More Síclovía in San Antonio, please

May 12, 2018

San Antonio’s 14th Síclovía was a special Tricentennial version. One that celebrated our missions and history, tracing a 3.4 mile route on the South Side, crossing the San Antonio River and paying homage to Mission Concepción and Mission San José.

About 60,000 people turned out to ride, roll, walk and play in the sun. It’s a stunning number. The event has quadrupled in size since its inception in 2011.

In a city with high obesity and diabetes rates, Síclovía is an inspiring sight to behold. This twice-a-year celebration of mobility is also the celebration of health and fitness. Cyclists and pedestrians get to move freely and safely around a part of our community.

And yet it’s also a reminder of how much more work we have. A daylong celebration of health and fitness is not nearly enough. San Antonio ranked 44th in the American College of Sports Medicine’s 2017 rankings of the nation’s 50 largest metropolitan areas.

We fared poorly because we tend to be in poor health, lack park space and mostly drive to work (as opposed to walking, biking or using public transit).

San Antonio should explore making Síclovía quarterly. A summer Síclovía would have to be at night or very early in the morning, but it would also be an opportunity to show how exercise can happen year-round. No small point. This community is blessed with decent weather for most of the year, and outdoor opportunities abound.

As an event, Síclovía is a huge success. But we have our work cut out when it comes to making this community a place where health and fitness are a greater part of daily life.