All happy frame builders are not alike. Ryan Johnson of Galaxy Gearworks has taken a very interesting journey from carpenter’s son in Arkansas to custom frame builder in Vermont. He’s been working with his hands almost since he could walk. He’s cleared the land and built his own home. The circumstance he finds himself in now is the realization of a dream. Ryan tells his story in detail at galaxygearworks.com which I recommend checking out. I asked a few more questions that weren’t already answered on his website:
PBE How did you choose your business name?
RJ I chose Galaxy Gearworks for a variety of reasons: I saw a rockabilly concert quite a long time ago with Paul Galaxy and the Galactics. It was an amazing show, and I always thought they had the coolest band name in the biz. I could never let that go. I liked the alliteration, and I’m a space nerd. So there’s that. It’s also vague enough that I could make other things other than strictly bike frames and parts. That was a huge deciding factor. Plus… it was an available domain. These days, that’s quite important as well.
PBE What’s your favorite part of the frame building process?
RJ I think my favorite part is final fit-up before the welding. That’s when all the work starts to pay off, and the bike looks like what you’ve drawn or envisioned.
PBE Where do you find inspiration?
RJ I find a lot of inspiration on Instagram for specific details and techniques, but I’d say most of my root inspiration has been from personal experiences and relationships with other people.
PBE Do you listen to music while you work? If yes, what kind?
RJ I grew up on a strict diet of heavy metal. My palette is broader now. I balance that metal side with rockabilly and punk. Heck, I’ll even go on an old school country binge from time to time. Absolutely no Radiohead or noodley jam bands though.
PBE What’s your favorite ride/route destination?
RJ My wife and I have been loving the Kingdom Trails up here in Vermont. Honestly though… my favorite is riding from my shop on my gravel bike and just finding new routes that surprise me. That’s awesome.