The 2013 Bike MS: Valero Bike to the River. Photo by David Rangel.
The 2013 Bike MS: Valero Bike to the River. Photo by David Rangel.

As summer give way to fall and, maybe, just maybe, the first cool front sweeps into South Texas, cyclists who have been training in 100-degree heat can look forward to a calendar of organized rides in and around San Antonio and the Texas Hill Country. If we are missing any rides, please send an email to joan@rivardreport.com and we will update the list.

Roosevelt Park to Mission Espada: Saturday, Sept. 5, 8 a.m.

Looking for a nicely paced urban ride where you won’t be dropped? No registration is required for this informal 18-mile ride that will start at Roosevelt Park and turn around at Mission Espada. Cyclists can expect an easy 10-14 mph pace. This ride and many other club rides are sponsored by the Hill Country Bicycle Touring Club, which offers newcomers to the area and to cycling a great way to explore the region’s best rides with a group of experienced and welcoming riders who won’t leave you behind.

Something Monday riders lock up their bikes in front of Mission Concepción. Photo by Iris Dimmick.
Something Monday riders lock up their bikes in front of Mission Concepción. Photo by Iris Dimmick. Credit: Iris Dimmick / San Antonio Report

La Vernia Wild West Hammerfest: Saturday, Sept. 12, 8 a.m.

This fall classic is a back-roads favorite of area cyclists. The ride starts and ends in la Vernia, located about 28 miles southeast of downtown San Antonio. The event is hosted by the Greater La Vernia Chamber of Commerce, and includes a post-ride lunch and festivities. Cyclists can choose between a 39, 57, and 69-mile ride. The event includes a kid-friendly, two-mile family ride, and an H-E-B Kid Zone & Bike Rodeo from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m.

Registration is $40, and $30 for active and retired military, $15 for children, and $60 for the family ride. A portion of the proceeds will benefit the La Vernia Veterans Memorial Project.

H-E-B Bike Fest Texas: Sunday, Sept. 13, starts at 7:30-8:30 a.m.

This Hill Country ride tour starts and finishes at Boerne High School. Cyclists can choose from four routes: the 100-mile century ride starts at 7:30 a.m., the 66-mile ride starts at 7:50 a.m., the 28-mile route starts at 8:15 a.m., and the 17-mile route starts at 8:30 a.m. Maps for each of the courses can be found here. Stick around for post-ride food, refreshments, and live music. All proceeds benefit the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation.

Registration is $70 plus a $4.25 handling fee, $80 on the day of the ride. For more information, click here.

The 2013 Bike MS: Valero Bike to the River. Photo by David Rangel.
The 2013 Bike MS: Valero Bike to the River. Photo by David Rangel.

Bike MS: Valero Ride to the River Presented by H-E-B: Saturday (8 a.m. start) and Sunday (7:30 a.m.), Oct. 3-4

This signature two-day ride and fundraising event that attracts both teams and individual riders starts at the Wheatley Heights Sports Complex, stops for lunch in Seguin, and continues on to the Comal County fairgrounds in New Braunfels for the overnight. Riders return to San Antonio by a different route on Sunday. Day One routes include a 74-mile and 100-mile route, and Day Two offers riders a 38-mile or 61-mile route. All routes feature supported rest stops every 10-12 miles.

Ride proceeds go toward programs, services, and research that benefit those suffering from multiple sclerosis (MS), a disease that causes the body’s immune system to attack its central nervous system.

Registration fee is $50 and each cyclist is required to raise at least $300 for the National MS Society. Read more about fundraising here. Register by Sept. 11 for transportation for cyclists and bikes.

San Antonio Bike Octoberfest 2015 “World Heritage Ride”Saturday, Oct. 10

This inaugural event is the brainchild of Christian Sandoval, founder of Earn-A-Bike Co-o, and is being staged in partnership with the San Antonio Tuesday Night Bike Club starting at the Alamo Brewery in Dignowity Hill. The event opens at 7 a.m. with a farmers market and the World Heritage ride starts at 9 a.m. The day-long festival will include bike building workshops, polka dancing classes, a pumpkin carving contest, live music, an SA Tomorrow stage, and a narrated World Heritage Site ride for those who want to tour the newly designated Missions. Four rides will be available to cyclists, and a fifth ride for children, with courses of two, four, and six miles and the 25-mile “five Missions” ride. Click here for a complete schedule of events. Bexar County Judge Nelson Wolff will attend the event to kick off the tour of the Missions.

The Rivard Report is a media sponsor for the event.

Proceeds from the event will benefit BScuela – The EAB Co-op School for Bicycle Mechanics and Cycling Education.

Tour de Gruene: Saturday (2 p.m. start) and Sunday (8 a.m. start), Nov. 7-8

The best time trial event in Texas, staged along the Guadalupe River, celebrates its 32nd year this November. The Tour de Gruene changed both its individual and team time trial routes two years ago. The individual time trial was changed from an out-and-back to a 15.5-mile point-to-point ride. The 26.4-mile team trial ride also has a new route.

A Saturday morning recreational ride starts at 8 a.m. with route choices of 14, 28, 36, 47, 55 and 65 miles. Click here for recreational tour route maps.

Registration is expected to open on Sept. 7. The time trials events, which are limited to 200 entrants for the individual event and  200, two-person teams for the team trial, will sell out quickly. The Tour de Gruene attracts some of the most competitive male and female cyclists in the state. Riders go off according to their estimated pace time.

All rides start at the Lazy L&L campground on River Road.

Mission to Mission Charity Bike Tour: Saturday, Dec. 6

Mission Trail Rotary Charities, Inc. has hosted the charity bike event since 1998, which supports nine different community nonprofits. Pre-event registration is $40, $60 for same-day registration at Missions Park Pavilion, which opens at 7:30 a.m.  Children 10 years and younger ride for free with an adult registration.  Bring five or more cans of food for the San Antonio Food Bank collection station and save receive a $10 registration discount.

Riders on the 100-mile course will start at 8:30 a.m. Riders on the 34 and 55-miles routes will start at 8:45 a.m. The Family Tour starts at 9:30 a.m. and follows the San Antonio River from Mission Concepcion to Mission Espada.  The route follows hike and bike paths where permitted with opportunities to visit four Spanish Colonial missions.  This route can be tailored to virtually any family friendly length. Mission tours are available through the park service.  A 15-mile option meets Boy Scouts of America  merit  badge requirements.

Click here for route maps.

Is your ride missing from this list? Email joan@rivardreport.com and we’ll add it to the list.

*Featured/top image: The 2013 Bike MS: Valero Bike to the River. Photo by David Rangel.

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Joan Vinson

Former Rivard Report Assistant Editor Joan Vinson is a San Antonio native who graduated from The University of Texas with a bachelor's degree in journalism. She's a yoga fanatic and an adventurer at heart....