The morning of my last full day in Vermont started with a very quick cup of coffee and a trip out to the woods with my brother and Putney to cut a new little dipsy doodle into the trails that he’s developing behind his house.   I shot a little video for your amusement.  By 10:30 or so we had made a really fun new section of trail.  (no dogs or terminally ill people were seriously hurt in the making of this film).



I’m back in the city now.  Hill and I packed up my brother’s car yesterday morning and drove back down.  He’ll be following today on the train with Gunnar to spend a few days with me in the shop learning a bit about metal working.  Given the overwhelming response to the pill flasks (has everyone gotten theirs??  How do they feel?), I’ve decided to go ahead and spend a few days making another run.  I appreciate that you’re so into them!  I’ll make 12 feet worth +/- with some help from Zach, and then I’ll move on to the next thing.

Vermont was just amazing.  This time of year is really magic there.  The produce is astonishing right now.  Sweet corn tomatoes and green beans (we bought just that on the way out of town yesterday and ate it in out NYC backyard, just to stretch the VT for one  more evening).

I feel as though I need to back track a little.  The day that I arrived in VT, something happened.  I threw my leg over the UTA and went out for a ride.  The first I’ve been on since breaking my arm back at the end of April.  The thing that I am having trouble getting across is that at the end of April, when I broke my arm, I was quite prepared to never ride mountain bikes again.  I’m very sick after all.  I have weeks to months to live.  Or I did a few months ago, anyway (??!).  I assumed that by the time the arm healed up, I would be far to sick to ride.  SO, when the X-ray tech RE-BROKE my arm a month into healing, I really figured that all bets were off.  Yet..  I hopped on, and Todd and I went out onto Zach’s little trails and had a very very brief little ride.  Just 25 minutes..  Just to see..  And it was fine!!  My arm was fine.  My legs, strangely, were fine.  My lungs even seemed fine.  (A few days later at the top of a climb, while we waited for the others to catch up, Todd, who always knows the right thing to say, said, “hey.. could you please breath a little harder..”).  I won’t lie..  As I was riding, exerting myself for the first time in several months, I could feel that things have moved around.  I can FEEL tumors..  I’m looking back at the last post and I realize that I’ve already written this down, but I’m really just sitting here back in NYC, trying to come to terms with it.  I mean.  This changes everything!  I can ride again!  What’s more, I took Hillary out, and she’s really good!!!  I had expected that she’d be afraid (and she claims that she is) and yet she hops on the bike and off she goes.  The second day she was riding stuff that on the first day she would have completely balked at.  SO.  It seems this fall I’ll need to be working in some time to do some mountain biking with my wife!

I have been trying, over the last month(s) to make sure that I don’t extend my horizon too far.  I am focusing on a week ahead or so.  Planning projects that I know I can complete in just a week.   Putting up photos for sale, for example (I promised photos this week..  I will try!).  And yet..  I’m feeling well.  I don’t feel like someone who’s going to die suddenly.  It’s hard for me NOT to get excited about a slightly more distant horizon.  Hard not to get excited about a beautiful fall full of mountain biking..   another trip up to Vermont, to work on some more trails behind Zach’s house..  Maybe even build another bike or something!!   I’m being seduced by life these days.

The next big thing coming up for me is this Bike Cult show.  I mentioned it briefly before, but there is a hand built bike show coming up in NYC on labor day weekend.  Most of NYC’s own bike builders will be there, as well as a few from Philly and the Boston area.  The organizers have dedicated it to me, which is an unbelievable gesture.  I will be displaying a few bikes at the show.  The Ultimate Tight Ass will be there.  As will the Assless.  With the Hardass nestled in between them…  the missing link.  (Only ASS bikes, you see).  The Hardass already has an owner after I’m gone.  The point of the UTA all along has been to auction it off for a good cause (the cause in question will be the Visiting Nurse Service of New York and their Home Hospice Program), and I will BEGIN the auction at the show.  You will be able to bid online with your phone or some such thing.  That Auction will end when I am no longer able to ride the UTA!  But here’s the news..   I’ve decided that I will also auction off the Assless.   I have no idea who would want the thing, or why!! but I am in the business these days of trying to do what I can to help out, and perhaps some one out there will decide that they want that strange bike!!   I’ll be there at the show.  I hope maybe that I get to see some of you!

