Dave Moulton

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Hurricane Florence

Hurricane Florence came ashore in Wilmington, North Carolina on Friday 14th of September. It was a Category 1 Storm, and could have been worse, but with 90 mph winds along with the storm surge and heavy rain causing widespread flooding. There was loss of life, people’s homes and businesses were destroyed. It was a catastrophic event.

I live in South Carolina, 100 miles south of Wilmington, and 20 miles inland from the coast. I was never in physical danger, or even inconvenienced by the forces of nature. I was however, inconvenienced by the forces of human nature.

Compared to the suffering of my neighbors to the north, my inconveniences are trivial, and I only mention them because I think it is interesting to make a study of the way people act in a crisis, or even the perceived threat of a crisis.

About ten days ago I started to see lines at my local gas stations and some even running out of gas, this is my early warning that a major storm is on its way.

People at the supermarket have cartloads of bottled water, and are buying as many as ten loaves of bread. The shelves empty and stores close their doors. So I pull up the weather channel online and sure enough Hurricane Florence is headed towards the East Coast.

However, the storm was still ten days away, way out in the Atlantic and is heading for Wilmington, North Carolina. As already mentioned that is a hundred miles north of where I live in South Carolina. These storm tracking maps are pretty accurate, so I wondered why people in my area are panicking.

Then the Governor of South Carolina came on TV to issue a mandatory evacuation order for the entire coast of South Carolina. The State of Virginia on the other side of North Carolina issued a similar order. People are advised to evacuate, and freeway east-bound lanes are opened up to west-bound traffic, so the entire freeway can move people inland.

But apart from that, no help or advice is given. So you have two million people and upwards, moving inland at the same time. There are not enough hotel beds for that many people, and gas stations on the way do not have enough gas for that many vehicles. Many end up stranded by the roadside, out of gas, without toilet facilities, or food and water. Everyone I have spoken to who have evacuated in the past say, “Never again, it is a nightmare.”

Some poor and elderly people do not have a reliable vehicle or the financial means to evacuate. Such a trip can cost as much as $4,000, with hotel rooms, restaurant food and gas. Then there is at least two weeks lost wages, because everyone evacuates a week before the storm, then it takes a week to get home because the freeways ae no longer opened both sides to incoming traffic as they were on the way out.

Last Monday my doctor’s office called to cancel an appointment I had the next day, because of the storm. “For goodness sake,” I said. “The storm is not due until Friday.” All local Walmart stores also closed their doors on Monday, as did several major drug stores. Banks closed on Wednesday, and the Post Office closed and mail delivery ceased. UPS and FedEx suspended deliveries too. The weather, by the way, was warm and sunny the whole week before the storm.

Days before the storm was due to reach land, the news and weather channel kept up their, “You’re all gonna die” mantra. “It’s a Category 3, it could become a 4.” Never saying, “It’s a 3 but could weaken to a 2.” Which is what it eventually did, and was a Cat, 1 by the time it hit shore.

I heard one twenty something weather caster say, “This could be the worst storm of a lifetime.” I thought, “Did she really say that? Was that scripted, or did she just make that up?”

Then on Thursday, one day before the storm was due to hit, the forecast changed slightly and showed the storm track would dip slightly into the northern part of South Carolina. The Governor of South Carolina came on TV again and said, “It’s coming your way, it’s time to get out of Dodge.” (Yes, he really said, “Get out of Dodge.")

It was like, all those who had not previously panicked, now had permission to panic, and there was a second wave of evacuations. Although I am not a weather expert, I do know that once a hurricane hits land, it loses strength, and a Cat 1 will become a Tropical Storm. That means heavy rain and winds of no more than 65 mph. And that is not life threatening. In fact I’ve ridden bike races in worse weather.

As it happened, on Saturday the storm passed north and came nowhere near where I live. There was a light drizzle of rain all day and a slight breeze blowing. By Sunday as I write this, the sun is shining again.

Do I feel duped by those who would have had me evacuate? No. The Governor of SC is just a politician covering his ass. And as for the media, they always make a situation dire. It is what gets more viewers and sells more advertising.

The weather maps said the storm would hit Wilmington a week before it hit. These maps once again proved accurate, so why throw three states into panic and disruption? It is up to the individual to try to keep a realistic and positive outlook, and then make an informed decision.

Sadly, people have a “Follow the herd” mentality, and cling to their fears like some bizarre security blanket.


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Is my vintage frame Reynolds or Columbus?

I am often asked this question, and a simple way to identify Columbus is by the spiral ribs inside the front fork steerer. (See picture above.) Vintage threaded steerers that is, not the modern threadless ones. The steerer or steer tube is one of the highest stressed tubes in a bicycle frame, and therefore it has much thicker walls than other frame tubes.

The steer tube is one inch diameter on the outside, throughout its length, (English and Italian.) threaded at the top end and is 7/8 inch diameter on the inside, making a wall thickness 1/16 of an inch. At the bottom end the wall thickness tapers on the inside, making the tube walls stronger at the bottom end where it is brazed into the fork crown.  

