Dave Moulton

Dave's Bike Blog

Award Winning Site

More pictures of my past work can be viewed in the Photo Gallery on the Owner's Registry. A link is in the navigation bar at the top

Bicycle Accident Lawyer

 

 

 

 

 

Powered by Squarespace
Search Dave's Bike Blog

 

 Watch Dave's hilarious Ass Song Video.

Or click here to go direct to YouTube.

 


A small donation or a purchase from the online store, (See above.) will help towards the upkeep of my blog and registry. No donation is too small.

Thank you.

Join the Registry

If you own a frame or bike built by Dave Moulton, email details to list it on the registry website at www.davemoultonregistry.com

Email (Contact Dave.)

 If you ask me a question in the comments section of old outdated article, you may not get an answer. Unless the article is current I may not even see it. Email me instead. Thanks Dave

Monday
Sep162019

KT Tape

I often experience shoulder pain caused by arthritis, recently I aggravated this further, straining the joint by lifting a heavy box. Immediately after the injury the shoulder was so sore it was difficult to raise my arm to any extent, and even shaving and brushing my teeth was quite painful. 

I decided to try something different and use some kinesiology tape. I had seen this used in cycling and other sports. The brand I used was KT Tape. It came in handy pre-cut pieces, 2 inches wide and 10 inches long. (5cm. x 25.5 cm.)

I applied it as shown in the video above. The tape is elastic and adhesive, the idea is to apply two inches of the tape to the skin, unstretched. Stretch the center portion by the recommended amount, then apply the last two inches again unstretched.

This not only applies light pressure to the injured area, but it allows the wearer to continue with normal activities. Unlike a sling or bandage that simply immobilizes the joint. I do know that applying pressure to an injured area will help to ease the pain, even simple hand pressure. 

After applying the KT Tape, I took a couple of Aleve and applied ice twice a day. I tried not to aggravate the injury but lifting anything heavy or doing anything too strenuous. Apart from that I went about my usual daily activities.

I left the tape on three days and it withstood a daily shower, and probably could have stayed on longer, but I decided to replace it with a fresh dressing. The tape did allow normal movement and eased the pain a little.

After reading other articles, and comments from readers, some are skeptical that kinesiology tape does anything. As I see it, left alone a body will heal its own injuries, but why not apply ice to help it along, and why not use something like KT Tape to make the injury more comfortable as it mends? It is working for me.

KT Tape website.

 

     To Share click "Share Article" below  

Monday
Sep092019

Words

What sets the human species apart from all other creatures? I believe it is not that we have a superior brain or opposing thumbs, it is language, our ability to communicate with words.

I recently learned that a crow, a bird with a high level of intelligence, makes a different sound if a human is approaching, or if a cat is in the vicinity. It appears that crows have a simple language, but nothing close to the sophistication of human words that can not only be spoken but written too.

I prefer the written word. It can be edited, whereas often the spoken word comes out and cannot be taken back. The old saying, “Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me,” is seldom true.

Physical pain we tend to forget, but when someone says something nasty those words are locked away in our memory bank to be brought back along with the hurt, repeatedly.

It takes a strong person to recognize that these were only words and it is our choice to relive them. It is not easy, if I say, “Don’t think of elephants," the first thing that will come to your mind is an elephant.

Fond memories can be re-told to others and relived in our own mind. Bad memories often get re-told and are exaggerated, made worse than they originally were. The cleaver lines and comebacks we recite in re-telling the story, are not the words we actually said, but rather what we wish we had said.

Told over and over the stories eventually become our reality. Others will steal our stories, make them their own and retell them until they become their reality. This is how urban myths are born.

“Talk is cheap,” is another common expression. Some can talk for hours and say nothing, certain politicians have honed this to an art form. Words may be cheap but say the wrong thing and it can cost a politician or other public figure dearly.

People who talk incessantly miss out on a lot. For one thing by talking continuously they are not letting others express their views. Then when the other person speaks, they are not listening because they are thinking of what they will say next.  

It is only by listening to others that communication pays off. A thought from outside our own mind can spark an entirely new line of thinking.

Words can be powerful sometimes, but other times are inadequate. When someone dies, even with writing skills, words will fail me. Had I been there I would not need words, just to listen, hold a hand or give a hug would have been enough.