I have a lot more to say about this end of life care issue.   But I am running late for a meeting.   And then I’m playing a beautiful long day of pool with Jon Smith.  Getting him all ready for the upcoming world straight pool championships!

More soon!

Pictures of my last day in VT and a beautiful visit to Orchard Hill Breadworks over on my photo site (new photos for sale, the moment I figure out which ones they should be!)

Thank you all for reading.





20 Replies to “Whirlwind.”

  1. Thank you for the cautionary “tail” before the outstanding video since even Putney looked skeptical at first, then ecstatic!! What fun, wheee doggies!
    Keep having a blast, celebrating life! And go, Hil, yay!!!!! Wish I could tell you that I love my pill flask but I’m one of those that couldn’t get it past the cart either–oh woe is me, next time!!! Pity, pity. Dog bliss all of you, XO

  2. that video is so effing awesome i can’t stand it. the digging, the sawing, the dog, the biking, the dog, the dog, the dog. i’m grinning from ear to ear. you just keep giving us all something to smile about. how do you do it? following your journey as i have i am happy to read that you are not in pain and able to do the things that bring you the most joy. it is just profoundly amazing. i look forward to your posts, pics, flasks and videos! thank you, thank you.

  3. now that you have said no to chemo and radiation, your body has a chance to do what it is meant to do- fight the fucker!

    you’re not sick; you’re mending!

  4. Love your photos, your creations, your writing. Thank you for sharing your life and experiences with us. You, and those around and with you, are lovely (does that sound cheesy? I don’t care! ha ha!) and you are in our thoughts today, next month, next year and into the future, horizons unknown. You are here, wherever ‘here’ is, thanks to this blog and what not. There’s no end to this- it sails out and carries on…thanks for it all. We’re looking forward to any and all updates, into the fall and beyond! (<:

    (On behalf of a whole bunch of folks in the Willamette Valley).

  5. Watch out below! Ha!

    Crash! Looks, walks away. To good.

    Looked like a great day. Thanks for the vid.

  6. That post is just awesome. I’m so happy that you had such a fantastic time! Today’s pics are really beautiful. Made me want to eat lots of bread though. And the video… well, you know how I love those darned squeaky voice videos.

  7. So glad to hear the good reports. This predicament of yours seems to have forced you to live in the moment, every moment. That’s quite a beautiful thing, that a great deal of people would be very jealous of. Keep on keeping on, Ezra. Still believing for the best my friend.

  8. Wonderful post and God how I love your Putney!!! We have many rescued animals and I’m a sucker for every one.
    Keep riding, keep living and keep making pill flasks!
    love love love

  9. I had to watch the video twice. OH MY GOD STAY ON THE BIKE YOU PROMISED. I shouldn’t be laughing. Also those woods are gorgeous. Also? I love Todd. It was a casual thing at first, but it’s serious now. I love him. Best of luck to Hill. That hill would scare the crap out of me too…

  10. Also you were really on to something with this last set of photos. The one of Noah with the big bucket on the table and the one of Hill and Putney in the morning are both pretty special.

  11. I sit here truely amazed at your zest for LIFE!
    Live it brother!!!
    What a wonderful post and I loved the video.
    Best part – when you crashed and your brother just rolled his eyes and walked away, made me laugh – nothing like a brothers love 🙂

  12. Ezra, I found your site a ways back and have been tracking your progress, then life got in the way for a couple of months, and I thought of you and how you might be going. To be honest when I popped into your site I was wondering what I might find. So pleased to see you back on a bike, with a seat no less, and loving life. I think that cancer might just be sobbing its miserable heart out.

  13. I’m a reader from across the world – my URL had gotten “stuck” on your 30th June entry and I was concerned if you hadn’t posted in all that time. Only to find that you are out riding bikes and enjoying life! Long may it continue! I have such admiration for your approach to this journey and I am keen to hear what you have to say about end of life care. It’s something near my heart for all kinds of reasons and I’m sure your views will illuminate some new corner of it for me. Thanks for sharing on this blog. There are lots of people reading with lots of warm feelings and admiration!

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