Foundations Host Kickoff Event to Launch Cycling Safety Fund

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Cyclists prepare to ride their bikes from Burleson Yard Beer Garden.

Bonnie Arbittier / Rivard Report

Cyclists prepare to ride their bikes from Burleson Yard Beer Garden just east of downtown.

About 100 cyclists crowded into Burleson Yard Beer Garden on Tuesday evening, many wearing T-shirts emblazoned with “Live 2 Ride.” 

The gathering was the kickoff event for the Live to Ride fund, which will raise money for projects designed to promote awareness about bike safety in San Antonio and sharing the road with two-wheeled vehicles.

San Antonio Area Foundation CEO Marjie French announced the creation of the Live to Ride fund in April and welcomed the cyclists to the event, which also started the regular Tuesday bike ride of SATX Social Ride.

“I’m so proud to be a part of the Live to Ride movement,” she said. “The San Antonio Area Foundation is about helping people improve the quality of life in San Antonio, and this is what this is about.”

The foundation, which manages more than $900 million in charitable assets, partnered with the 80/20 Foundation and the City of San Antonio to raise money to fund bicycle safety projects. The 80/20 Foundation, which gives grants to local nonprofits trying to attract entrepreneurs to San Antonio, also pledged to match up to $200,000 donated to the Live to Ride fund.

Shirts reading Live2Ride were available at the event.

Bonnie Arbittier / Rivard Report

Shirts reading “Live2Ride” were available at the event.

Mayor Ron Nirenberg urged attendees to speak to their neighbors, friends, and local businesses to help them understand why investing in bicycle and pedestrian infrastructure is important. Residents in the urban core may embrace protected bicycle corridors, but people further out from the city center may not, he said.

“When we commit ourselves to resources that improve the streets for everyone, that means people who haven’t seen a bicycle for the last 25 years are lending to that effort,” he said.

Every cyclist and pedestrian deserves to be safe on the streets, he said. Two cyclists have been killed this year after being struck by motorists. Surgeon Naji Kayruz died in February and cycling community leader Tito Bradshaw died in April.

“We’ve lost too many people – Dr. K, Tito,” he said. “If we’re going to honor their memory, it means we have to turn our prayers and condolences into action. And to honor our memory, we [must] leave our city a better place for pedestrians and cyclists.”

80/20 Foundation Executive Director Alexandra Frey told the crowd that she had moved to San Antonio eight years ago and still has the same conversation with people she meets around the city about bicycling infrastructure.

“I can’t tell you how many times I meet people and at some point in the conversation, they say they sold their bike because they don’t feel safe [riding it] in San Antonio,” she said.

Jeff Moore, founder of SATX Social Ride, closed the kickoff event with a brief thanks to the cycling community, and said he was proud to be part of Live to Ride. Moore sits on the Live to Ride fund committee with French, Frey, City Manager Erik Walsh, and Alexis Velasquez of the H-E-B Cycling Team and the San Antonio Cycling Alliance.

“We need to get word out about this link,” he said, pointing to a URL emblazoned on a banner above his head; people can donate to the fund online here. “And we need to get ready to ride – two minutes, meet outside.”

Two minutes later, cyclists thickly clustered on Austin Street and began moving north, on their regular Tuesday night social ride.

Cyclists prepare to ride their bikes from Burleson Yard Beer Garden.

Bonnie Arbittier / Rivard Report

On Austin Street near downtown, cyclists prepare for a group ride.

3 thoughts on “Foundations Host Kickoff Event to Launch Cycling Safety Fund

  1. “Residents in the urban core may embrace protected bicycle corridors, but people further out from the city center may not, he said.”

    I live near Blanco and Bitters and would definitely embrace a protected lane on Blanco from 1604 to West Ave. to connect the surrounding neighborhoods to Hardberger Park, Churchill HS, and numerous retail establishments along that corridor. Why should we be forced to drive our kids to school, the park or the grocery store when plenty of space along Blanco would allow for a safe alternative means of transport for people of all ages – a protected lane would amplify the huge success of Hardberger park and allow people to bike there instead of driving. Yes people are forced to drive to the park to walk and bike because other options are not given the priority and funding they deserve.

  2. My issue comes with the fact that the final image posted demonstrates a PROFOUND lack of awareness of bike safety and the city laws regarding bike traffic. This is constantly an issue with the group that rides out from Burleson Yard. Per city law, you are required to have rear and front facing lights and right no more than 2 riders abreast and obey all traffic signs. This group constantly skirts the law while riding.

    All for better protection and safety for bikers, but the royal “they” need to take some ownership in the process as well and do a better job of following the guidelines and laws that the city has already set forth.

  3. Don’t forget that The Howard Peak Greenway Trail System provides a loop about the size of Loop 410. Add the River Walk trail system, and, San Antonio has 200 miles of connected nature trails, safe from auto accidents.

    Walking and biking is already popular on these nature trails. E bikes, more entry points, and sidewalks should be facilitated and properly integrated.

    See the new website, to facilitate the use the 200 miles of nature trails.

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