Winter storm Gia blanketed the St. Louis region with more than 10 inches of snow just in time for the 2019 Mississippi Valley Bike + Outdoor Expo held on January 12-13 at St. Louis Union Station Hotel. Despite the foul weather and prediction of bad roads, more than 100 vendors and 2,500 people attended the region’s oldest and largest event of its kind.

“This was another big year for the Expo,” said Brad Kovach, producer of the event and editor/publisher of Terrain Magazine. “The weather had us worried, but our audience of hardy outdoor enthusiasts proved they’re not afraid of a little adventure. The roads were fairly clear by the time the Expo started on Saturday and completely clear on Sunday. We had great crowds both days, and the energy throughout the weekend was off the charts.”

“I was astounded by how many shops for cycling and other kinds of outdoor activities and organizations were present, along with all the people that clearly don’t let a little weather stop them from getting out and about,” said TJ Bross, volunteer and board member at St. Louis BWorks.

The Expo included vendors spanning the gamut of outdoor items and information — from cycling-related to running/walking, fitness/nutrition, camping/hiking, water activities/sports, climbing, multi-sport and more. A new addition to the event included the Gateway Outdoor Summit on Friday, January 11, which encouraged people to think about how and why St. Louis can grow its outdoor community, culture and economy.

Proceeds from ticket sales of the Expo benefit the nonprofit St. Louis BWorks. The final amount is not yet confirmed, but should exceed $7,000.

“St. Louis is beginning to see just how much outdoor recreation there is in this area, and the potential impact it can have on economic development, education, health and wellness, and conservation,” said Kovach. “Since starting Terrain Magazine five years ago and taking charge of the Expo three years ago, we’ve seen undeniable forward movement with the region embracing the outdoor culture. We’re really excited to grow our outdoor community not only for the benefit of people now but for future generations of St. Louians.”

More information on the Mississippi Valley Bike + Outdoor Expo can be found at www.bikeandoutdoorexpo.com or on the event Facebook page at www.facebook.com/mvbikeoutdoorexpo/.

Photo by: Russell Ward.