Twenty Questions - Special Guest - Zack Speedfast
8.06.11 by Dazzler
How old are you? 31
Where were you born? Perth, Australia
How long were you a courier? 11 years. 1 and a half in Perth, then 9 and a half in London.
Hang Name? Zack Speedfast.
Who did you ride for? A couple of shite companies in Perth, then I hit the big time, Uber Metro in London.
What was your first bike? A tricycle. I was about 3, I rode down the lane way by our house, hit a garden hose and went over the handlebars. I split the top of my head open and have a memory of my dad taking ice out of his beer and putting it on my head. I guess i was destined to be a courier from a young age.
What do you ride now? Bike wise i still have my Condor Pista and a GT Zaskar hardtail.
What do you do now? Now I build gas pipelines in remote areas in the Australian outback. I bend the pipe so it fits the contour of the ground, my job title is “bender”. We don’t have to work in the rain and if we get sick or injured they pay us. I work 28 days straight, then get 9 days off at home.
What’s the best docket you’ve ever been given? There have been a few good ones, I think getting 90 quid to deliver somewhere out in the country side was good. I took a train, then cycled for half an hour through fields, delivered and picked up a wait and return, that’s 180 quid in total. Overdrive was furious and didn’t talk to me for a few days after that. I remember almost getting a job to deliver some prints to New York, but at the last minute it fell through.
What’s was the worst thing about being a courier? Fixing punctures in the cold winter rains when you had a bag full of work. Getting one ups to SE26.
What was the best thing about being a courier? Being super fit, fanging it through narrow gaps, the freedom of taking off for a few months and coming back to a job. Hanging out with some amazing people that will be life long friends.
Describe your childhood in 3 words. Sunny, bush, outdoors.What is your earliest memory? Meeting Overdrive in the Chelsea bombproof basement, before that life was meaningless.
Who are your heroes? Spider man, The Chef and Overdrive.
What’s on your music player? So much – Herbie Hancock, Miles Davis, Mr Scruff, Led Zep, Ernest Ranglin, Angus and Julia Stone, Cocorosie, The Cinematic Orchestra, Squarepusher, Fela Kuti, Aphex Twin, Sun Ra, Devendra Banhart…
What’s the best piece of clothing/equipment you carry? It used to be my PAC bag, Zefal pump and mini Kryptonite lock, but now it’s my leatherman and trubends.What advice would you give to any wannabe couriers? Move to London and buy an A to Z. Work hard, don’t turn down any work and soon enough you will get fed.
Favourite place to stand by? Metro bomb-proof basement in old building on Clerkenwell Road.
What made you become a courier? I dropped out of university, became a motorcycle courier, crashed in my first 2 weeks and ended up on workers comp. I had seen all the bikecycle couriers and thought it looked like more fun so tried that instead. After a while I thought the job would be far more fun in a huge metropolis so i bought a one way ticket to London.
In a parallel universe you would be… Probably smoking too much DMT and looking at myself in a parallel universe.
What one thing would improve the quality of your life? Stop building gas pipelines in the desert.
Who’d play you in the film of your life? Geoffrey Rush or Jack Nicholson
What would be your catchphrase? “…and I would have gotten away with it, too, if it hadn’t been for you meddling kids!”
What has your been your proudest moment/greatest achievement? Beating Donny in numerous alleycats.
If you could go back and edit the past is there anything you would change? I’m trying to live in the present moment, which isn’t so easy, I wouldn’t change anything.
It’s the dream dinner party – what 5 people are there? Dalai Lama, Osho, Krishnamacharya, Overdrive and Bob Marley.
What was the worst crash you ever had? I had a few nasty ones but the last one was probably the worst. I was heading west on Oxford street, I went to brake and my front brake came off and got tangled in the front wheel. I was already out of my saddle, went straight over the handle bars, smashed my chest on to my stem, dislocated my arm, flipped, cut my head on the road and probably narrowly avoided being run over by a bus. I got some random dude to pull my arm back in, rode my broken bike to Barts (giving all my work to Dazzler on the way) and was driven over to Whitechapel for chest x-rays. Being pretty poor at the time i was back to work in 3 days though struggled to even put my courier bag on.
What is the most important lesson life has taught you? Breathe.
How would you like to be remembered? Forget me, I entered the body and left the body, the cycle continues.
When were you happiest? The present moment, right. And when I’m not present and daydreaming it would be riding a Royal Enfield across the Himalayas, standing on my head and spending time in Ashrams in India. Oh and drinking chai.
You have a time machine – where would you go? To the present moment.
You are allowed to pass one new law – what is it? You don’t have to wear bike helmets in Aus.
How do you relax? Meditate, music, hang out with Angus and Brooke on their porch drinking mojitos…
Tell us something about yourself we would never guess. I used to teach yoga, that and i used to be the fastest courier in London.
What was the last book you read? Osho – Tantra the supreme understanding.
You’ve got one youtube link – what is it? This