I started really riding bikes when I was 12 as a way to get around the gravel roads outside Iowa City, Iowa. I started racing when I was 16 after seeing the Tour de France on television. At 17, I started working as a mechanic at my first bike shop job. I was hooked. And for the next twelve years I continued to wrench, tour, race and commute, constantly exploring disciplines, physical limitations and the incredible geography around me.
In 2000 I moved to Portland, Oregon where I took a job as a bicycle courier for five and a half years – the last two of which I helped start and run Portland’s only bike messenger collective. Cold, wet and dark mornings in the winter and endless hours of sunshine in the summer. For years I worked all week to ride and race on the weekends. In 2003, I finished second in an unsanctioned “rando-cat” from San Francisco to Portland, completing the 750 mile route in 4 days.
Over the years, miles and with 80 frames built I have refined my own personal style of cycling routed in speed, distance and self reliance.
My experiences as a cyclist, my style and my love for the machines that make it all possible culminated in the creation of Ira Ryan Cycles which unofficially debuted in 2005 when I built my first frame and raced it without paint for 325 miles over 24 hours to win the inaugural Trans-Iowa Race. Gliding over moon lit gravel for hours and hours on a bike I made with my own hands, to win the Trans-Iowa, is an experience that will forever influence my riding and commitment to the craft of bicycle building.
It seems that I have only been building frames for a short time but it has taken years to amass the knowledge and experience to make a frame that is designed well, build beautifully and performs precisely.
Cheers, Ira Ryan Cycles