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.

At Sockeye Cycle you can expect the highest level of customer service, professionalism and passion for bicycling in the business. We know our region and the great country to explore by bike. Come visit our two locations and meet our team! We will make you feel welcome no matter if you're a long time cyclist or just getting going on a bike.


Thom Ely - Founder and Director

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 the following year. He expanded the business to Skagway in 1992. He continues to bike, hike, paraglide, ski and enjoy and advocate for 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 relaxing lifestyle full of adventure. Becky has been our office manager since 2010.

Dustin Craney - President and General Manager

In 2009, Dustin sold everything that didn't fit in his station wagon and drove north to work on bikes in Alaska. One summer of bike work turned into 11 years (and counting) of exploring Alaska by bicycle. Dustin met his wife Katie on the Alaska State Ferry Malaspina on the way from Juneau to Skagway and they live year round 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.

Brian Kaeter - Assistant Manager

Brian had his first Alaskan experience working as a salmon processor in Bristol Bay and realized he had to find a way to get back to Alaska. With a background in bicycle mechanics and a love of the outdoors, Sockeye Cycle was a perfect fit. After his first summer in Skagway, Brian rode his bike down to Montana to meet his girlfriend Taylor, fresh off a bike tour around Ireland. Brian told Taylor of the wonders of Southeast Alaska, and since then they have spent their winters cross country skiing as dogsled guides in the Boundary Waters and summers in Skagway!

Sophie DeGroot - Skagway Office Manager and Dock Rep

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. 


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 guiding at Sockeye Cycle, Katie helps with our new staff training and marketing. She also works as a naturalist on a small ship that sails the Inside Passage. Katie is also an artist who's work can be viewed at


Taylor Hougum-Carr

After a summer of solo bicycle travel and volunteer farm work in Ireland, Taylor was convinced by fellow Sockeye guide, Brian Kaeter, of the freedom and thrill of biking in Alaska. She joined him for a road trip to Skagway the next spring, started a job as deckhand on a passenger ferry, and fell in love Alaska's Inside Passage. Having grown up on the very flat prairie of North Dakota, living in this steep SE Alaska valley taught her what biking uphill is really like and that a bike helmet and a big smile are her favorite accessories. She's returning now for a third summer in Skagway and is living the dream, having made Brian her boyfriend and guiding bicycle tours her job- that's two for two!

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 experience. 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 in 2017 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.

Nora Zimmerly

I'm a bike mechanic!!!