Fast Boy Swifts!




Ok gang.  Here’s the story with the saddles.

When I was building the UTA I was approaching all the companies that make the components I MOST wanted on the bike.  I was asking these folks if they would donate the parts for a bike that would ultimately be auctioned off for a good cause.  You all know the story.  BUT I hadn’t bothered to ask Brooks, because I already had three ti swifts from back in the days when ti swifts went for $171 RETAIL!! (That will mean something to the real bike geeks among you).

This is where my friend Simon Firth (pictured above) enters the story.  Simon is THE official U.S. repair guy for Brooks.  Rather than sending your broken saddles to the U.K. to be fixed at Brooks, you send them to Simon, and he makes them good as new and sends them back to you.  So, he wrote to me and asked what I was doing for a saddle on the UTA.  I explained that I was going to use one of my old worn swifts.  He suggested that perhaps he should discuss it with brooks, and before I knew it, he had a donated ti railed Brooks Swift for the UTA.  THEN he asked if I’d like him to replace one of the rivets with a heart.  Naturally, I said “Hell YES!” and the first Fast Boy Swift was born.  We both thought it was such a cool thing that perhaps we should do a limited edition run of Fast Boy Swifts.  Even the name had a cool ring to it.

We both got busy with other things for a while.  I was caught up with various medical ups and downs..  and with selling photos.. and with preparing for the Bike Cult show in August.  And HE was caught up with opening up his store in Philadelphia! He and a friend opened up a very cool bike shop in Philly called Firth and Wilson Transport Cycles.  The shop specializes in bikes for transportation and car replacement in urban environments.  Very much like a bike shop would if I were to open it!  They sell bikes for personal transportation and an impressive range of cargo bikes.  A shop that is completely untouched by the Pro cycling world.  That is to say that they don’t sell bikes that people buy to exercise on, and while I have discovered the joys of recreational cycling in the last year or so, I think that there is a serious glut of bike shops that cater to the weekend warrior, man-dex wearing, exercise and thrill seeking types, and a distinct shortage of shops that really specialize in personal transportation..  and urban solutions for car free living.  I don’t particularly feel that these types of riding should stand in any sort of opposition to each other.  Truly, all kinds of bike riding are ok by me, and I have built bikes for ALL kinds of riding.  BUT it makes sense to me to have bike shops that specialize in certain areas and types of bicycle use since there ARE so many, and Simon and his pal David (the “Wilson” part of the equation) have managed to make a shop that offers a large range of bikes of a sort for which most bike shops currently don’t reserve very much floorspace.  Another particular distinction of the shop is that BOTH owners are custom bike builders, so if you’re looking for something a little more unique than what you see on the floor you can talk to the owners about something custom made.  Go check them out online, or if you’re in Philly swing by the shop!  Tell them that I sent you.

At any rate.  We were busy.  But finally about a month and a half ago, I ordered up 30 Swifts (steel railed to keep them affordable) half and half, black and antique brown, and asked Simon to do his magic and put hearts on their noses.  First I was asking you to wear my heart on your sleeve, and now I’m asking you to put my heart between your legs and go have some fun?  Yikes.

So, at some point soon I will do a sale on this limited run of 30 Fast Boy Swifts.  Not to be repeated.  Keep your eyes open on the FBC face place page, as well as this blog.  There WILL be some warning.


In other news..  Because of a rise in baseline discomfort (pain) over the last three weeks or so, my hospice team has raised my baseline again.  There is always a groggy day or so in the switch, but it seems to be working (yesterday I needed no breakthrough medication at all).  Twice now, I have ignored the signs of pain increasing too long and have ended up in a pain crisis, and both times it has taken several days to get it under control (and then another several days to recover from those several days, if you follow me..).  Both of those times, it has also meant several weeks of unexplained irritability leading up to the crisis.  Something that I’m more than happy to catch before it begins!  So.  I’m getting the hang of this.  Learning the signs.

I’m also slowly getting the hang of having less and less energy.  Finally giving in a little to relative inactivity (or what feels like it to me!).  I work in the shop for just two or three hours at a time, and then go scan film, or print photos, OR lie in bed and watch bad movies (I like to save the GOOD movies for times when Hill is available to watch with me..  So usually what I watch on my own is from the action/adventure section and if I’m lucky, involves some well choreographed violence).   It is actually time NOW for me to head out to the shop, so I don’t run out of time before a visit from the hospice massage therapist! Yup..  there ARE benefits to dying.  They are thin on the ground, but they’re there.


Big love.

Over and out.

42 Replies to “Fast Boy Swifts!”

  1. What a lovely, optimistic post. A joy to read. I love finally wrapping my head around the typology of bicycle riding styles (and I report that I’m way, way over in the definitely-for-transportation camp).

    Big love from WAW from a mom and a little guy who insists I mention that Anker says hi.

  2. My family and I will be in Philly next week and will definitely visit the bike shop. I’ll keep my eyes peeled for the Fast Boy Swift sale. One would look great on my around town cruiser.