A Reynolds steerer is smooth on the inside, a Columbus steerer has spiral ribs cut into the inside tube walls. If you shine a flashlight down the tube you can see these, or simply feel up inside the hole under the fork crown with your pinky finger.

This has nothing to do with SL or SLX, the ribs were always there in the steer tube since the beginning, it was the Columbus trade mark. In the late 1980s Columbus brought out the SLX tubeset, with the spiral ribs cut into the butted tube ends of the top tube, down tube, and the bottom end of the seat tube. The chainstays also had the spiral ribs at the bottom bracket end.

Later there was a TSX tubeset introduced (T for total.) where the spiral ribs were cut throughout the full length of the tube. The spirals ribs are cut into the tube with a Broaching Machine. In a similar way rifling is done in a gun barrel.

Actually the material is cut from the inside of the tube, leaving behind the raised ribs. Removing material of course reduces weight, but the spiral ribs give the tube a resistance to twisting, making for a stiffer frame.

To explain further, imagine a coiled spring. Twist it one way and it will expand as the coils unwind. Now twist it the other way and the spring diameter will decrease as the coils tighten. The spiral or helical ribs inside the tube are like a spring, but they are part of a solid wall tube and therefore cannot expand or contract as the tube twists first one way, then the other. Thus the tube has a resistance to twisting.

There is very little twisting stress on a steering tube, it is mostly fore and aft vibration stress. The ribs could have been straight with the same effect. However. What started out as a way to give Columbus a distinct look, turned out to be a legitimate way to remove weight and still retain the tube’s inbuilt resistance to twisting.


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Toxic Metals

In my post two weeks ago when I revealed I had Parkinson’s, I mentioned I was being tested for toxic metals in my body, as most neurological diseases are caused by metals in the brain. Especially Mercury in the case of Parkinson’s.

This week I got those test results back and my Mercury and Lead levels are both extremely high. “Off the charts.” Was how my doctor described it.

Also quite high were the levels of Arsenic, Cadmium, and Nickel. Over a life time, metals build up in a body and in my case that is already a long time. As a child I had toys made of lead, and if they were not made of lead they were painted with lead paint.

All through my first forty-odd years I lived in England in older houses that had lead water pipes, and old layers of lead paint. The Mercury could have come from food I ate, or from dental fillings, some that have been in place from as far back as the 1960s.

I probably breathed it a lot of metal fumes while brazing bike frames, which probably accounts for the cadmium and nickel. Anyway it serves no purpose to dwell on how the metals got there, except as a warning to others. 

The next step is to remove these metals. This will be done by a treatment called Chelation (Pronounced Key-lation.) The Chelation medication is administered through an IV in the arm. The metals then attach themselves to the medication and they pass out though the urinary tract. In other words you pee them away.

I already underwent one Chelation session, when my pee was tested to find these levels of toxic metals. Now I will have further weekly sessions for the next 20 weeks which will pretty much be the rest of this year.

Chelation treatment is not FDA approved, except for the treatment of metal poisoning. I find this interesting, because what the FDA is saying, is that Chelation will remove metals from a body, but there is no proof that it will cure Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, Autism, and other neurological disorders it is being used the treat.

But as I see it, remove the toxic metals that caused the problem in the first place and you give the body a fighting chance to heal itself. Some of my brain cells have died because of these toxic substances, and as a result I have the beginning symptoms of Parkinson’s.

The human body is an amazing thing in that it can actually grow new brain cells to replace dying ones. However, if the toxic metals are destroying brain cells quicker than I can grow new ones, you can probably understand my reasoning why I need to remove these metals.

Unfortunately, Chelation will also remove things like Copper, Iron, Magnesium and Zinc and other metals a body needs, so I will be taking extra supplements to replace these. Also, the treatment does remove plaque that builds up in the arteries, so that’s an added bonus.

Chelation is not without risks, but as I am in otherwise excellent health, I am not too concerned. My first treatment will be this coming week. I don’t expect to see immediate improvements, any changes will most likely be gradual. I will keep you posted.


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Is it time to opt out of the culture of speed?

All over the United States and indeed the world, people are riding bicycles. Forget about saving the planet, that is not the reason, it is a satisfying and civilized way to travel. Faster and more efficient than walking, and for not much more energy input. Compared to driving a person is burning calories rather than gasoline.

A person riding to work each day on his bicycle is traveling for free, he gets there in only slightly less time that his colleague who drives. In some congested cities the cyclists gets there faster. He has not had to allot time to exercise or pay gym fees. When he gets to his destination he has fewer problems with parking.

Many more people would ride bicycles but they are afraid of being hit by cars. There are still those who will try to intimidate and bully anyone in their way. The whole “Share the Road” concept is flawed in that it implies that the roads are for cars and cyclists are asking drivers to share space with them.

This is not the case, public roads are just that, “Public.” They are there for people to travel from their home to where ever they need to be. The right is for the person to travel, not according to the persons’ mode of transport.

There is no pleasure in driving anymore, it is the myth and the lie being sold to the public by the auto-makers.

Look at any car ad on TV and what do you see? The obligatory slow motion shot of a car sliding sideways in a controlled skid, cars driving at break neck speed on deserted streets and highways.

