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Updated: Motorhome bike guy needs our help

Posted by on November 28th, 2006 at 2:45 pm

Who will ever forget this guy? Not me. After my post a few weeks ago, I was amazed at how many people remembered seeing him. Readers chimed in from all over the country to say how impressed they were with the moxie and ingenuity behind this man and machine.

Well it turns out that Ryan (they man behind this amazing bike) needs our help. A reader contacted me with this follow-up information:

The designer/dweller’s name is Ryan Brian. The bike is indeed a fascinating and well-designed machine, but it’s got a couple of problems after many years on the road, and Ryan Brian could use a little bit of help from his bike-tinker bretheren in Portland.

Some of the styrofoam roofing-insulation panels in his roof have begun taking on water and are starting to house some fungus. If anybody has these kind of blue styrofoam panels lying around dry, Ryan Brian could really use them.

His front wheel is a mag wheel from a Puch moped with internal brake. He’s got plans to eventually replace it with a home-
built mag wheel; I’m sure he’s got an excellent design, but he’s a little bit low on parts at the moment, and meanwhile the bearings are starting to fail. He was asking me where he might find moped parts in Portland — I had no idea. But if anybody has
a moped front wheel lying around, or thinks they have replacement bearings for such a wheel, Ryan Brian might be able to use those parts.

He’s got ambitious plans to build another such “ship” — this one is his third! — but he’s low on scratch and materials.

Although his machine is impressively well-designed, he says it’s showing its age and he’s not sure whether to repair or replace at this point. Nevertheless, it’s his home for the winter.

He said he doesn’t need much in the way of bike parts, but most of all any aluminum extrusion anybody can donate would be most welcome.

Most of all, Ryan Brian wants us to know that he designs and builds excellent bike ships, bike trailers, and other large bike cargo machines! If you were thinking of employing an iconoclastic engineer in that area, I’d suggest you talk to him! He will be based near 20th and SE Ankeney for a while, as he’s house-sitting for a friend who lives on that block. Drop by and say hi.

*Update: Another reader says Brian wants to build these bikes for others, and also build cargo versions for messengers and other interested parties. If anyone would like to contact Brian directly, please drop me a line at jonathan[at]bikeportland[dot]org.

Let’s help keep this guy rolling strong for many more years!

NOTE: We love your comments and work hard to ensure they are productive, considerate, and welcoming of all perspectives. Disagreements are encouraged, but only if done with tact and respect. If you see a mean or inappropriate comment, please contact us and we'll take a look at it right away. Also, if you comment frequently, please consider holding your thoughts so that others can step forward. Thank you — Jonathan

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    Steve Holsten December 11, 2006 at 9:38 pm

    Hummm, I smell something fishy. I can’t find a single story about this bike except in the Portland area over the past month. You would think SOMEONE else would have reported this bicycle over the past few years. And now, just as he gets publicty, the bike is suddenly falling apart.

    I smell a rat. I bet the bike was just built last month and hasn’t left the city of Portland.

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    bjorn December 11, 2006 at 10:14 pm

    I’ve seen him in Corvallis before, and there was a story about him in the Corvallis Gazette Times when he was there. He’s a real guy.


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    Wally Couch December 22, 2006 at 8:47 am

    I stopped and talked with Brian in Trinidad, CA. Took some pictures. It was great to talk to him. I sure hope I run into him again this summer ’07 while we tour the pacific coast.


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    Brodie January 22, 2007 at 3:10 pm

    Some friends and I ran into Brian in a tiny town outside of Medford Oregon (280 miles away) in the summer of 2002, and back then he was parked in the parking lot of a grocery store riding that same bike. We hung out and chatted with him for half an hour about life, the joys of homlessness, and low impact living. When we left, he didn’t ask us for anything. He’s a very authentic positive person, and we should help out people like that if we get the chance.

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    Jefferson July 12, 2007 at 9:00 pm

    Lol…wow my wife and I ran into him 2 years ago while camping in Big Sur around August or so. He had just come up from Guadalupe along highway one. He was just waking up and a bit grogy, but we chatted with him for a bit and got the same story……been all over as far as Mexico on his rolling home on wheels etc. Also said that he had started a trend in Mexico with his bike/home! We offered him food which he gladly accepted. He really seem to like the canned goods. Didn\’t want any of the fruit and such, but he did take a half a bag of cookies! Lol…everyones got a sweet tooth. Offered him some bottles of water we had left, but he was content to get his water from the moutain streams…he said that water was pleanty good for him. Kind of humbled me a little inside and I have to admit I envied him a ittle too. He seemed pretty happy.

    Kind regards,

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    Bill jones January 9, 2008 at 12:23 am

    Aye, Me lady and me ran into Brian in Brookings Oregon in the beautiful summer of 2006.
    As fer the bicycle, I wholly support the damn thing.
    Wish I had one meself.
    A good egg, that Brian. And he made those pants hisself, you know. He knows about tailoring too.

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