  3. It´s great to see a bike shop like this.
    There should be one in every town where the
    trafficgroth is significant.
    I think Bikingpeople should also inform
    Nonbikingpeople about better soloutions
    in transportation than the car is.

    Well choreographed-violence-movie wise I would absolutely recommend
    “30 Days of night” if youre also into Vampiremovies.

    All the best!

  4. AHHHHH I LOVE ALL THESE PROJECTS! This was such a great post:) I totally agree about a dearth of car-replacemt bike shops. that’s god’s work, Simon. Big Love.

  5. Philly! My hometown before moving to NYC in 1993. One of my favorite places there is Via Bicycle. They sell refurbished commuter bikes to commuting Philadelphians such as I once was. Also, Curtis (owner) has an amazing collection of antique bicycles, and parts out the wazoo. I used to love hanging out on the 2nd floor of his building. Nice to know Philly’s bike culture is flourishing.

    And the FBS’s are neat!

  6. Thank you, Ezra, for teaching us that non treatment is a viable option and
    that we must consider the quality of our time left, not just the quantity. Keep on keeping on – you are an inspiration to so many! Big love back to you!

  7. Awesome, Ezra! Keep at it. . .all of it – – bikes, play, rest, bad movies, good movies…and big love to you right back!

  8. man, you make me smile (actually not for the first time). skilled not only in bike-, but also sentence-building.
    take care and enjoy the shop!

  9. Hey Ezra- Love the new design! I had to look up “Swift” (I am a biker but not a gearhead). There are so many terrible movies on this planet that you should be well fixed for entertainment- enjoy. Big big love to you, as always.

  10. Thanks for the shoutout to the small, local bike shop who help people commute. Can I show you this thing I made? It’s about my friend, Seamus, who owns a bike shop. Just the other day, he fixed the tire and gave a rack to guy who lives in transitionary housing and needs his bike to get around.

    My interest in photographing bicycles (and bicycle people) started when I Flickr friend showed me your site. All of your beautiful photos of bikes and their riders were so inspiring, and it has helped me gain an appreciation for the artistry in these machines, as well as for the simple joy of riding. Thank you for sharing your expression of yourself. It’s moved me to try and do the same.

  11. I love reading your posts, Ezra. I appreciate your sharing with us the experience, and admire the choices that you have made. An earlier post about why palliative care makes sense made so much sense to me! And the updates since then are insightful.

    You have this inspiring blend of an enthusiastic love of life, this accepting way of describing the process, and a divine way of writing. My other favorite authors at different points have been Michael Ondaatje, Margaret Atwood, and one other whose name escapes me. Your love of bicycles, artistry, and fun are so appealing.

    Please keep writing when you have the energy. In the meantime, we are thinking about you, and lift you up!

  12. Your favorite holiday tomorrow, Ezra. Oh, how I hope you are able to enjoy and savor it. As I sit down with my family and give thanks, getting to know you thru your words will be at the very top of my list. I pray you are comfortable and your heart is at peace. Happy Thanksgiving, Ezra and thank you.

    Sad Girl Out

  13. Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family Ezra. Hope you have a nice one. I’m thinking of you always. Spent 3 awesome days in Putney over the West Hill Shop Cyclocross weekend. Raced as hard as I could with you in mind, then cheered for everyone. Your Fast Boy jersey went by in the masters race and when I saw the heart–I shouted–Go Fast Boy!!

    Much Love your way, <3

  14. Happy Thanksgiving to you & yours Ezra!! I am more thankful this year than ever knowing you get to enjoy the holiday with those you love…and I am more thankful for my family & good health. Much love to you from Chicago even though we do not actually know each other..

  15. Happy Thanksgiving, Gobble Tov, Twerky day, as you wish Ezra. I know we’re all grateful that you are here. Love surrounds you. xoxo

  16. Thinking of you every day, Ezra, and hope you and all your beloveds had a good Thanksgiving. Sending a stranger’s love from Los Angeles.

  17. Happy belated Thanksgiving Ezra! Hoping you had a spectacular meal (and leftovers), restful nights of sleep, and easy days.

  18. For some reason you’ve been in my thoughts pretty much all day. I look at the self-portrait of a bloody-nosed you that I have hanging up here and my heart hurts. And I keep coming back to the three words you used to close this post, “Over and out,” fully realizing that this was probably not an accidental choice of words …

    But I’m not overlooking the two words before that, either. Big love to you and Hill, too, Ezra. I don’t know what is best for you all these days, but whatever it is, that’s what I’m hoping for.

  19. Ezra & Hill:
    Just another friend thinking of you and family. Prayers going up too. Thank you Fast boy for all the big loves and your courageous, sharing heart.

  20. According to the Fast Boys site on Facebook, he’s pretty busy right now, as of yesterday when this post went up, so no doubt he will chime in here soon 😉

    “I know it has seemed pretty quiet around here.. It’s just that I’m having trouble keeping up with documentation. A real update soon, I promise.. AND fast boy swifts for sale in time for christmas gifts!”

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