Words are not always necessary, and though cheap should not be wasted. Words can build us up or knock us down. They can be both our blessing and our curse.

 

     To Share click "Share Article" below  

Tuesday
Sep032019

Why Write?

I have been an artist most of my life, I have painted pictures and created functional art in the form of racing bicycle frames.

The greatest gift my mother ever bestowed on me was that she encouraged me as a child to draw and paint pictures, and to engage in simple craft projects.

She would tell her friends how good I was with my hands, and she would show them what I had made.

She would do this in my presence, which boosted my self-esteem, and left me with a feeling that there was nothing I couldn’t make with my hands, given the time and the resources.

I get high on creativity, high on the feeling of euphoria when I step back and look at what I have created. Like a junkie there came a time when the art I created no longer gave me that high. I needed a better fix, so I turned to writing and songwriting.

It is one thing to apply paint to canvas and create a picture, or to assemble pieces of metal and make a solid object. But to assemble words on paper, a computer screen or even in your head, to me is the ultimate form of creativity. It is truly creating something out of nothing, pulling something out of the air, so to speak.

Songwriting takes this a step further because you are pulling musical notes out of the air and adding to the words. Paul McCartney was once asked if he got a thrill from hearing his music performed by other artists. He replied that the biggest thrill he got was from walking down the street and hearing someone singing or whistling one of his songs.

Most of us will never see firsthand the work of Michael Angelo or an original Picasso and if we do it will only be for a moment. But the written word or recorded music can be shared by anyone, even for free. No one will charge you a fee to sing a Beatles song in your shower.

Language is the greatest gift given to humankind, it is what sets us apart from the animals. Animals have feelings, they feel happiness, grief, and anger but cannot express those feelings to others the way we can. I can assemble words, and if I do it right, can make others laugh or cry, or bring out other emotions, just by hearing or reading those words. 

I can paint pictures with words, pictures far more vivid and real than I could ever paint on canvas. And the picture I paint will be different for each individual. I remember as a child listening to plays on the radio. The scenes I saw in my mind were real because they took place in my house and my neighborhood. I was in the scene, not on the outside looking in as I would be viewing a movie or television. 

Through my writing I can re-live my life, I can do the things I wish I’d done and say the things I wish I’d said. Writing is wonderful therapy and the question I often ask myself as I finish something, is "Am I a better person for having written this?" If the answer is "yes" then it is a reward in itself.

Writing satisfies the need I have to create. If someone else learns something, is made to think, or is simply entertained then that is the extra scoop of ice cream on my apple pie.

 

     To Share click "Share Article" below  

Sunday
Aug252019

Uncertainty

I first arrived in the United States in January 1979. I flew into New York’s Kennedy Airport, and was picked up by my new employers, Vic and Mike Fraysee, owners of Paris Sport.

From there it was probably and hour’s drive to Ridgefield Park, New Jersey. About seven miles from New York City on the other side of the Hudson River. The frameshop where I worked was at the back of a bike store that the Fraysee’s owned.

The terms of my initial visa that I had when I entered the US, was that I would return to England before the end of the first year. I could then renew my visa and come back again.

I planned to return to the UK for the Christmas Holidays 1979, which gave me almost a year to work and save for the trip. By the fall of that year, it was clear money was going to be tight and I needed to find some extra cash to meet expenses.

On the corner of the same block where the frameshop was, there happened to be a large warehouse type building. It was home to a company that packaged Christmas wrapping paper. They were hiring seasonal part time workers for an evening shift.

And so it was, I started moonlighting. When I finished my day job building frames, I would work 6 to 10 in the Christmas wrapping paper plant.

It was probably around early November that year, as I took my one-mile morning walk to work, I rounded the corner just off Main Street, Ridgefield Park, to a scene of utter devastation.

The Christmas paper business had burned to the ground in a fire during the night. Only the four brick walls were standing, the roof was gone, and firefighters were cleaning up. All that was left of the place where I had worked the previous evening was a blackened, smoldering pile of rubble.

As I walked slowly past on the opposite side of the street, the cold realization was sinking in. I no longer had a part time job, no extra income, and possibly no Christmas trip to England.

However, within two weeks, the owners of the business had salvaged and repaired some of the machinery and had started up again in another building close by.

