The D.R. Semmes Family YMCA at TriPoint. Photo from the organization's virtual tour.
The D.R. Semmes Family YMCA at TriPoint. Photo from the organization's virtual tour.

Update: I suppose we should have knocked on wood after posting this story last week. Due to unpredictable rain, the small Something Monday crew opted to save the tour of the YMCA for this coming Monday, Sept. 16. We’ve also changed the route and meet-up spot to avoid crowds and allow for more parking – the Castro twins will be celebrating their 39th birthday this evening at the Pearl Stables. We’ll be starting and finishing at the Y at 3233 N. St Mary’s St

Instead of our tour last week, we took a short ride to a lovely, laid back dinner at Tycoon Flats. We laughed, made new friends, swapped Twitter handles, etc. Not bad for a cancelled event. Let’s try again same time, same place, same – and new – friends. If it still looks like rain today, we’ll notify you via Facebook and Twitter if it’s cancelled. 

If this beautiful weather holds out until Sept. 16, Something Monday, our weekly social bike ride in partnership with San Antonio B-cycle, will treat riders with a relaxing ride starting and ending at the D.R. Semmes Family YMCA at TriPoint. (Knock on wood.)

Click the image or here for an interactive route map.
Suggested route subject to change, if you like. Click the image or here for an interactive route map.

We’ll gather at the Y’s station at 6:15 p.m. We’ll depart at 6:30 p.m., ride through Brackenridge Park, and head back south on North St. Mary’s Street for a tour of the Facilities – it’s about four miles round-trip.  As the days become shorter, it’s likely that we’ll be riding at dusk and after sunset at 7:46 p.m., so be sure to strap a light to the front and back of your two-wheeled transport as required by local ordinance. Water is always good, too.

As per usual, all experience levels, bicycle types, helmet preferences, and ages are welcome to join us on the tour and to a post ride eat/drink session at Tycoon Flats.

The D.R. Semmes Family YMCA at TriPoint. Photo from the organization's  virtual tour.
The D.R. Semmes Family YMCA at TriPoint. Photo from the organization’s virtual tour.

The YMCA has grown and evolved out of the Village People’s late 1970s musical definition of the international organization as a place for young urban black youth to recreate and avoid the trappings of urban poverty – though the double entendre was not lost on many in the gay community. It has even grown out of its official name sake, the Young Men’s Christian Association, as a nonprofit that provides community health programming by and for people of all ages, gender and creed.

Did you know the YMCA did not begin in the United States? Who knew an idea from a young, 23 year-old would spread to more than 100 countries and 2,000 locations in the U.S. 170 years later? Founded in London in 1844, its mission remains: “To put Christian principles into practice through programs that build healthy spirit, mind and body for all.”

The Y has been heavily involved in civil rights and community engagement/health since its start. The all-inclusive nature of the organization led to early student, African-American, and immigrant Ys across the country. Historically, a Y’s primary function has been to provide safe, affordable housing and recreation in cities – a sort of male dormitory for newcomers.

While many still operate housing programs, local and national Ys have focused on community health and fitness (gyms), arts and humanities, providing family activities, and awareness and outreach programs.

Locally, the D.R. Semmes Family YMCA at TriPoint offers childcare, education, leadership, recreation, specialty camps, community initiative, volunteerism, and advocacy programs of all types for discounted, income-based membership rates. The local Y, for instance, organizes San Antonio’s annual Síclovia event.

There have literally been entire books written about the impact the YMCA has had on society – but we won’t spoil the tour for you. RSVP is not required, but you’re encouraged to click “going” on our Facebook event page. See you Monday.

Flyer Courtesy of the YMCA.
Flyer Courtesy of the YMCA.

Iris Dimmick is managing editor of the Rivard Report. Follow her on Twitter @viviris or contact her at

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Senior Reporter Iris Dimmick covers public policy pertaining to social issues, ranging from affordable housing and economic disparity to policing reform and mental health. She was the San Antonio Report's...