Podium Stands – Sponsor Highlight

Interview of Ryan Toman (owner of Podium Stands) by Brenda Gonzalez (STORM Vice President)

Brenda: How did you get into mountain biking?

Ryan: I was always very interested in biking.  When I was around 7 years old, I started modifying frames and forks on bicycles. I would chop off the forks and extend them to at least 3 feet, raking out the bike pretty long. These weren’t the easiest bikes to ride, though.  Evel Knievel was on top as far as motorcycle daredevils.  Most boys wanted to be like him at the time.  Me and a neighbor friend decided we would jump one of my creations, the handle bars spun around on one of our jumps, taking a plug out of my buddies’ leg, and left his skin and tissue where the bar end should have been. I continued to always like biking.  One day one of my buddies told me he had an extra mountain bike and said, “Let’s go ride McAllister Park”.  I came home bloody and bruised from that first mountain bike ride and I’ve been hooked ever since.

Brenda: You started the Mountain Bikers of San Antonio Facebook Group. How did that come about?

Ryan: I started a small Facebook group called Mountain Bikers of San Antonio to be a place where riders could share their experience in biking as well as share pictures and stories; a place where riders could just feel comfortable sharing and not being judged on what they rode or their capabilities, just as long as they were riding. The group was at 10 whopping members for so long, until one day the word started getting out.  Now, the Mountain Bikers of San Antonio Facebook group has over 2,000 members.  I still keep the page values as fun as possible without offending anyone. We are so fortunate that San Antonio has a strong biking community.

Brenda: As the honorary Mayor/King of Salado, which trail section segment would you recommend and why?

Ryan: Salado trails are my favorite local trails.  These trails are some of the most rocky and “on the pedal” trails east of Government Canyon.  I like the challenging creek sections.  A section named Marty’s House is one of my favorite trail sections, besides Night Train.  It’s just sad that we lost a lot of the trails due to housing and business development.  I love Flat Rock Ranch and all the Local trails in San Antonio.  Salado, at least these days, is what I try to get in a couple of times a week. Love those trails…

Brenda: You are also the owner, creator, and maker of Podium bike stands, what made you decide to start your own business?

Ryan: One day I was working on my bike, and after seeing my bike fall after leaning on everything in sight, I decided I was going to build myself a stand that would hold up my bike and as well as let me do minor bike servicing. I built the first stand; it was lightweight and strong. It worked out so nice that local riders were asking if I would sell them one.

Brenda: I have both and love them both. I find the triangle is the most convenient for getting ready for local rides, how did the triangle come to be?

Ryan: Next, I wanted a portable stand you could throw under a seat of my vehicle so you could prep your bike before you hit the trails. I could never come up with a clever name, so it has just been called the Triangle stand. Not much has changed in the stands over the years.  I have tried to make other styles, but at the end of the day the simplicity of the stands is spot on.

Brenda: Can you explain the Pandinus stand and how it’s changed over the years?

Ryan: The Pandinus stand has had a few different designs like the standard design and a foldable magnetic stand. To date, I make every stand from start to finish; a one-man operation. I would like to be in local bike shops, but I am comfortable and happy what I do to date. Small is okay, too.

Thank you, Ryan Toman, for telling us more about Podium Stands and yourself. Ryan graciously donates stands to STORM to give as schwag at the races and other events. We’re grateful for his donations but we also love those stands!

If you are interested in purchasing one of these awesome stands, contact Ryan at: https://www.facebook.com/podiumstands/

Show our trails some love, San Antonio!

We are blessed with some great trails in our community, both within the City of San Antonio and in the Texas Hill Country that surrounds it. Most of us know these trail networks don’t happen by accident, and if you’re like me, you might feel a little guilty sometimes knowing that you’re not doing enough to nurture the trails and the sport we love.

Clear your conscience, my friend, and join the South Texas Off Road Mountain-Bikers (STORM) chapter of the International Mountain Bicycling Association (IMBA). Today. Like now. Stop reading and do your part to support mountain biking in our region. https://www.imba.com/join/chapter/storm

From my perspective, STORM has been infused with new energy the past few years. The leadership of the organization has worked tirelessly to get more riders involved. They organize advocacy campaigns to push for trails in new or expanded parks and fight to protect the ones we already have. They host “Take a Kid Mountain Biking” events every month to plant the seed with the next generation. They organize trail building and maintenance days at our local networks. They sponsor and organize races. And they set up tables at numerous community events to spread the word about the best freaking sport in the world! Continue reading “Show our trails some love, San Antonio!”

STORM Fall 2019 Membership Drive

Join STORM today and make a difference for yourself, your family, and your local MTB community!

Join STORM

South Texas Off Road Mountain-Bikers (STORM) is your local mountain bike and trail advocacy 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization and IMBA Local affiliate.

Why join STORM?

  • Your contributions are critical to the continued success of STORM’s mission of getting more people mountain biking in addition to continued and increased access to trails and new trail development.
  • By increasing our membership, we strengthen STORM’s position when working with land owners/managers, government entities, and other organizations.  STORM membership will add your voice to other local mountain bikers to help us advocate for the development of new trails and to maintain access to current trails.
  • Your membership fees help STORM to continue it’s programs such as trail maintenance/development, weekly rides, STORM Kidz, and Rebel Betties Women’s Mountain Biking.
  • STORM members have access to individual member benefits through IMBA.

¡Si se puede!
Yes we can!

Read more on the Membership page.

REI Monthly Wednesday Trail Workdays

REI is taking the reins on some much needed trail maintenance and STORM truly appreciates the help.  REI has committed to natural surface trail maintenance work days at O.P. Schnabel Park the last Wednesday of every month. With the O.P. Schnabel Park Expansion (former Alamo Golf Club) property purchase and development in the next few years, this will be a tremendous help for trail maintenance activities for this park system in the future. Maintaining trails at all the city parks and linear creekway parks is very challenging due to unpredictable weather and multiple factors affecting volunteer availability.  With all of the mountain bike and trail advocacy activities with which STORM is involved, we try to perform a trail maintenance work day at each park or linear creekway park at least once a year.  Obviously, some areas receive more attention than others based on ongoing grant-funded projects or feedback from trail users.  With REI stepping up to perform trail maintenance at O.P. Schnabel Park, this means that STORM can focus trail maintenance efforts on other areas.  The REI trail work days are open to the public as well.  All volunteers are welcome. The September trail work day had to be pushed back to October 2nd, so October will have 2 trail work days.  Anyone wanting to volunteer can sign up at https://x.gldn.io/Pc8K4aWc2Z

“REI Co‑op invested in the future of the outdoors by giving back more than 70% of our profits in 2018. As our community grows, we’re able to get more people outdoors.

We’ve impacted more than 5,000 outdoor places across the U.S. through grants, advocacy, and stewardship projects with the help of nearly 150,000 volunteers, including right here in San Antonio. Our team is excited to volunteer and get #sweaty #dirty #happy with 3x Community Grantee STORM and we proudly support the advocacy of sustainable trails for our San Antonio community.

REI San Antonio appreciates the literal heavy lifting that STORM does for trail maintenance throughout the city. We’re committed to working right alongside with our partners to preserve and protect our trails for community and invite others to join us on the last Wednesday of every month at O.P. Schnabel!”

-Luis Cabeza, Store Manager, REI – San Antonio

Continue reading “REI Monthly Wednesday Trail Workdays”