(Photo: Ahearne Cycles)
The United Bicycle Institute will start its first framebuilding class on Monday (4/12) and the classes will be taught by two of Portland’s most prominent frame builders — Tony Pereira and Joseph Ahearne.
Ashland-based UBI has been offering professional mechanic training courses since they opened their campus in North Portland back in October. Since then, they’ve been working to renovate one of their buildings (on the corner of North Williams and Shaver) to house their frame building classroom. Those renovations are now complete and brazing classes start Monday.
Ahearne is NAHBS veteran who has come a long way since strapping a few of his custom cargo racks and stems to a backpack and walking around the inaugural show in Houston Texas back in 2005.
One of things I love about Portland is the constant array of interesting bikes I see around town. As an incorrigible bike geek, it’s impossible for me to walk by a rack without doing a quick once-over to see what gems I might find.
The other night, I left a meeting and spied something wonderful locked to a rusty old pole at Jefferson High School in North Portland. It was a striking, twin-tubed, red beauty. Upon further inspection I realized it was an Ahearne, built just down the road by none other than local builder Joseph Ahearne.
Since Joseph was also in the meeting, I’d say there’s a good chance this is his personal rig (I know, I’m brilliant).
[This is the third 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. Read previous interviews with Ira Ryan and Tony Pereira.]
Joseph Ahearne of Ahearne Cycles has come a long way since his first trip to the Handmade Bicycle Show.
Back in 2005, without his own booth, he walked around the show with just a few parts strapped to his back.
When I walked through the door of Joseph Ahearne’s new shop in North Portland, he didn’t even look up. Hunched over and deep in concentration, he gazed into a white-hot flame and danced around a frame clasped into the stand; constantly tweaking it to get just the right angle for his torch and flux. Like the conductor of an alchemy orchestra, he moved his torch up-and-down, working to get just the right combination of heat and flux to make the fillet-brazed joints as smooth and clean as possible.