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Go the distance.

I am focused on quality and making something that lasts be it a bicycle frame, a relationship, or a business plan. Take your time and make it good. Don’t overthink it. Enjoy the process of making something special even if it is hard and you make mistakes. Rarely the one in a race scenario to slip through the holeshot from the start but always willing to work my ass off to find the pointy end of the ride. It’s in my bones and at 48, I try to own it now. Almost 20 years ago I raced the first Trans-Iowa gravel race and won. I rode my bike all the time at that phase of my life and as I look back I realize how little I knew about myself. Once in the winter of 2004, I left for a 100+ mile ride at 2:30 am just to feel what it was like to push my brain in the dark so it didn’t shock me to pedal for over 24 hours in Iowa a few months later. It was wild and fun to arrive at my mid-ride service station spot at 5:30 am for some snacks. Watching the sunrise from a bicycle saddle never gets old.

“Train your weakness, race your strength” is a phrase I think of often regarding my tendency towards slow, steady vs fast, and punchy. Push into those uncomfortable moments when it all hurts and you make mistakes. Lean in. This is where the muscles develop after some rest and reflection. Going steady is easy. It’s important to be able to jump and adapt when the shit hits the fan.

I love where I am at in this phase of my life and take great pride in my arc of progress as a lifelong rider, bicycle maker, and human animal. There have been a lot of other people who’ve been a part of my professional journey. A few have turned into lasting friendships that I try to maintain amid many adulting life situations. Everyone has something to teach and we can all learn to hone our skills by being open to new ideas. I took a lot from my 10+ years starting and growing a bigger business and many of those things I am just realizing now.  Small details add up and as my friend Ethan Furniss said “What gets measured, gets managed.”

I continue to make bicycles in a way that seems right to me and I still love to ride them. I own my long-ride mentality now more than ever because I can look back and see the distance I’ve covered. The miles add up and still, I push each foot down and feel my heart beat inside my chest as the sun rises again.

If you’ve read this far, Thanks. I’m hopeful I will keep these ramblings flowing in the coming weeks, months, years….. Happy riding!

Ira Ryan

Author Ira Ryan

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