Posted by: wheelywonka | September 12, 2010

From Fat City to Fit City, Don’t Forget About Those Inner City Bike Adventures

…It’s Sunday night and the Cowboys kick off in 20 minutes, the VMAs start at 8, and there are new episodes of True Blood and Entourage on HBO.  I have some couchtime ahead of me, and as a result, this will be will be shorter and more error-filled than my usual post.

On Saturday I joined Velo Valero for a 50 miler in the Hill Country, starting and ending at Valero Headquarters.    The route we did was actually 46 miles, but I did a lap around the campus, and then a few loops in the visitor’s parking lot to get exactly 50.0 miles on the Cateye.   This was a workmanlike training ride.  We started as a large group, but I fell behind in a chase group with Lori, Chuck, and Jeff at the midway point, and the four of us finished the ride together.   There were no donkeys laughing at us, no dogs chasing us – just a good, solid training ride that finished around 10:30 before the heat and humidity became overwhelming.     

This weekend I thought a lot about a something I wrote a few years ago in response to one of many articles that came out that showed that San Antonio was one of the “fattest cities” in the country.     This was when I was training heavily with Velo Valero, and doing organized events almost weekly.  It was also the the time I began branching out into other non-cycling fitness events like the San Antonio Tower Climb and the San Antonio Rock and Roll Marathon.    I wrote that regardless of what the press was reporting, we were indeed moving from Fat City to Fit City.  I saw this every Saturday as I participated in training rides, and saw countless groups of cyclists pushing themselves hard at the crack of dawn.  This weekend, I saw yet more evidence of this.  At 6:45 am as I left my house and drove north down Blanco Rd., I saw countless runners training hard for the R&R in November.    Some ran fast and sweated heavily even at that early hour, while others walked – but hey, they were still out there pushing themselves, growing stronger.  And, when our training ride started at 7:30, I saw countless groups of runners and cyclists on roads like Scenic Loop and Boerne Stage, and as we cruised through the city of Grey Forest and raced down Babcock.   All of us were pushing ourselves harder, growing stronger, refusing to give into the siren song that plays early on Saturday morning that tries to convince you to just stay in bed.   This is how we are becoming Fit City, and friends, it is a force that grows more powerful each day.

…I’ll end with a little pitch for downtown San Antonio.   I’ve writtten much in the past two months about the great rides outside of town.  We can’t forget about all the great urban bike adventures you can have inside the loop.  Case in point:  My lovely wife D and I frequently spend Sunday afternoon driving around San Antonio, exploring new parts of town and taking pictures.    Today we explored parts of the East side I’ve never seen before, including the new Hays Street Bridge, which is a great walk and bike experience just north and east of downtown.  We drove around the Dignowity Hill area,  which sits on a hill overlooking downtown, and has some great Victorian homes built in the late 19th century.  We also stopped at the St. John’s Lutheran portion of the massive cemetery on the East side of town, to see where some of the movers and shakers in the San Antonio Lutheran community are buried.   Finally, we checked out some of the offbeat restaurants in that part of town, including Chit Chats Barbecue and the amazing Tucker’s Lounge.  I was so inspired by the trip, that I’m planning on organizing a moonlight cruiser bike tour of that part of town after the Ride to the River – maybe something spooky and kooky around Halloween???   Stay posted…

See ya’ on the road!

Hanging out on the Hays Street bridge

Chit Chats Barbecue



  1. […] Joy of the Urban Cycling Adventures on the East Side of Town I mentioned this in a blog a few weeks ago – i.e., the idea that there are great cycling adventures you can do […]

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