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Relocating to San Antonio

Old 02-28-10, 09:58 AM
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Relocating to San Antonio

I'll be moving to San Antonio for work later this year. What's riding like there? Hilly or smooth? I don't know where I'll be living but I'll be working at Ft Sam Houston, and would like to live somewhere within reasonable riding distance (15ish miles) of post and the city itself... any recommendations? Is there anything else I should know about the town?

Thanks!
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Old 03-02-10, 04:11 PM
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I replied to your cross-posted-in-Commuting-Fourm thread:

Originally Posted by jrich179
disclaimer- I only have a vague and passing knowledge of the area by Ft Sam, but hopefully I can drop a little knowledge that you'll find helpful.

You'll encounter some topography just about anywhere in the city- north and especially northwest of the city limits is the area specifically designated as "Texas Hill Country", and it would be a great area for recreational rides- rural, hilly, beautiful- Medina Lake, Hwy 16 between Helotes and Bandera, Kerrville...Government Canyon if you mountain bike.

Ft. Sam, if I'm not mistaken, is north-northeast, inside of Loop 410 (the inner loop, versus 1604, the outer loop- scope a map, and that will make perfect sense). I think I can rightly say that as a general rule, residential areas that close to 410 aren't the greatest, although it's prime location for commercial development, and in many parts of town, neighborhoods turn pretty nice as you go further outside the loop, and I'm also pretty sure the NE gets downright ritzy in places. 1604 used to be the absolute outer reach of town, but over the last 12 yrs, it's gotten insaaaaanely developed out there, especially the Northwest- a lot of it is pretty luxurious too. And again, you start to get into the Hill Country out that way- The poster who mentioned Sea World and Fiesta Texas (Six Flags) was on point- both on the northwest of town.

I'm speaking largely of suburbs- that's where I grew up (NW SA), but that's not to say cycling isn't big inside the inner loop- I mean, really that's the part of the city you could largely forgo automobile dependence, which is saying a lot in any major Texas city. SA has a really neat downtown, and being a radial city, I'm sure you could find one of the nice neighborhoods (let's not sugarcoat- there are a ton of rough 'hoods, and east side ain't great) close to downtown, but easily take a bike out to Ft. Sam. And also if I'm not mistaken, the immediate North of downtown has some of the nicest, historic neighborhoods in town, although probably fair to say, out of most folks' price range (EDIT- I was wrong; I'm thinking of the King William District, which is actually South of downtown...which makes it now worth noting that South Town is an emerging artists' district, and I know artists who live there for dirt cheap and without cars). Also in that area (back to talking about North Downtown), you have Brackenridge Park and the San Antonio Zoo, and that whole area might be my favorite part of town, having been jaded by the burbs.

I haven't lived in SA for about 13 yrs now, but I know a lot of my friends get around on bikes, inside 410, and they love it (for reference, around the west side as well as the Brackenridge Park/Broadway/St Marys area). If I'm not mistaken, there's also a lot of new growth going on in the Northeast of town, near 1604, which might serve you well, but as I mentioned, I grew up on the NW side, and you wouldn't believe how far away that is from the NE, so I was rarely out there. I visited a couple months ago for the first time in over 3 years, and spent a lot of time around my old stomping grounds, and aside from the MASSIVE amount of new development, I was also surprised by the number of bike lanes, which I'd never noticed growing up (because I don't think they were there...not because I was ignorant of my surroundings from inside a motorized steel cage)- mind you, these were mostly glorified shoulders, road debris and all, but nevertheless, it was clear to me that cycling was at least in tokenly mind when the new streets were laid out. edit- Another new development since my last visit was an epic extension of the Riverwalk, which now incorporates a bike path that goes well south of town (I believe it's a trail to the historic missions), and may very well extend north into Brackenridge Park- I know it at least goes to the SA Museum of Art, and beneath I-35. It was honestly very impressive.

That's all to say you'll love biking in SATX; it's hilly enough in town to keep your commutes rigorous and non-boring, but for the most part, the killer hills lie in the surrounding country. Oh, and I bet you'll find that many if not most of your colleagues at Ft Sam live on the northwest side, and commute by car, despite the insanity that is SA traffic- they'll complain a lot about it, but will cope by telling themselves "at least I'm not on a bicycle"


*** Now that I've reread my post and also looked at a map, I'm gonna go out on a limb and say you should really look into the Brackenridge Park area, just north of city center. It's a super neat area, beautiful, and actually a LOT closer to Ft. Sam than I was originally envisioning, and as I already mentioned great for cyclists.
the original post may be a little easier to read, as I emphasized my edits using italics, which, as you can see is a bit of a wash in the quoted text

Last edited by jrich179; 03-02-10 at 04:22 PM.
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Old 03-08-10, 03:24 PM
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Thanks for the reply. looking forward to kicking around a new city
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Old 03-10-10, 09:19 PM
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the 1604 highway loop on the north side is a biker's paradise
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Old 03-22-10, 08:26 AM
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There is some really good riding east as well. From Ft. Sam out between 10 and 35. East of randolph you get out in the country real quick, zero traffic and some of the nicest roads I've ridden in my 30 yrs on a bike.

If you havn't settled yet there are some nice communities out that way along FM-78.
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