Last week the Rivard Report and B-cycle teamed up to launch the inaugural Something Monday event, an active weeknight adventure that includes a little recreation, a little learning, and a little post-ride socializing.
The idea was hatched after hearing many young professionals complain that San Antonio shuts down on Monday nights, leaving social-hungry people too few options outside the home. That may be more perception than reality, but we decided to move in and make something out of nothing. Something Monday.
Everyone who turned out for last week’s s adventure made new friends and acquaintances. There were no flats, no falls, no drama. We’re ready to do it again this Monday.
Our first outing attracted just under 30 people on all manner of bikes, including numerous first-time B-cycle users. We met at the B-cycle station across from the Liberty Bar on South Alamo Street and rode down the Mission Reach where we enjoyed informative talks at Roosevelt Park and Concepción Park from Matthew Driffill, the super-energized San Antonio River Authority education specialist. Most of the group made La Tuna Grill their post-ride destination for a beverage and/or a bite to eat.
We are pleased to report that the second edition of Something Monday will be held this Monday, starting at Roosevelt Park across the river from the former Lone Star Brewery. We will start gathering after 6 p.m. and leave at 6:30 p.m, heading south on Lone Star Boulevard to Mission Road and the short ride to Mission Concepción.
Fr. David Garcia, the mission’s parish priest and the amazing force behind the restoration of San Fernando Cathedral and now the four Old Spanish Missions, will take us inside the beautifully restored Mission, the oldest church in Texas and the best preserved Mission in the state. It has never fallen into ruin.
Think about it: The people of San Antonio have communed in this small, sacred place for 258 years — since 1755. What a continuum for those in the Something Monday outing to sense and perpetuate. Yet many people we know, newcomers and longtime residents alike, tell us they have never been inside the Missions.
You don’t have to be a Catholic to appreciate San Antonio as steward of the finest collection of Spanish colonial architecture in the United States, which is why World Heritage Site status is now being sought in recognition of these truly unique architectural, cultural and spiritual treasures. Fr. David is a highly engaging and knowledgable historian and will happily take on all questioners.
From there, we will ride the 2.5 miles down Mission Road to visit Mission San José, the “Queen of the Missions,” completed in 1782, although the Mission site was established in 1720. It’s the site of the oldest mill in Texas, too, dating back to 1794. The delicate restoration of the Mission’s frontispiece by Ivan Myjer and Miroslav Maler, two renowned master masons, was the subject of an earlier Rivard Report story, “Artists at Work: restoring the Frontispiece to Masterpiece at Mission San José.”
Something Monday cyclists will meet at the Mission’s main entrance where Fr. David will give a brief talk about the exterior frontispiece restoration and then take us into the restored church interior to see the extraordinary, hand-crafted, gold-leaf retablo, the work of Augustin Parra, a Guadalajara craftsman and artist whose work can be seen worldwide, including the Vatican.
Mission San Jose was rededicated in 2011, and you can read an excellent account of its history, collapse into disrepair, and its resurrection on Today’s Catholic, the news website for the San Antonio Archdiocese.
Outside the Mission, we can visit the famous Rose Window, sculpted by Mexican sculptor Pedro Huízar, soon to be restored by the same skilled masons who worked on the frontispiece.
After our visit, we will pedal back to our starting point at Roosevelt Park and select a local venue to meet for refreshments and conversation, and to talk about future Something Monday destinations. All are welcome to join us.
You don’t need to be a serious cyclist to participate, or even own a bike. Bring a friend, but be sure to make new ones. Bring a water bottle, too. Helmets are recommended but optional. You can learn more about a B-cycle membership or how to use the convenient bike share service on a onetime basis by clicking here.
We especially appreciate RSVPs via the Facebook posting to anticipate group size. Just don’t say there’s nothing to do on Monday nights in San Antonio until you’ve tried Something Monday.