The free event promotes obesity awareness, health and fitness.
By Sasha D. Robinson
More than 60,000 people worked up a sweat Sept. 25 at the fifth annual Siclovia on Broadway from Mahncke Park to the intersection of McCullough Avenue.
Siclovia is a free event that turns major city streets into a safe place for people to exercise and play.
The streets became temporarily car-free for about five hours Sept. 25 for families to run, ride bikes, ride skateboards, skate, take exercise classes and enjoy their city streets.
Retiree Yolanda Rodriguez said she attended to help her get back in shape after surgery.
“I had to recover from it, and I am on my way to good health,” she said at Siclovia.
Rodriguez, who attended with her husband, Robert, said her son is the reason she came to the event.
The two, who have been married for more than 43 years, said this was their first time coming to the event, but they plan to go to more.
“We are planning on going and going and keep pushing,” she said.
Sarita Perez said she uses the event to spend time and have fun with her sister.
“I like it. It is very family-friendly and everyone is nice, and the weather is good today,” Perez said.
In an interview Sept. 23, Siclovia Director Pete Garcia said Siclovia was part of an obesity prevention grant from Community Putting Prevention to Work.
Garcia said they want to make three to five miles of road car-free for San Antonio communities.
District 2 City Councilman Alan Warrick helped kick off the event by encouraging everyone to learn about making a change in lifestyles by diet or even stretching in the morning.
“From South America to San Antonio, Siclovia is really changing lives and changing the world,” Warrick said.
District 1 City Councilman Roberto Treviño thanked businesses who attended and wanted everyone to participate despite the weather.
“If it rains, so what? Let’s enjoy today. We are going to sweat anyway,” Treviño said.
Sponsors such as H-E-B, Dick’s Sporting Goods and Yelp lined the streets in tents. Representatives from Brackenridge at Midtown apartment complex rode bikes and passed out fliers about their property.
San Antonio’s Siclovia is held twice a year on the last Sunday of March and September.
The first Siclovia in San Antonio was Oct. 2, 2011, which drew more than 15,000 attendees, according to biketexas.org.
The name “Siclovia” is adapted from the Spanish word “ciclovia,” which means “cycleway,” either a permanent bike path or the closing of certain streets to automobiles for cyclists and pedestrians, a practice sometimes called “open streets.” San Antonio’s spelling includes “si,” the Spanish word for “yes.”
Siclovia started in 1974, and became a Colombian tradition, according to Mark Jenkins, in “How a Colombian Cycling Tradition Changed the World” in bicycling.com published Aug. 17, 2015.
It has now spread around the world from Los Angeles to Cape Town.
The local event is sponsored by the YMCA and co-hosted by the city of San Antonio and the San Antonio Metropolitan Health District.