Please take time to read the Rivard Report article about the trail signs being installed by South Texas Off Road Mountain-Bikers (STORM) made possible by a generous $10,000 grant from REI through the San Antonio Parks Foundation. Friends of McAllister Park had the vision for trail signs. STORM is celebrating it’s 25th year of mountain bike and trail advocacy and this project epitomizes the work STORM does for the community.
South Texas Off Road Mountain-Bikers (STORM) is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization representing thousands of area mountain bikers in San Antonio and surrounding areas. Founded in 1993 by a group of San Antonio mountain-bike enthusiasts, STORM is committed to environmentally conscious mountain biking and trail building, facilitating recreational trail cycling, educating about the sport of mountain biking, maintaining local trails, and advocating for increased multi-user trail access. As the oldest and leading mountain bike advocacy organization in San Antonio and surrounding areas, STORM is first and foremost an organization by and for mountain bike riders. That is to say, we like to ride our bikes off road and work to increase the opportunities to do so by advocating access to trails on public and private land. We advocate responsible mountain biking by adopting a sustainable trail ethic along with practices that ensure the future of our sport. STORM assists both public and private land owners with developing, maintaining and preserving access to sustainable trails. STORM is responsible for natural surface trail maintenance and building in many of the San Antonio city parks and greenways. Through a proven history of collaboration between land managers, volunteer groups, and other local stakeholders such as businesses, private landowners, environmental organizations and community leaders, STORM’s approach to advocacy and organizing is based on coalition building amongst these various trail and parkland users. In addition to our advocacy and trail building work, STORM maintains several programs aimed to increase the safety and enjoyment of our sport. Our goal is to provide riders of all skill levels the opportunity to enjoy the trails throughout San Antonio and surrounding areas for generations to come. STORM hosts weekly all skill level rides, monthly kid’s rides (STORM Kidz), quarterly women’s skills clinics through our women’s group (Rebel Betties), as well as putting on a XC race and XC Marathon race each year.
Unauthorized (i.e., rogue, bandit, illegal, etc.) trails and trail “maintenance” have become an increasing issue in the city parks and greenways. There’s a simple rule that everyone should be able to follow: If it’s not your property, don’t do any trail work, building, re-routing, etc. without authorization from the land owner/manager. In the case of city parks and greenways, the land manager is San Antonio Parks and Recreation (SAPAR). STORM currently has an agreement in place with SAPAR to perform trail maintenance and building. If you feel something needs to be done on any of the trails in the city parks or greenways, please contact SAPAR or STORM. There has been some serious damage occurring on the trails by people who are not obtaining the proper authorization and obviously do not understand the repercussions of their actions. While not all of these occurrences are at the hands of mountain bikers, these actions are threatening the relationship between SAPAR and the mountain biking community and potentially threatening trail access for the mountain biking community as a whole. For more information, please read this summary of the IMBA World Summit 2010 Resources – Dealing With Unauthorized Trails