Ira Ryan - Friends in the Industry

Basic Stuff:

Q) Tell me about your life in cycling. How’d it start, where’d it take you and what does it mean to you?

A) My cycling life was born on a gravel road. Literally. My first memory of riding was when I pedaled my rusty yellow bike up a gravel road in cut offs and no shirt at the age of 5. I’ve never looked back. The bike has given me the unshakable sense of freedom to explore the work under my own power. Adding the ability to fix, modify and adapt this beautiful invention to be taken anywhere on our blue planet still blows me away. It is a tool, art, elegant machine all at the same time.

Q) What led you to build your first frame? When was it, what type of frame?

A) I built my first frame in 2005 in the Vanilla workshop with Sacha White. At the time I was riding A LOT of long miles and had planned to race the first ever Trans-Iowa gravel race so I built an endurance focused road bike with cantilever brakes and big (28mm! HA!) tires. I won the 350 mile race on that bike in 2005 and again in 2007.

Q) When and why did you decide to go into business as a custom framebuilder?

A) I was a reluctant business person and the first 5 years were fueled by passion for the bike, making things and riding. I am still learning how to improve, grow and refine what I do at the bench. I am still inspired to make bikes and make each step in the business more efficient.

Q) Describe your approach or philosophy of framebuilding in 7 words or less.

A) Always improve and make it fun.

Q) Who are some of your primary influences?

A) I pull a lot from many aspects of the world. Inspiration can come in many forms and I like taking queues from different people, places, ideas to blend into what i do at the bench. I’m influenced by my self employed parents who represented vastly different ways to getting things done. I’m drawn to sport and racing and how it can improve the breed. I’m influenced by the bicycles that I see, rusty and worn, that have been ridden every day to work.

Finish these:

1. The favorite bike I’ve build is…
The one that’s being ridden!

2. If I could only ride one bike the rest of my life it would be…
A rim brake CX bike.

3. Custom bikes are about…
Making something unique that also serves a purpose.

4. Riding bikes is about…
Finding the magic in the moment.

5. The best bike rides start with…

6. The best bike rides end with…

7. I’ll keep doing this as long as…
I live.

8. Three of my core values are…
Honesty, respect, empathy.