 15 at the Gateway Center in Collinsville, Illinois.
Returning with a revamped format after a yearlong hiatus, local nonprofit St. Louis Bicycle Works and Terrain magazine have partnered to offer the adventurous an opportunity to shake off the winter blues. The expo covers over 40,000 square feet of exhibition space with over 135 booths and a range of activities, including a mobile rock climbing wall, indoor bike demos, and virtual bike racing.
According to Terrain editor Brad Kovach, organizers wanted something beyond the run-of-the-mill trade show. “Our goal was to incorporate some interesting activities and attractions rather than just being a sales type show,” he says. “When we took over the show, it just made sense to expand the focus. What’s unique about our show is that it encompasses all of the outdoor recreational opportunities and lets people know about the amazing outdoor community in St. Louis.”
Kovach also explains that this year’s expo won’t look much like last year’s. “Before, it was just a bike show,” he says. “Now, it’s an outdoor show, meaning we brought in other activities, such as running, camping, hiking, climbing, paddling, all those other outdoor sports and activities.”
Proceeds will go to St. Louis Bicycle Works’ Earn-A-Bike program, a six-week course that teaches kids the importance of responsibility and personal achievement through weekly courses where students learn bicycle maintenance, responsibility, safety, and problem solving. Upon graduation, each student receives their own bike and equipment before joining a bicycle ride with their instructors and peers.
1 Gateway Drive, Collinsville, Ill. Tickets for the Mississippi Valley Bike + Outdoor Expo are $8 in advance and $12 at the door. Free admission for children 10 and under.
For more information visit bikeandoutdoorexpo.com.