With only a few short weeks left before Christmas, they were now desperate to replace their lost stock, plus make up for two weeks lost production. I not only got my part time job back, I was now working a full 8-hour shift, from 6pm. to 2am.

There was a feeling amongst the workers, of wanting to help the owners succeed. They had not given up, we were not giving up.

I was also working two shifts on the weekends. The result was I probably made more money than if there had not been a fire. I made the trip to England with cash to spare.

I often think of this incident and a quote in the form of a question,

“How boring would life be without uncertainty?”


 We need certainty in our lives to feel secure. We need to be reasonably certain that we will wake up in the morning, and that our loved ones will still be there. That our job will be there and the building not burned to the ground as I found.

Then every so often, life throws us a curve, something unexpected. Without the unexpected, life would be boring. Curved roads are more interesting than straight roads, we don’t know what is round that next bend.

Within uncertainty, there is adventure, excitement. I have always found in the past whenever a relationship has turned sour, or I have lost a job, when I look back years later, it was for the good.

Disappointments, for the most part are only temporary. Quite often they bring about an outcome that is better than originally expected. Throughout my life I’ve had many disappointments, but very few regrets.

 

     To Share click "Share Article" below  

Monday
Aug192019

Marketing

David R Ball PhotoMarketing is always a tough nut for the artist.

All he wants to do is create, but then there comes a point where he must market what he creates in order to survive and continue creating.

It is tough when you have a product that you know is superior but lose sales because some large corporation has more marketing clout.

This happened many times with me in the early 1980s when customers would be on the brink of buying one of my bikes, then at the last moment opt for a Japanese Nishiki, on Centurion. Both good bicycles of that era but could never compare to a hand-built frame made by an individual craftsman.

The only reason they did this was marketing. These large manufacturers could place full page color ads in Bicycling Magazine. But at $10,000 a pop for a such an ad there was no way I could compete.

Instead I relied on bicycle dealers to sell to a small group of hard-core cyclists who could appreciate the difference between a limited production hand-built frame, and a factory mass produced item. I built a Nationwide network of these dealers by attending the Interbike Trade Show each year.

Each dealer would have bikes in stock that potential customers could test ride. Once a person test rode a Fuso, or other bike I built, and compared it to a production import bike, they could tell by the way it rode, the way it handled, this was a better bike, often for the same amount of money.

These independent bicycle dealers were my sales force, handling all the marketing for me, leaving me to spend my time building frames. For the dealer there was a 15% mark-up on a frame, not a huge amount, but when you add to this the markup on the components. Plus, back in the day, the bike store built the wheels and of course charged labor for the assembly of the bike.

It was a profitable partnership for the dealer and me, one that worked well through the 1980s, until the market changed. By the early 1990s interest switched to Mountain Bikes, which killed the road bike market.

For me to sell direct to the individual customer was a hopeless proposition. It had worked well for me in England though the 1970s, but there was a big difference in the mentality of the customer in the UK.

For a start my UK customers were almost exclusively racing cyclists. Having chosen a framebuilder, they would trust him implicitly. They would spend an hour at the most, getting measured and discussing the order. If they lived more than 75 miles away, the order would probably be sent via mail, or taken over the phone. The customer would order a frame and would most likely buy the components and assemble the bike himself.

The American customer, on the other hand, would drive hundreds of miles across state lines to visit with a framebuilder. Having done that, they would expect to spend the whole day at the shop, hanging out, watching me work, asking all manner of questions, that went way beyond the scope of the actual frame I would build for them. And there was never a gaurentee that an order would be forthcoming.

I think the big difference between the British and American customer is, the UK customer recognizes your skills but treats you as an equal. However, he respects your time and realizes it is valuable.

The American customer also recognizes your skills, but treats you like some kind of celebrity because of it, to the point at times, it is embarrassing. However, he has no respect for your time, and if he is buying your product, he expects your undivided attention that goes way beyond the time it takes to actually create that product.

It is the American way. Money talks, and the customer is King. A philosophy I never quite bought into, and was the reason I ran a strict ‘No Visitor’ policy, and sold my product through bike dealers. If I had it to do over again, I would do the same. One cannot run a profitable framebuilding business if you are spending more time talking about bikes than actually building them.

 

     To Share click "Share Article" below