Friday, February 23, 2007

Distracted, um I mean dedicated

I was going to write today about a little hike I did with my wife today and some of the pros and cons of where we may end up in June but a funny thing happened today on my way to my blog. I read a whole bunch of blogs on a regular basis and use RSS feeds to know what's going on without visiting every site. One site that I read every once in a while is Bike Portland. Normally I skip it because it's about local issues and I haven't lived in Portland since I was 15 but today they have an interview with Ira Ryan that caught my attention. I really love what can be done with handcrafted steel and I think he makes some of the most beautiful frames I've ever seen.

Anyway, what really struck me about the BP post is that I found out that he's building out of the basement of Weir’s Cyclery. Not that big of a deal to most but Weir's and my family go back a long way. Everyone in my family and on my father's side, brother, sister, aunts, uncles, the whole goddamn shooting match, our bikes came from Weir's. Almost all of us got our first bikes there. My brother bought his first skateboard there. I spent many hours there pouring over model cars and airplanes. My grandfather bought supplies there for the extensive (scratch) model building that he did. Every bike crash that sent me to the hospital happened on a Weir's bike. Weir's has moved a couple of times since my youth and no longer has a skate or hobby shop but the last time I was there, a year and a half ago, it still had the feel. In my life Weir's became the gold standard that all other bike shops will be judged. When Michele and I arrived in Phoenix I went to every bike shop in a ten mile radius looking for the shop that had the same feeling that stepping into Weir's did, I eventually found that shop by the way, but it took a while. That shop is Rage if your wondering. In case you haven't figured it out yet, I'm a pretty loyal SOB when it comes to bike shops and I truly resent the rise of internet bike shopping that has in many ways led to demise of the local shop, I feel it is far better for both parties for the consumer to develop a good rapport with one's local shop and the few extra dollars that it may cost be damned.

My point is that when I'm ready for a custom frame in about four or five years- when that time comes, Ira, if you're still in the Weir's basement, you got yourself a customer for sure. Hell, even if you're gone from there you'll still be at the head of the pack. Braze on!


JMH said...

I've been drooling over Ira's bikes for a few months now, sweet bikes indeed. Would love to have him build me a nice single speed cross frame, but not sure I can justify the cost for a custom bike I will ride almost every day to work, or maybe that is exactly why I should get one!

Have you seen the custom frames from the good folks at Circle A Cycles?

Providence, Rhode Island frame builder with similar designs as Ira Ryan.

Sean said...

The custom is likely out of my budget until my lady gets done with residency in another three years, bu it's in the works for sure. Circle A's certainly has some pretty eye candy, thanks for the link.