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/