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College Guide 2013

This is Why You Need a Bike

Photo: Rachel Bowes, License: N/A

Rachel Bowes

Want to sport a head-turning accessory on campus? Get a bike

Biking is like great sex: it leaves you hot, sweaty and out of breath—but it’s totally worth it. Riding a bike saves money, negates the campus parking problem and simultaneously does a little good for the birds ‘n’ bees (the other kind).

San Antonio is rapidly rising on the cycling scene, listed in Bicycling magazine’s top 50 bike-friendly cities. As Jessica Gonzales, owner of SA Cycles puts it, “It’s a really great time to be in San Antonio, to be a cyclist.”

A political push to encourage cycling has resulted in innovations like the B-Cycle program, which was recently awarded the 2012 Innovation: Energy/Sustainable Development award by Sister Cities International, as well as a growing number of biking lanes and routes throughout the city. For students on campuses near downtown, B-Cycle provides quick transportation for an off-campus lunch (take that, $5 crappy deli sandwiches!) or rendezvous as well as a 20 percent discount on annual passes.

The B-Cycle stations at the Witte Museum and SAMA (which also offer discounts for students) are a perfect opportunity for you to check out the latest exhibit, grab a B-Cycle bike and take the River Walk to your next art stop or drop it off at another downtown station while you shop, eat or vandalize street signs—whatever kids do for fun these days.

If you’re looking to get off campus for a bite or sip, popular cyclist-friendly hangouts include: Boneshakers Tap House and Pizzeria, which features live music, fantastic food and craft beer; the Friendly Spot Ice House, where you can chill with your pets while watching movies or playing games; and Local Coffee, neighboring Bike World on Broadway, allowing you to get your caffeine and muffin fix while your bike gets a tune-up.

If the Texas sun is too much to bear, San Antonio’s Cycle-In Cinema program (the first in Texas!) offers free pedal-powered film screenings on Thursday nights at Main Plaza for a new twist on “movie night,” where a shift on the generator bike burns enough calories to quiet the popcorn guilt.

The Monday Night Missions Trail Ride, which leaves from Blue Star Arts Complex every Monday at 7 p.m., is also a great way to get out and bike when the heat is less oppressive. The ride covers 18 miles of Mission trails before calling it a night or going out for dinner and drinks, giving cyclists a chance to bond over bottles of Fat Tire and replenish their calorie count with nachos and wings.

Another San Antonio cycling group is the Hill Country Bicycle Touring Club (HCBTC), which has weekly group rides as well as picnics, parties and overnight events. In addition to the opportunity to be a cycling socialite, some local bike shops give discounts to club members. Visit for information on how to join.

While cycling is most helpful for getting around campus and meeting new people, it can also be a refreshing way to relax that’s way, way better for you than watching two seasons of Friends in one sitting (don’t pretend you haven’t done it, too).

College Guide 2013
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