A really special bike was recently stolen. It belonged to Alan Tosler and was built by Ezra Caldwell, the Harlem-based builder of Fast Boy Cycles, who died last May. It was one of Ezra’s early bikes and it had a complicated history involving a circle of barter and extravagant wish fulfillment…
Alan Tosler loves fine machines. He really wanted one of Ezra’s bikes, but his wife was watching their budget. He’s also a hairdresser, and Ezra’s mother wanted haircuts from Alan – another indulgence that couldn’t be defended. Ezra wanted tools for his shop that he, in turn, couldn’t quite justify. So the three made a pact: Ezra’s mom paid for the tools, Ezra made the bike to Alan’s specifications and Alan guaranteed a lifetime of haircuts, not only for Ezra’s mom, but for Ezra too, his wife, his nephew and various other family members.
The bike was stolen Monday 12.1.14 from University Place between 11th and 12th St in Manhattan. It’s truly irreplaceable and its loss is sorely felt.
If anyone sees this bike or knows its whereabouts, please contact Alan Tosler at 1-917-273-9798 or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org. Or better still, if you have it, please return it, no questions asked, to 89 5th Ave 10th floor, between 16th and 17th.
Photo: Departed bike builder Ezra Caldwell and the Fast Boy Cycle he built for Alan (Images c/o Sheridan Bartlett).