This is not reality, on today’s congested roadways. Not only is driving fast impractical, it is downright dangerous. And what useful purpose does it serve? There is a legitimate argument for being allowed to maintain high speeds for long journeys on freeways that traverse miles and miles of open countryside.

However, when freeways approach cities and become congested, there is a definite need to slow to the same speed as everyone else. It is the driver trying to maintain his high rate of speed under these conditions that not only cause accidents, but cause people to brake and in turn lead to the stop and go traffic conditions that are all too familiar.

The best thing a person can do is to realize that getting from A to B is a necessity, so if you can’t make it a pleasure then at least make it stress free. Opt out of the culture of speed, slow down and relax.

Speed limits need to be lowered to 20mph in crowded city centers where there are many pedestrians and cyclists. Would such a speed limit have a great impact on people’s over all drive time?

In most cases drivers simply accelerate to race from one traffic light to the next. On long stretches of highway, traffic lights can be timed so someone driving the speed limit can have green lights all the way through a town.

The faster cars go the more space is needed between each car. Therefore, people moving slower but continuously in a procession can travel closer to each other. This means traffic is moving slower but on any given stretch of highway it is carrying a larger volume of vehicles. So is the overall flow of vehicles per hour that much less? Bottom line is, people still get to where they need to be.

The world is becoming more and more crowded. Populations are exploding everywhere including the US. Every person who rides a bicycle is taking one more car off the road, making more room for those who choose to drive.

Wouldn’t life be a little more pleasant if everyone slowed down a notch? So what if it took you five or ten minutes longer to get to work, at the end of each day would that make a huge difference? Of course wishing for this is wishing for Utopia, but who would argue that it would be better if less people had to die on our roads.

The cities across America that have adopted a “Bicycle Friendly” program, have found that when more people ride bicycles the overall speed of traffic slows. With that comes less fatalities, not just for cyclists, but across the board for pedestrians and motorists too.


Previously posted May 2012 

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My Parkinson’s

Two years ago I noticed a slight tremor in my right arm, at the end of 2016 I went to a neurologist who diagnosed me with Parkinson’s disease. When you go to go to a mainstream doctor or neurologist they will tell you there is no cure for Parkinson’s, but take this medication and it will control the symptoms, in other words the tremor. That is what they told me.

The problem is the medication cures nothing and the side effects are horrible. The long term side effects are even worse. Take it for three to five years and it will eventually stop working and then you are completely screwed, and worse off than ever. I should also mention the medication costs $300 for a one month supply. (30 tablets.)

I had noticed when I rode my bike there was no tremor, and I remembered seeing a video on YouTube of a man with Parkinson’s so bad he couldn’t walk. In fact when he tried to walk he fell over.  They put him on a bicycle and he pedaled around a parking lot in normal fashion.  You can view that video here.

In searching for that video, it brought up many more videos of people who are controlling Parkinson’s with diet and exercise. I was already exercising (Riding my bike.) and I also noticed if I walked at a brisk pace, swinging my arms, there was no tremor. In fact if I stand still and swing my arms, there is also no tremor.

Parkinson’s affects subconscious movement, which is why if allowed to progress it will affect the ability to walk. Walking is a subconscious movement. We don’t think about it, because we’ve done it all our life. One has to turn the subconscious into conscious movement.

The same thing if my right arm hangs loosely at my side, the hand will start to tremor. (A resting tremor.) But make a conscious movement like touch my thumb to a fingertip and the tremor stops.  Or better yet, I have a little rubber exercise ball that I roll around between my fingertips, and that keeps the tremors at bay.

I can carry a full glass of wine, or a full cup of coffee in my right hand and not spill any, because it is a conscious movement or action. But pick up a glass to drink and my hand will shake because it is a subconscious movement. I tend to use my left hand to pick up a cup or glass to drink. I still have my motor skills, I can thread a needle for example. Again this is a conscious movement.

The other thing I am doing is following a strict diet. I quit eating meat a year ago. Not because I believe meat is bad in itself, but the way it is produced and what the animals are fed, I thought it best to quit eating it altogether. I eat eggs and fish as a source of protein.

I have also cut out most dairy, bread, sugar and no processed food of course. I eat organic fruits and vegetables, oatmeal and brown rice. It really has not been that hard, and I do feel so much better. I am not advocating that everyone do this, but if you are fighting something as serious as Parkinson’s, then give your body a fighting chance to repair itself.

I have found a doctor who is an MD, but opted out of the mainstream and big pharma fifteen years ago. He has done extensive blood work and tells me I am in great shape, apart from having Parkinson’s. He is now testing for toxic metals that may be in my body.

Why am I revealing this now? I have two daughters living in England, and today I called them and told them of my condition. I figured it was time to tell everyone. Please, I am not looking for sympathy, thoughts or prayers. but I will take encouragement, thank you.

I want to beat this, so I can tell others there is hope. Right now my condition is an annoyance rather than a disability. The fact that it has not progressed beyond that in two years is proof to me that I am on the right track.  And remember, I've done it so far without medication.

Stick with me, it’s going to be an interesting journey.


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