The San Antonio Wheelmen Bicycle Club: What we do
Most of you would immediately say we are a road riding bicycle club, but that is only part of who we are. We do have at least two rides every weekend and frequently on holidays. We also have some of the best route maps in the area. However, the Wheelmen are involved in a number of other activities.
The Wheelmen are the most active cycling advocacy organization in the San Antonio area.
- We have been involved with the Bicycle Mobility Advisory Committee (BMAC) of the Alamo Area Metropolitan Planning Organization since it was formed.
- The Wheelmen have a permanent seat on the BMAC where we represent the interest of recreational cyclists plus bicycle commuters throughout the MPO area.
- Our Club took the lead in mobilizing the bicycle community to press the City Council for implementation of the Bicycle Master Plan.
- Club members have addressed the City Council and other local government organizations to urge support for bicycle related facilities including bike lanes, bike racks on busses, and the Mission Trail extension.
SAPD Bicycle Patrol and SAFD EMT Support
The club has been active in supporting bicycle-related public safety organizations.
San Antonio Police Department Bike Patrol: In 1990, the Wheelmen played a key role in the implementation of the SAPD Bicycle Patrol. The club organized a major fund raising program to purchase the original bicycles used by the Bicycle Patrol.
San Antonio Fire Department EMT Bike Patrol: In 2014 the SAFD formed an EMT Bike Patrol to support activities such NIOSA and other Fiesta events..
The EMT bike patrol requested funding support from the Wheelmen to procure items such as lights to permit night operations.
As a non-profit organization, one of the key Wheelmen activities is to support cycling related charities and organizations. This covers a number of activities:
- The Wheelmen have frequently paid for and operated a rest stop for the Tour de Cure ride which supports the American Diabetes Association.
- The Wheelmen make yearly donations to the Metropolitan Planning Organization for items not covered by their budget.
- We helped pay for the first MPO bike route map so it could be widely distributed through our club, bike shops, and local government organizations.
- The MPO has a program, under a State grant, to distribute bicycle lights and helmets to bicycle commuters and to children through their programs at local schools. The Club’s yearly donations enable the MPO to meet the matching fund requirement for the grant.
- Several years ago we responded to a request from the PTA at an inner city school by purchasing two bicycles, which were presented to students with a perfect attendance record.
- The club has purchased bicycle parts and provided volunteers to do bicycle repairs for several charitable organizations.
- In 2012, we repaired bikes for the children at a homeless shelter on the East side.
- The San Antonio Family Services Association receives damaged bicycles from Walmart. In 2014, the club repaired over 25 bicycles which were given to needy families throughout the City. We hope to continue this support in future years.
- For Christmas 2013 we repaired bicycles for the Children’s Shelter and made a donation to the shelter.
- In 2015, the club donated to a member to help raise money for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society.
- This is not a complete list of our charitable activities, but it gives you a clear idea of our contributions to the local community.
- The Wheelmen fielded a team for the Tour de Cure a number of times, and also conducted Tour de Cure training rides in past years.
- On several occasions we organized the bicycle ride for the City of San Antonio/MPO Walk N Roll festival which is part of the annual Bicycle Week activities. The Club developed routes and maps, provided the pre-ride briefing, and accompanied riders who did not feel comfortable riding by themselves.
- Members of our club have helped with Bicycle Rodeos at local schools and helped judge the San Antonio Bicycle Rodeo finals one year.
As you can see, the club participates in a variety of activities in addition to providing club rides. All Wheelmen members should be proud of their club. Obviously, we need a lot of help from club members to assure success in these endeavors. Please volunteer to help with any of the activities that interest you or, if asked to help, give us a hand. The club and the community will appreciate your efforts.