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« Tribute Bike | Main | The San Fran’ Fiasco »
Monday
Aug252008

The Party’s Over

It is time to call it a day. This weekend I made an extremely tough decision, to quit writing here on this blog.

For the simple reason I have run out of things to write about, or rather worthwhile stuff that people want to read.

People like the tech stuff, and history. The tech stuff, I have just about covered it all. The beauty of the bicycle is its simplicity, you push one pedal down and the other one comes up.

How much technical stuff can there be, I have used up all I have. I have not kept up with the new stuff, I have no reason to, I am no longer in the business,

As for history, "You can't make that stuff up.” Some I write from memory, but as with the tech stuff, I have covered most of my personal experiences already.

I have written about the riders who were the heroes of my youth, others who were not my heroes I do not care to rehash stuff from the Internet that anyone can find.

All I am left with is commenting on current events. However, I am not a political animal, and I hate the fact that people use the bicycle as a political tool. These days, I just want to ride my bike, and I like to think I write for people who want to do the same.

I am not out to save the planet, or ban automobiles. In my real life, I have cut back to one small car, but I did that for economic reasons, not political. A person can survive without a car if they wish, but that is not my wish. I enjoy the convenience of owning my own car.

Why is it, the extreme left wing, eco-nuts think they own the exclusive right to the bicycle? And why is it, if you ride a bicycle everyone thinks you are an extreme left wing, eco-nut?

Looking back on my most recent posts, I am not happy with them; it is not work I can say I am proud of. Not that I didn’t make the same effort to write it, as with any other post, or choose words any less carefully. The subject matter is negative, and I am only using it because that is all I have.

A comment on my last post was a reality check for me. It read:

Interesting comment - about one possibly insignificant, irritated old man. From where I am, a long way away, it looks a lot like over-reaction though - merely one grumpy old man complaining about another.

The last way I want to be remembered, is as a grumpy old man. This is not the first time this comment has been made. Yes I get angry, anger is passion, and without passion in life, there is no life. You may as well give up and die.

My only desire when I started this was to share the knowledge and memories I have gathered over the years. I have done that, to keep going is to do so just for the sake of keeping going.

I have been writing here for almost three years, there are 286 posts, enough material to fill a book. Having filled a book with all the knowledge and memories I have, how can I write another?

This was not an easy decision; my readership is the highest it has ever been. I felt I had an obligation to those readers. However, I have an obligation to myself; this blog is not my whole life. I am involved in many other creative endeavors.

In the end I decided the best time to quit is now, while my readership is at the highest, not a year from now when it has dwindled to nothing, and everyone says I have lost it.

This site is not going away; about 70% of my daily hits come from Google searches by people seeking bicycle knowledge. The blog material will stay, and after I have taken a break, I will develop the site for people who still own and ride bikes I built.

There will be more photos of owners bikes, and possibly a bike registry. I have a backlog of about fifty emails I need to answer, maybe now I can finally catch up.

I'm sure there are many readers who have not even come close to reading all that is here. Now is your opportunity to catch up.

Not all recent comments have been negative, in fact quite the reverse. I what to thank the many who have been supportive, and for giving me the feeling that it has all been extremely worthwhile.

 

Reader Comments (88)

Dave,
I scarcely believe you've exhausted your base of knowledge! Your experience and insight is priceless I hope that you find some more to impart to the rest of us. I for one am a very eager reader of this site. However, I understand that mixing politics on this site --or on any public forum for that matter--- can get one kicked in the face. We live in turbulent times like many generations prior, yet there is a coarseness that exists in the political zeitgeist that appears unprecedented. It is enough to make one very wary. I believe that mankind is at a crossroads. There is alot at stake and that makes both sides of the argument very passionate about their point of view. Combined with the anonymity of the internet, and you have a free-for-all that is seldom for the faint of heart.
So, let's keep it all about the beauty of the bicycle here! Let each decide what he wants it to represent. But, for the love of Mary keep that old school knowledge flowing!
All the best,
The Two Wheeled Antipodean.

August 25, 2008 | Unregistered Commentermike anderson

I well and truly concur with the comments made above, i totally understand your sentiment Dave but wisdom is priceless. Thanks and I look forward to your new site.

August 25, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterTim

Dave,

I respect your decision to call it quit. Your blog has consistently been oozing quality. I will miss your articles popping up in the RSS reader.

Best wishes,

Nic

August 25, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterNic

Whether we are grumpy old men or young passionate eco-nuts, we share the bicycle. Fat tires or skinny, baggy clothes or lycra, we share the joy of balancing on two wheels. With your talent, I am confident that you can capture the joy of cycling for us all...if you wish. I look forward to whatever you might chose to write, whenever you chose to do so.

August 25, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterChris Johnson

I'm on the "left-wing eco-nut" side of things, and sometimes disagree with your opinions, but that hasn't stopped me enjoying your blog. I'll miss it.

August 25, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterAdrian

I'm sorry that you're quitting, Dave. But I understand your decision and I respect it.

Rest assured that your insightful and informative blog never painted your picture as that of a grumpy old man.

Thanks for all your well-written insights over the years,
Dave

August 25, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterDave Le Fevre

I just started reading your blog, so I am disappointed to read that you are finished with it. Its like, I just found a great new tv show, then find out it has been cancelled.

