From parents toting tots in tiny tent-like bicycle trailers to couples laughing as they pedaled road bikes side by side, thousands of San Antonio residents came out Sunday to enjoy the 18th biannual Síclovía.
Roads from Roosevelt Park to Confluence Park were closed to cars so San Antonians could enjoy walking, running, biking, rollerskating, scootering, and/or skateboarding along the 1.4-mile route. The event marked its 10th anniversary since Síclovía made its first appearance in San Antonio, and the first time the event has been held in two years, due to the coronavirus pandemic.
For Calvin Robertson III, the day marked a return to normalcy for the community. Dressed in orange athletic wear and perched atop a road bike, Robertson and his girlfriend Kimberly Marie said they heard about the return of Síclovía from Instagram, and were excited to come out to the event Sunday.
“It’s great to see San Antonio coming back to life in such a healthy way,” Robertson said. “It’s amazing to see everyone out here enjoying this day.”
Veronica Wong-Rizo, the YMCA of Greater San Antonio’s senior vice president of operations, said she and other YMCA representatives were thrilled to see such a large turnout. Sitting under a Roosevelt Park pavilion acting as the base station for YMCA volunteers, Wong-Rizo said it was awesome to see the event come back to life after a two-year hiatus due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Wong-Rizo said she thinks a lot of families got outdoors and active during the early days of quarantine, and that newfound commitment translated into a large turnout for the event.
Although she wasn’t immediately able to give the San Antonio Report an estimate of the number of people who turned out Sunday, San Antonio Síclovías have grown in popularity from 15,000 participants in its first year to up to 83,000 people in attendance at past events.
“I just had a lot of people telling me ‘Thank you for bringing this back,'” Wong-Rizo said. “I heard one little boy at Confluence Park tell his mother it was ‘Sunday fun day.'”
Seeing so many people out and interacting while also enjoying their community is such a joy, said YMCA Volunteer Coordinator Selena Wicklund. It can be hard to get out and check out new parts of town, she said, but Síclovía invites San Antonians from all districts into the heart of the city.
Mother and son duo Leslie Cox and her son Aiden Cox, 16, said they were glad to be participating in Síclovía again. Leslie Cox said she first found out about Síclovía as a vendor three years ago, but added its “way more fun to come as a cyclist.”
“We’re vaxxed and masked and ready to be out into the community again,” she said.