In March of 2007, Ryder Bikes was purchased by Paul and Karen Tobio. Paul and Karen bring a fresh perspective to Ryder Bikes as they both worked for a major retailer for the past 15 years and have been avid cyclists during that time. Paul worked in a large bicycle shop in Massachusetts for eight years. Paul raced BMX growing up, turned to freestyle riding during the 80s, and has been riding mountain bikes and road bikes ever since. Both Karen and Paul have been racing triathlons for the past four years. Paul brings an excellent knowledge of cycling to the Ryder Bikes team, including a USA Triathlon level 1 coach and certified bicycle fit education. Come into the shop and meet Karen and Paul.
Ryder Bikes Starts Up
In 1972 a United States rocket scientist felt Bradenton needed a premier bicycle shop. The founder, Bruce Ryder opened ”The Bicycle Center” with a small nine hundred square foot space, next to a pub called the “ Inn” in the back of the old K-MartPlaza, at 14th Street and Cortez Road.
All the neighborhood kids would come by and set up ramps behind the shop. He talked a Bradenton adult three-wheel manufacturer, Sun Cycle, and his Sertoma Club, into building a BMX racetrack on 23rd Street East and the rest is history. ManateeCounty became the model for the State and then the Nation. Bruce recalls, “I took a van of our local riders around the country and we set them all back on their heals. We could hear them announcing over the speaker systems at the tracks as we pulled in, “The riders from Bradenton are here!””
“I remember Frankie John had a bunch of buddies from the Islands who wanted “Moon Cruisers” that were more than just single speed bikes”, Bruce recalls. We kept building custom off roads for all our locals and called them TR- STARS. Each one wanted it better than the previous one. Now many manufactures make them and call them “Mountain Bikes”.
Bruce says to customers leaving the shop, “If this was the finest experience you had, tell every one you know, if not tell me”. His employees convinced him years ago, to change the name of the shop to Ryder Bikes. Now, the oldest and largest shop in Bradenton, features the Nation’s most unique bicycle shop. “I receive more pleasure launching lives, rather than launching rockets.” Says Bruce. His daughter, Alanna, and wife, Madeleine, exclaimed with a smile, “ManateeCounty community opened their arms and hearts to us and we’ve never looked back”.