Trailnet, a St. Louis-based advocacy group for biking, walking, and transit safety and accessibility is teaming up with St. Louis company TraQCentral to improve support communications and safety in community cycling events.
Trailnet’s bike rides attract thousands of riders of all experience levels throughout the year to raise money and awareness for the nonprofit’s causes. While these events are critical to supporting the work of the organization, managing race-day logistics presents its own unique set of challenges.
That’s where TraQCentral comes in. Born out of founder Kevin LaFata’s passions for bicycling and amateur radio, TraQCentral is a singular solution designed to utilize mobile and GPS technology to help organizers manage volunteers, support riders’ safety, and stock and manage water stations and rest stops.
After years of volunteering to support race-day logistics as a member of local radio clubs, LaFata recognized some distinct gaps in the ability to provide total visibility and timely support in case of emergency. The TraQCentral solution was designed to overcome those gaps as either a standalone solution or as a complement to amateur radio service.
If someone misses a turn and gets off course, a hydration station runs out of water, a tire goes flat, or someone gets hurt, TraQCentral provides a simple app-based communication portal for resources to be deployed exactly where they’re needed as quickly as possible.
“It used to take 15 to 30 minutes and multiple calls to locate a rider,” LaFata said. “By utilizing technology everyone is carrying, TraQCentral knows the exact location of a rider. It greatly improves communications, efficiency, accuracy, and overall response time.”
Trailnet’s rides are designed to support the organization’s larger mission to lead and foster healthy, active, and vibrant communities where walking, bicycling, and public transit are a way of life. According to Trailnet CEO Cindy Mense, the partnership with TraQCentral is a cost-effective way to deliver a safe and enjoyable experience for participants.
“The TraQCentral solution creates a safer riding experience on roadways for our event participants,” Mense said. “The better experience we can create for people in our cycling events, the more comfortable those riders will feel using bikes on both urban and rural roadways throughout their communities.”
The first official event for the partnership will be Trailnet’s Bridge Birthday Bash at the Old Chain of Rocks Bridge in St. Louis, MO on June 13. This annual bike ride marks the 92nd birthday of the Old Chain of Rocks Bridge. The Bridge Birthday Bash lets riders enjoy unique routes on relaxed backroads, greenways, and the Madison County trails.
To learn more and register for this event and all Trailnet rides, visit www.trailnet.org/rides.