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Cycling the First Century of San Antonio

In a recent lecture titled “On the Edge of the Empire,” St. Mary’s University history professor Gerald Poyo asked, “How did a community that began with 72 people, 548 horses, six droves of mules, and a herd of livestock survive to become the San Antonio we know today?” Offering something of a visual response to that and other questions, the San Antonio Museum of Art’s Tricentennial exhibition “San Antonio 1718: Art from Viceregal Mexico” brings together more than 100 paintings, sculptures and decorative objects that reveal “the lives and times of San Antonio’s earliest inhabitants.” Nodding to our Spanish Colonial missions and the odd sensation many get while visiting them (“wondering who once lived there, what they saw, valued, and thought”), the collection of works puts faces on the Spanish viceroys, Franciscan missionaries, military leaders and ordinary folks who helped shape San Antonio. This weekend, the exhibition serves as inspiration for Cycling the First Century of San Antonio, which incudes a brief gallery talk followed by an organized bike tour from SAMA to the Alamo, Mission Concepción and San Fernando Cathedral. Led by a certified guide from Cycling San Antonio, the roughly 12-mile ride is open to all levels and includes light snacks and frequent stops. Those without bikes can rent one from the B-Cycle station in the museum’s parking lot.

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