[This is the first in a series of four interviews with local bike builders who are exhibiting at the North American Handmade Bicycle Show next weekend (March 2-4) in San Jose, California.]
For up-and-coming bike builder Ira Ryan, this will be his first time as an exhibitor.
Ira is a former bicycle messenger and sometimes ultra-endurance mountain bike racer who builds bikes out of a shop in the basement of Weir’s Cyclery in the north Portland neighborhood of St. Johns.
With his business just getting off the ground, this trip is an especially big step. It will be the first time people outside of Portland are introduced to him and his work.
Below is a sneak peek at his just completed “Project Cupcake” show bike, followed by a brief interview.
definitely get some attention at NAHBS.]
Photo: Ira Ryan
What do you hope to get out of your trip to San Jose?
“The bike culture is super rich here in Portland, but I feel like no one outside of this city knows who I am or what I do. The internet is great, but I see the show as an amplifier to a larger audience.
I don’t have any expectations of walking out of there with 10 orders…but in the long term I think a show like this is good for my business.”
What are your plans for your booth?
“I want my space to represent who I am as a builder, rider and person. It will have a lot of Portland touches…I am not about the bling booth, I want it to be approachable and comfortable.”
What are you personally looking forward to at the show?
“I want to meet the people behind the scenes, get to know the 30-plus year builders and check out the creativity that everyone brings to the table. I feel like the building community isn’t about competition but rather improving the collective handbuilt bicycle industry. We all inspire each other to create something beautiful and functional.”
Ira, thanks for taking time to share some thoughts with us and best of luck at the show!