A little project!



I’ve been alluding to a little project.  And I’ve told you the story about how somehow the transformation of the assless into the hardass led to a mountain biking addiction, which may well have pulled me out of a postpartum like depression, or at the very least funk, that I’d been experiencing since treatment last finished up for me a year and a half ago (a refresher if you’re already lost).

I have absolutely loved riding the Satori that Cory hooked me up with, but have wanted all along to be riding something that I built for myself.  Doing so was a project that I had imagined I’d get to when I got to it.  No particular rush.  Well.  The timeline around here has changed a little.   If I want to guarantee that I get any time riding the thing, I need to get right to work!

So I’m building myself my ULTIMATE bike.  Though maybe we need to find a new name..  The double entendre of best and lastcontained in “ultimate” might be a little heavy handed.  AND might turn out to be flat WRONG.  I mean, I’m not promising that I’m going to die here..   there could well be more, and better!   I suppose we could go with the already running ass theme..    There’s been the assless..  then the hardass..  (susan M. is getting the kiss my ass, eventually).  Perhaps the Badass..   or just the Fasst.  Your submissions welcome.  This is a digression.

It has been pretty hard for me to focus on bike building these last weeks.  I’m sure that you understand.  But there’s nothing like a project for yourself to get you back in the shop!

So here’s the idea.  I’m building myself a superb (well appointed) 29er hardtail am/xc bike with a 1×11 (yup) drive train, a very tight back end (the tight ass?) and plenty of travel up front.  When I am no longer able to ride this bike, I will auction it off and the proceeds will go to a yet unnamed cancer research organization.

Much like when I built the Assless all those years ago, the bike industry is backing my play!

When my good friends at Schwalbe heard the idea, they said they’d donate the tires.

Industry Nine makes some of the very best hubs and wheels in the industry, right in Asheville, N.C., and when I told them about it, they said, “Hey Ezra,  We’re in, 100%.  Just tell us what you need and we will make it happen. We are grateful to be a part of of this project.”

Discussions with SRAM are still in process.  Some of this has been a little tricky over the holidays.  But the word coming down is that they’re going to be donating at least one of their brand new XX1 drivetrains!

So.   Well on the way.  Once the new year comes, and people are back in their offices, I’ll be talking with some folks about rims and cockpit..   More to come!

Yesterday I got back into the shop and started work on a prototype frame, that my brother and I will throw a hodge podge of parts on and *cough* product test the first chance we get!

Pictures of the process coming soon on facebook and the process blog (perhaps even a movie or two).

The promised discussion of our decision to proceed without aggressive treatment is coming.  I promise.  It’s a lot to wrap our heads around, and I want to be sure that I deliver it the right way.  I’m waiting for a morning when I wake up early and don’t feel all in a rush to go and get stuff done!  But the decision is pretty clear at this point.  We are looking into the options for palliative care and eventual hospice care.  (crazy to imagine.  I FEEL fine.  This whole thing may be a hoax..)






36 Replies to “A little project!”

  1. Ezra, the bike looks beautiful. Great post, beautifully said as usual. On my 29er hardtail (Gary Fisher Rig single speed) I am riding Schwalbe “Racing Ralphs” tubeless mounted on Stan’s ZTR Crest wheels (entire wheel set close to only 1600 grams!). I love the set up. You already have a number of excellent names lined up for your project. I kind of like what was on Ken Kesey’s bus for your project…..”Further”.

  2. That’s gonna be a sick bike, and I think I’m about your size, 5′ 7″, 29.5″ standover…

    Ez, I love the way you live and I’m sure you’ll amaze me with your grace in dying as well. Peace!

  3. HI Ezra,

    you’re not only a great bike-builder, you’re also a very talented and brave writer. Keep on rolling!

    Best wishes for 2013, my thoughts are with you!

  4. Great to see you building a Fat Bike…I look forward to seeing it progress. I’m not sure Fasst is appropriate (I tend to be slow on my fat bike). How about “Fat Ass”?

  5. I just finished reading your whole blog. Holy inspirational. I’m sad that I”m just getting to know your/your writing now and haven’t been able to follow your whole journey. I plan to stick with you until the end.

    I’m a family doctor and you have reminded me of how brave so many people are. I hope you will help me to help others.

  6. Ezra – we once chatted over email re: my concern for you upping your running mileage too quickly. I’ve read your blog for a long time. I’m so very sorry to hear that the cancer has returned. You have impressed me and made an impression on me on so many levels. Whatever decision you make is the right one – it is your decision. I wish you peace of mind. On the only issue upon which I feel I have any capacity to comment, I will say that I prefer “tight ass” as the bike’s name! SASSy!

  7. ezra

    i check in with you from time to time and i was very saddened to hear your latest updates. i believe that more treatment will surely kill you, faster and more miserably. have you looked into alternative treatments? would you consider them?

    i feel very strongly that any conventional doctor you see, no matter how superb they are, will say the same thing because they have all been educated in the same manner. there is no thinking outside the box. they just keep doing the same old, same old and trying to pass off deplorable statistics as if they were hopeful triumphs.

    imagine if only 1 out of 100 of your bikes was any good. all the others fell apart on their first ride. could you with any integrity call yourself a bike maker? could you charge money for your “work” and still sleep at night? and yet the cancer establishment keeps doing what doesn’t work and charging a fortune for it. has the war on cancer been any more effective than the war on drugs?

    there are other ways to treat this but you cannot expect a medical doctor to know of them or, if they do know of them, to tell you about them

    you live in NYC. if you are open to any of this, look up Dr. Nicholas Gonzales in the east 30s

  8. I helped a loved one during her final months. Like you, she fought the good fight and then danced with acceptance. Her last months were full of grace. Cancer is nice in that it gives you a head’s up, a bit of time to share with those you love. It’s evil for the same reason, of course.

    Our experience with (in-home) hospice was fantastic. It’s been over a decade, but I have tears in my eyes as I think about those good hospice people. The technical care skill set of hospice workers is specialized, particularly when it comes to handling pain and other comfort issues. They are experts in that stuff. I hope your experience is as good.

    Bike name suggestions from some of your quiet fans:

    Compassion. (Yes, you can put the ASS in compassion!)
    Last Crack
    Post Huck

    I like Concorde, not after the plane, but after the character in Monty Python’s Holy Grail who was “not quite dead yet.” Here’s hoping you might still pull through, sir. In your own idiom.

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