Riding a bike can be fun all on its own. There is so much you can see as the two wheels take you along, challenging your endurance, and heightening your awareness of your surroundings. But what else can you discover, dedicate, or even influence when traveling by bike?
San Antonio residents and businessmen Joey Boatright and Steven Delgado have made their bike travels into something more than just a fun cycling event – they use biking to influence their communities.
Pedaling through their community, they have opened others’ worlds by dedicating time to give their neighbors’ a voice, registering residents to vote or participate in government, opening business to locals, and connecting with their families through outdoor activities.
Joey Boatright, the General Manager of the Havana Hotel in downtown San Antonio.
The Havana Hotel is a great place to lose yourself in the history of San Antonio. As a bike enthusiast, Joey Boatright has made it his mission to make the destination hotel a “bike friendly” place.
Boatright is also mindful of people travel in his neighborhood, and how buses, cars, and pedestrians interact. While enjoying his favorite SA routes like the Mission Trails, the Pearl, and Southtown, Boatright offers this bike etiquette tip: “Make sure to listen to and observe other riders. Say stuff like ‘rider on your left!’”
Joey’s most important items to prep for a ride are:
- Checking tires
- Consuming enough water before the ride
- Wearing decent shoes
- Carrying a face covering or mask (because I never know if/when I might stop to patronize a business.)
Stephen Delgado, Lifestyle influencer and founder of Bexar Essentials
Stephen Delgado, founder of Bexar Essentials, has taken some great time with his colleagues and family to explore and find safe ways to ride his bike. His experiences can help other riders and pedestrians become mindful as well.
Delgado uses bike rides to provide an opportunity for mental breaks and the daily grind while allowing him to explore some exciting trails throughout San Antonio. A few of his favorites include the Salado Creek and Mission Trails.
Stephen’s Delgado’s tips for riding:
- Ride early in the morning or at lunch time when less people are on the trails
- Ride with a mask and carry hand sanitizer
- Take lots of water with you
- Shout: “Passing on your left!”Even if it scares or alarms those ahead of you; they will appreciate that more than just zooming past them with no warning.
- Most important:wear a helmet and have a spare tube.
“The helmet is the most important part; I see too many riders not wearing a helmet on the trails. We should normalize this practice.”
Delgado says, “The biggest observation is how much work the city has put into these trails to make them friendly to all. I have to say it is also nice to see all the different spots that you can jump on or off the trails.”
“ I would like to see somewhere down the road some stopping points on the trails such as places to grab a drink or quick snack, if that is even possible,” he added.
Joey and Stephen have found joy in discovering San Antonio’s trails. Along the trail routes, their eyes have been opened to the struggles of the homeless and those in need. They also see areas where street infrastructure and safe practices need to be addressed.
The Vision Zero SA (VZSA) team is working hard to elevate all cyclists’ riding experiences. VZSA is helping develop trail experiences that will be safe for all levels of riders. 2020’s adversity has created an incredible boom in outdoor activities as people discover our bike paths and trails. The community is activated and we are excited to see the growth in riding.
So, what can you discover, dedicate, or even influence? With San Antonio’s beautiful autumn weather, you have time to get on your bike and explore your San Antonio!
Jessica Brunson is an avid cyclist who can be caught biking to and from work along downtown San Antonio’s bike lanes. Brunson champions all modes of transportation, and she uses her skills as a Senior Transportation Planner for the City's Public Works Department (PWD).