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.
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!”
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/QtfntDGyg4
“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!”