What are we talking about today?

Some days have themes. I don't necessarily post something in each of these topic areas every week.

Sunday: Church-related or spiritual things.
Monday: Running.
Tuesday: Books.
Wednesday: Transportation.
Friday: Green living.

15 February 2012

Mission Ride! at the Texas Trails Conference

Yep, still covering the Texas Trails and Active Transportation conference. Previous posts: San Antonio B-Cycle, Bogata and Seville, and Texas Senator Rodney Ellis.

The pre-ride mechanics.
I missed the afternoon sessions at the conference in favour of a mobile workshop on the Mission Trail. Truth be told, I should have been working during this time, but I pulled all my best rhetoric out to pathetically beg to be allowed to go on the ride. My major point was that I've lived in Texas for 12 years without ever seeing the Alamo, in the hopes that all the Texans around me would jump at the chance to educate the northerner.

What happened in real life is that my coworker who I was supposed to be helping in the afternoon sent me on my way on the grounds that we weren't that busy. It's possible she was acting out of self-preservation, but I really wasn't planning to whine if I didn't get my own way. But hey, whatever it takes.

On the Riverwalk.
So, I dashed out, got a helmet, got a bike, borrowed (okay, took: she didn't want it back) a ponytail holder from Mellow Eileen, and then stood around while everyone else got themselves sorted out. It's possible that I smiled and helped hand out helmets, but I was so excited to be seeing the missions! And taking part in a group ride! With BikeTexas! That I was more exuberant than helpful. Yes, inside I'm still about eight years old.

The Alamo.
We finally set out (yep, eight!) and headed to the Alamo first. Now, I've heard that one's first visit to the Alamo is always a bit anticlimactic, because you expect it to be a big huge building with historical markers and open fields or whatever, but reality is that it's an old building in the middle of downtown San Antonio, with tons of larger buildings all around it. We stopped, we took a group photo (many thanks to the woman who was innocently standing around before we rolled up and pressed her into service to operate our cameras), and then we rolled off again towards the Riverwalk.

I don't really know what this is, but
I liked it.
A guy who was riding not too far from me had some running commentary going on the historical buildings that we were passing-- presumably, he's from San Antonio and is up on the tour guide bit. Or he was just really good at making things up. Either way, we were riding past some really pretty buildings that apparently have been there for a while.

Mission San Juan.
Our next stop on the tour was Mission San Juan. We walked around, we took pictures, I discussed with a coworker whether or not we would really manage a 20-mile ride that day (we didn't), and then we loaded up again to head to...

Mission San Jose
Mission San Jose. It's absolutely gorgeous, and the park around it is huge. Basically, San Jose is what I've always thought the Alamo looked like. It was at this point in my day that I realised that I had turned into one of those people that goes to amazing, beautiful, and/or historical places and can't tear their eyes from their phone. In fact, I was caught on camera doing it, because a local TV station was interviewing a former Congressman about cycling stuff when I emerged from the church behind him in the act of tweeting. I was only doing it because I was supposed to be working! Honest!

After doing some chatting, networking, and generally having a good time at Mission San Jose, we headed back to the hotel for the final session of the evening. Which, if all goes according to plan, I will tell you about tomorrow.


Carole Anne Carr said...

Fascinating account. Wish I had that energy and thanks for the photographs.

Karen Peterson said...

I used to love touring the California Missions when I was a kid.

It's funny because I was thinking that the Alamo looked really small in your picture, and then when you said it's kind of underwhelming I was glad it wasn't just me.

Su said...

@Carole: Thanks! It was very fun!

@Karen: I'm glad someone warned me that it's teeny before I saw it.