Monday, November 8, 2010

San Antonio Cycling

A conference presentation took me to San Antonio, but my bike ride in these southern reaches of Texas is probably going to snare my readers more than stories about academics. I left mighty Harrisburg on Tuesday morning this week, and after connecting through Detroit got to San Antonio a day prior to the conference. I soon sought information from a tourism office about bike rentals. After about a mile of walking past old theater fronts and over the Riverwalk, I found the Charles A James cycle shop, and it turned out to be a deal (ten bucks!). This old corner shop was in pleasant disarray and crowded with bicycles as well as a wall of old drawers from a pre-war pharmacy. They rented me an older Schwinn 21 speed and bright yellow helmet from among the narrow spaces that were left uncluttered by frames and wheels that were otherwise hanging from the ceiling or stuck into every other available nook. The staff handed me a bike map (San Antonio has published one) and pointed me in the direction of a decent route to follow. So off I went...

Bike Rental Deal!
I had no idea where I was going, as I didn't bother to read the map that clearly pointed to avenues with wider shoulders and bike lanes. Meandering on wheels I headed south and then west and then within 45 minutes really lost my sense of direction, not to mention getting myself stuck at a seemingly high number of red lights. 

Eventually, a highway onramp, blocking me with its insulting & dingy mass of concrete and unfriendly traffic, forced me to pull out the bike map. After some reorientation I was on my way again. On all these travels and turns and stops it was clear that the weather and city size must add to the cycling life here, because I saw several other cyclists on the streets of San Anton in only a short time. These biking denizens are aided by so many bike lanes and bike signs reminding riders and drivers about bicyclists' rights! Peace and bicyclist rights! Those rights are well posted not just for typical riders, but also for the San Antonio  police, who seem to be pedaling quite a bit given the contents of this pickup truck:

Cops' Bikes!
Good night biker...
Bicycle at Rest


steve said...

Nice video! San Antonio tough town? Nice beats.

Alan Vanneman said...


I'm lovin' this video in full screen mode! But some day you need to make the jump to HD.

Ben said...

good point! perhaps i will invest in said technology....or even a helmet cam!