Meet the Courageous Bespoke Bicycle Builder With Months to Live

After watching how Caldwell lives life to the fullest while battling this disease, at the very least it will inspire others to do the same.

In 2007, Ezra Caldwell launched Fast Boy Cycles to introduce the world to the most beautiful bespoke bicycles on the market. He pursued this craft in New York City, after leaving a 10 year career as a dance instructor. Caldwell learned learned how to work with his hands as a kid in his dad's studio and has applied these skills ever since to create custom bikes with incredible detail.

He does this with an eye on the local economy. "I believe in domestic manufacturing. I feel that this country loses a bit of its soul every time a factory closes and jobs are moved overseas," he writes on his website.

In 2008 Caldwell was diagnosed with colorectal cancer. That meant that under doctors orders he wasn't allowed to ride a bike—his very livelihood. Instead of giving in to this reality, he challenged it by building a seatless bicycle to ride to doctors appointments, and elsewhere. Around the same time Caldwell learned of his cancer, he began the touching, honest and uplifting blog, to document his journey as a builder and a cancer survivor through photographs and text.

On it he remembers what led him to create an "assless" bike. He remembers, "From the start of this thing, the notion of not being allowed to ride a bike has been the biggest problem for me. I’d like to stress that it isn’t a pride issue. It’s purely practical. Once you’ve gotten used to getting around the city on a bike, other methods just seem ponderous."

Caldwell's most recent entry is a tough one. He's just getting over having a broken arm, a torn ACL and a dislocated shoulder, all due to biking accidents. "We’re two weeks away from the beginning of June, which will be 6 months from the time that the docs suggested that I had 6-8 months to live. I guess it’s possible that whatever increased levels of pain and fatigue I’m feeling are purely due to the anxiety/depression of that reality," he writes.

Caldwell is courageous to let us into his world in this way. His openness made him the subject of a film by Made by Hand, which debuted last year. After watching how Caldwell lives life to the fullest while battling this disease, at the very least it will inspire others to do the same.


Join us for our Fix Your Street Challenge on the last Saturday of May. Click here to say you'll Do It and be sure to share stories of transportation innovation all month.


Images via Ezra Caldwell


Some beauty pageants, like the Miss America competition, have done away with the swimsuit portions of the competitions, thus dipping their toes in the 21st century. Other aspects of beauty pageants remain stuck in the 1950s, and we're not even talking about the whole "judging women mostly on their looks" thing. One beauty pageant winner was disqualified for being a mom, as if you can't be beautiful after you've had a kid. Now she's trying to get the Miss World competition to update their rules.

Veronika Didusenko won the Miss Ukraine pageant in 2018. After four days, she was disqualified because pageant officials found out she was a mom to 5-year-old son Alex, and had been married. Didusenko said she had been aware of Miss World's rule barring mother from competing, but was encouraged to compete anyways by pageant organizers.

Keep Reading Show less

One mystery in our universe is a step closer to being solved. NASA's Parker Solar Probe launched last year to help scientists understand the sun. Now, it has returned its first findings. Four papers were published in the journal Nature detailing the findings of Parker's first two flybys. It's one small step for a solar probe, one giant leap for mankind.

It is astounding that we've advanced to the point where we've managed to build a probe capable of flying within 15 million miles from the surface of the sun, but here we are. Parker can withstand temperatures of up to 2,500 degrees Fahrenheit and travels at 430,000 miles per hour. It's the fastest human-made vehicle, and no other human-made object has been so close to the sun.

Keep Reading Show less
via Sportstreambest / Flickr

Since the mid '90s the phrase "God Forgives, Brothers Don't" has been part of the U.S. Military Academy at West Point's football team's lexicon.

Over the past few years, the team has taken the field flying a black skull-and-crossbones flag with an acronym for the phrase, "GFBD" on the skull's upper lip. Supporters of the team also use it on social media as #GFBD.

Keep Reading Show less