Meet the Staff

Sockeye Cycle Staff

The administrative staff, managers, mechanics and guides at Sockeye Cycle are the most resourceful, knowledgeable and enthusiastic people you will meet. We come from a variety of backgrounds; some work summers guiding our day trips and working in the shop, others are long time Alaskan residents that guide our extended tours and work in the office. We have three year round employees and twenty five seasonal employees.

Whether it is tours, rentals, sales or service; at Sockeye Cycle you can expect the highest level of customer service, professionalism and passion for bicycling in our northern environment. Come and meet our team!


Thom Ely - President

Thom first came to Alaska in 1981 to work for the Young Adult Conservation Corp at False Island near Sitka. He fell in love with the Southeast Alaska environment and returned summers to work as a deck hand on a salmon troller. He moved to Haines in 1987 and bought an existing bike shop in 1988. He continues to bike, hike, paraglide, ski and enjoy the environment of Alaska and the world.

Becky Hill - Office Manager

Becky's love for Southeast Alaska began on a backpacking trip in 1994.  A year later, she sold nearly everything she owned and left the DC area on a 5000 mile road trip to Alaska.  After a couple years of exploring the state, she settled down in Haines where she embraces a relaxed lifestyle full of adventure. She lives with her daughter near downtown Haines. This is Becky's seventh season with Sockeye Cycle.

Dustin Craney - General Manager

In 2009, Dustin sold everything that didn't fit in his station wagon and drove north to work on bikes in Alaska. Since then, the positive community, beautiful landscape, and endless adventure opportunities have made it home. Dustin and his wife Katie live near Fort Seward in Haines.

Matt Jillson - Tour Manager

Matt has a passion for international bike touring and exploring alpine regions. He's been making Skagway his summer home since 2015. In addition to cycling he enjoys back country skiing. His upbeat nature is sure to get you excited about enjoying life in many ways.


Lee Close

Lee drove his Tacoma truck from Texas to Alaska in the early 90's. He still has the twang in his voice but his heart is in the North. After many seasons as a fisheries technician his passion for the bike got him a job as a guide for Sockeye Cycle. He spends most of his time in the Yukon with his wife Nicole and dog Keta cutting wood on his lot, cross country skiing and playing disc golf.

Katie Craney

Katie first came to Alaska in 2004 and has worked for the National Park Service in both Gustavus and Skagway AK. In addition to Sockeye Cycle, Katie guides bicycle tours for WomenTours. She balances life in the saddle by creating art, which has been featured in shows around the country.

Brian Kaeter

Brian had his first Alaskan experience four summers ago working as a salmon processor in Bristol Bay. After traveling around the state when his contract ended he knew he had to find a way to get back. With a background in bicycle mechanics and a love of all things outdoors, Sockeye was the perfect fit. Back home in Saint Paul, Minnesota, Brian can be found out on the trail canoeing, cross country skiing, backpacking, running, snowboarding, and cycling. Brian is excited to wrench on bikes and be back up in Alaska!

Erin Kennedy

Kennedy joins us from the Midwest, but is no stranger to mountains and big open space.  She has been working seasonally for the past couple of years working on trail crews in Arizona, shredding powder in Keystone Colorado, and running bike tours down the Klondike Highway. She has also completed a few long distance big tours around the United States and is looking forward to the next adventure her life brings.

Wesley Cheney

Wesley Cheney has decades of experience leading bike tours, and a lifelong passion for learning. Wesley biked from London to Rome via the Route Napoleon, sailed with the USS Kearsarge to equatorial Africa, earned a Bachelors Degree in Philosophy from Old Dominion University, and completed the final Boston-Montreal-Boston 1200km Brevet. Wesley has built, pedaled, paddled and sailed bamboo bicycles, kayaks and sailboats. He writes a monthly blog on utility cycling and regularly contributes questions to The Thomas Jefferson Hour. He plays the ukulele and the flugelhorn and prefers to wear a kilt.

Sophie DeGroot

Born and raised in the North Cascades, Sophie most recently lived in Boston where she attended school and worked as a bicycle guide. As an avid city and road cyclist, she believes the best way to see any new place is by bicycle - especially Alaska! Besides bicycle touring, she enjoys collecting new passport stamps, talking to strangers, and indulging in baked goods at the end of a long ride. 

Shop Staff

Ryan Rice - Skagway Shop Manager

Ryan was born to work with bicycles as a young lad. Ryan has worked in both our Haines and Skagway shops for the past 7 years. He is a talented bike mechanic with over 8 years of shop expericnce. In his spare time, he can be found mountain biking single track, hiking at a mountain goat pace, being creative with a needle & thread, or making some fresh sourdough bread.

John Grenz - Retail Sales

From the sweet land called Lebanon, Oregon, that is where John calls home. He is a published poet, loves to travel, and a friendly soul.  He has been coming up to Skagway for the past 2 years and loves this mountain town! He would be a great team member for trivia night; he’s got the film/actor category down.

Ted Kelly - Haines Shop Manager

Bikes are Ted's life passion. He worked at our Haines shop in 2008 - 2009, returning this year to take up the wrench for us again. He graduated from United Bicycle Institute in 2007 and the Serotta Fit School in 2014. Besides bikes he enjoys trucks and delicious food.