Bike There, Bike Everywhere
by Lily Lowder
October 10, 2020
Have bike; will travel. Four Bike There participants prove that two wheels is the best form of travel - from work, to restaurants, to your favorite Instagram spots!
Meet three Bike There Challenge participants - James, Rudy and Jim. And meet our first Scavenger Hunt participant - Gail.
What's your cycling story?
I started cycling seriously in 1973. I purchased my first "racing bike" when I worked as a Chaplain at John Carroll University in Cleveland, Ohio. I trained to participate in the Ohio century ride called the Tour of the Scioto River Valley.
But I'd actually started cycling occasionally even before then. I borrowed bicycles to get around town while studying theology in Louvain, Belgium.
My cycling story began in 2011. I got a bike and started riding for fitness. Less than a year later, I did my first race and then really got involved in the road race scene. Then I started commuting to work by bike as much as possible.
My cycling story began in 2017 when I purchased a bike from Walmart to commute to work, about 8-10 miles a day. This was all great until my wheel broke in 2018 and I wasn't able to fix my bike. This year I moved downtown and I noticed a large amount of people riding as groups. I was inspired to purchase another bike.
"I attribute riding to easing the stressors of the pandemic and also creating a healthier version of me. Aside from saving money commuting, I feel like I've improved my overall wellbeing." - Rudy Torres
I don’t really think of myself as a cyclist. That sounds a lot more serious than I am about it! I rode bikes when I was a kid but I haven't owned one in a long time. Then B-Cycle came to San Antonio and put one of the first docking stations right in front of my house. I’ve been an annual member ever since.
I enjoy the convenience of bike share. Living downtown, for many of the places I need or want to go, there’s a B-Cycle dock closer than there’s a parking lot. Also, I don’t have to be responsible for maintaining the bikes, as I would if I owned my own.
Have you continued riding through quarantine?
During the COVID-19 pandemic I continued to ride my bike. The main difference is that I didn’t ride with many people. Mainly I rode with my son or solo.
Since April, I've been riding daily and have lost over 20 pounds since the pandemic started!
Do you use the Alamo Commutes app?
I like the Alamo commutes app because since I commute to and from work by bike, the app gives small incentives to continue commuting.
I enjoy that I can log the miles I ride on the Alamo Commutes app and get rewards. The rewards are really good and they can be used all over town!
Any tips for new cyclists?
I commute daily from my home near the Medical Center to Our Lady of the Lake university (where I teach) – about 7 miles. I also cycle about 30 miles on Sundays out to the Hill Country and back.
I recommend finding minor roads to your destination. For example, I use 26th St. – after Bandera—to get to OLLU. And carry a spare! On occasion, I have flats while commuting.
While the Bike There Challenge may be over, you can still explore your city on two wheels with our inaugural Scavenger Hunt. Gail noted that her favorite part about the Scavenger Hunt was discovering new places close to her house like Essex Modern City!
Take pictures of you and your bike at three or more Scavenger Hunt locations and share them with us through November 30. You'll be entered to win a $50 gift card and other special prizes!