gone fishin’

the last couple weeks have been a blur of work and not much else. i am getting ready to head to iowa to help the folks with the construction of their new house. don’t be fooled. this is a working “vacation” since i will be working for real wages for weeks to get the house up as soon as possible. the short story is that i grew up in a drafty old farmhouse that was demolished last week to make way for the new house. until it is built, they will be staying in one of the old barns on the farm. stepping away from my building has been a hard decision but in the end, life is too short and to have a hand in the house they will live out their days in, is too important to pass up. i will be back in the shop playing catch up in july.
i am planning on investing in a new jig and a tube mitering system to speed up the process later this summer. i am feeling good about my placement in the building community and am looking forward to investing in my future with building bicycles. being at a place where i can take the plunge to a more efficient set up or shelling out for professional grade tools takes my quality up to the next level. there really is never a substitute for quality. too many shitty tools that chip or make the job harder are never worth it. be pro at what you do, period.
in the spirit of blatant self promotion, everyone should rush out and buy up the july issue of bicycling magazine and open it up to page 88. they interviewed 6 frame builders including myself and mike flanigan. for the record, my shop doesn’t look that good in real life, but the article is really good. i think bicycling magazine is pretty good for being the largest circulating magazine in america. the quality is super good and the articles are touching on the underlying current of the cycling world more than i remember from a couple years ago. keep up the good work.

5 Responses to “gone fishin’”

  1. Darren P Says:

    But why do the majority of the photos of frame builders in the Bicycling article have them all pensive and moody? Is all that painful soul searching in carefully staged dark tones and shadow necessary to weld tubes together? I certainly respect the craft and attention to detail, but where’s the fun and lightness of being that comes with creation of useful objects?

    Ira, your joyful quote about taking off training wheels is lost in the grey of the visuals. On the flip side, the article on the builders has the same feel as the Rapha advertisement in the same issue. In combination, they will likely increase business beyond your dreams, or at least beyond current capacity. How will you feel when your wait list matches Sacha or Sachs?

  2. matt hall Says:

    I think you should have taken your photo next to the elk.

  3. Ben Schultz Says:

    I just want to say that I wanted a frame from you before Bicycling mag featured a little tidbit about you!

    Either way, it was a pleasant surprise to see a familiar face in a magazine with reviews on $3-4k bikes (like they are no big woop). It’s nice to see a few Oregon builders in that article and really speaks to me just how amazingly big cycling is here in PDX. I’m glad to be a part of it… But I’ll be even happier once I can shell out the dough for a nice bicicleta

  4. ricke Says:

    Ira, thanks for the hat bro!
    have a good time at your parents, looking forward to reading the article.

  5. MtMann Says:

    I’m still scraping up funds (teaching summer school this year) to get my name on the list, but I have a feeling with ads and articles it’s not getting shorter, is it? One thing I thought was kind of odd was of the 6 framebuilders (4 from Portland – whoot!) there was only one picture of an actual bike. (one of Andy’s Strawberrys) Do I smell an industry conspiracy? After all, you guys don’t need – and probably can’t afford – to advertize in Buy-cycling. If their typical reader caught some full color shots of your work and realized that for the price of a the latest plastic disposable rocket they could have a custom lifetime companion, that seems like a no-brainer to me.

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