A record number of people flooded Broadway on Sunday for the city’s third Síclovía despite the coldest weather in months.
In its third incarnation, Síclovía attracted more than 45,000 people to play in the streets. At the opening ceremony in front of the Alamo, San Antonio Mayor Julián Castro said initiatives like Síclovía provide more opportunities for physical activity.
“We know that in San Antonio there are rates of obesity and all those other afflictions that are far above the national average, and we don’t want to just sit back and hope that folks have opportunity to change that,” Castro said. "We want to empower folks to be active, give them opportunities to both have a good time and do something good for their body.”
Síclovía is quickly becoming a San Antonio fitness staple. On the streets, cyclists, rollerbladers, runners, and dog walkers, braved the early 52 degree weather. Cyclist Lisa Vasquez said she believes Síclovía is a great to get people out of the house.
“Especially those who don’t normally come out, or it’s not safe for the little ones to ride on the street, you always have to go to the park so this really neat and exciting,” Vasquez said. “We woke up extra early, skipped church, and came out here.”
Music emanated from the Reclovías - recreation stations - from the Parks along Broadway for exercise like Zumba, rock climbing, and body combat. Molly Cox with SA2020 is one of the fitness instructors from the Lion’s Field Reclovía.
“Health and fitness is one of the cause areas that everybody said, ‘We want to be the healthiest in the United States,’” Cox said. “Obviously, you come out to something like Síclovía here at the Reclovía and turn it into a way for us to just find our passion, get excited about health and fitness, get excited about moving, try to become the healthiest city that we want to be.”
Raul Perales brought is family out to participate, and said San Antonio had a bad rep for being a fat city, but now he sees that is changing with city events like this.
“As a family, it gives us the opportunity to get out on the road, exercise together and it’s really, really healthy," said Perales. "It’s a really good thing to see all these people out here on their bikes rather than sitting at home and watching TV. It’s good to get those kids away from the Xbox and the PlayStation and just get them doing some workouts.”
San Antonio’s Síclovía is a variation on a similar event in Colombia. Previously run by the city, Síclovía is now a project of the YMCA. Each Síclovía costs around $150,000 to put on; the bulk of that goes to pay for road closures and police.
YMCA of Greater San Antonio CEO Sandy Morander said the YMCA is committed to doing two Síclovía per year, and there is a possibility to add a third each year sometime in the future.
“What that will look like in the future, we’re not really sure. What time of year? Middle of summer doesn’t seem like the best time of year to try to do a Síclovía,” Mornader said. “So we’re looking at it and looking for additional options but at least two a year we’re committed to doing.”
The next Síclovía will be April 7 as pre-fiesta event.