What you wrote here makes perfect sense to me--like you, I own a car and like driving it. I don't ride mainly for the environment, but because I love bicycles, and I love what bicycles do for me. I love to save money on gas, and reduce my dependence on it. It isn't about politics for me, it is about simplicity.

Perhaps the fact that you are in the middle, not on the left or right, is why the world needs your website.

August 25, 2008 | Unregistered Commenterjasonk

I will miss checking your blog every morning, but I can understand the decision. All I want to say is that of all the cycling-related stuff I've read on the internet over the past 12 years, yours has a special place, and I'm not sure there is anything else worth reading now. I've enjoyed your other articles, especially the recent ones, ironically, but as far as cycling goes, I've never felt that there was any kind of personal agenda or ego behind it. Just pure, expert information and interesting viewpoints. It wasn't biased on the basis of having to make a living selling me any product or any cycling philosophy, and it wasn't slanted to defend or promote a personal passion other than just riding the road bicycle in an efficient way. Thank you for all you've done, and I hope you continue riding your road bike almost every day as I do. Despite decades of riding, there are some things about it I've changed over the past year or two based on your writings, even at this ripe old age of 55.

I also want to say that I'm almost glad you stopped building when you did. My favourite decade was the 1960's, so I have no special reason to value the 1980's, but I believe that by that time, the absolute summit of road bicycle design, aesthetics and materials had been reached. At that point, there was nowhere else to go. Your frames are one of the two best examples I know.

It sure has been nice to have one sensible oasis on the web. Best of luck to you.

August 25, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterPierre

For selfish reasons I wish you would continue writing but I understand your reasoning. I think it takes a lot of guts to make the decision you have. Good luck on your next endeavor.

August 25, 2008 | Unregistered Commenterredpie

Sorry to hear it; I've enjoyed it a lot, especially the things about bicycle design. It's been nice to hear a perspective that isn't always seduced by the lure of the new.

August 25, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterWarrick Wynne

Dave,
I consider myself to be very new to blogs and relatively new to cycling. So, my experience in both fields is fairly limited and, unlike someone like you, I am far from having many stories to tell.
Yet, I choose to write about my cycling experiences and about what I see happening in the cycling world because it might encourage someone to get out and have similar experiences on a bike. I am sure that is what you have done by sharing your experiences and knowledge.
Your posts did give me lots of inspiration, made me think of my good old days, made me talk to the old guy in the club (another pommy cyclist), helped me glue my first tubular and made me get on the bike for another hard training session.
For all that and for all you have given through your posts, thank you!
Enjoy your time off,
AMR

August 25, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterAMRcyclist

Dave,

I am sorry to hear that you are discontinuing your blog. It seemed to me that you painted fair, balanced and well thought out opinions on the topics you chose to write about. Your blog was additionally interesting to me because I have good friends who are also English ex-patriots living in the Charleston area. Even though I am 5th generation or so American, I appreciate the slighty different outlook and approach that comes from a different culture. For a whole host of reasons you will be missed. Thanks for sharing.

Bill Phillips

August 25, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterMrBill

Dave,
I've always looked forward to reading your blog. The worst thing you can do is keep writing stuff if you have nothing to say. While most of your blogs I've found interesting, especially where you've talked about "the old days", sometimes I've wondered whether you're spinning your wheels and should rather spend your time writing another book. Anyway, I wish you the best of luck in whatever you decide to do in the future. Maybe when you don't feel obligated to come up with a new blog entry every 2 or 3 days, inspiration will strike and we'll see a few more gems in the future. Meanwhile, how about another book?

August 25, 2008 | Unregistered Commenterjohnb

Your blog is one of a few that I always make sure to read every word of every post. I've really enjoyed reading your blog since I found it a couple of years ago. I'm sad to see you stop but understand and respect your decision. As a fellow Charlestonian, I hope to see you on the road.

August 25, 2008 | Unregistered Commentersouthtj

Wow, I only recently found your blog. I'll miss your writings.

On the bright side, you said you'd leave the site up, maybe you'll get around to posting when you think of something that tickles your fancy.

August 25, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterDavid Crowell

"You know your in trouble when they stop talking about you."

So write about riding your bike... We won't get more people to ride by arguing about it. They'll ride because they see and read about the pure joy of it all.

August 25, 2008 | Unregistered Commenterdoc

Good for you, Dave. Enjoy riding the bike.

And thanks for all the thought provoking stuff on this blog. I'm glad that it's going to stay available for all to read and enjoy.

August 25, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterWestfieldWanderers

Thanks Dave - it was a good, but short run for me as a reader of your blog. Like some of my best experiences, twas shorter than I would have liked!

Best to you!

Lee Gross

August 25, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterLee Gross

Shane, don't go!

If you feel burned out, take some time off, but be aware that many people here enjoy your musings about the bike world. Remember, once you quit doing what you love, you get old, real fast.

C-ya.

August 25, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterGrump

I am sorry to read this news, I have really enjoyed your blog, never say never, maybe the occassional update?, Anyhow, good luck to you in the future.

August 25, 2008 | Unregistered Commenterscank

Dave,
"Take some time off, see those sights, smell the fresh 'Sea' air (sometimes :-) and blog sporadically!"
Besides, who else (aside from me) resides in S.C., blogs, has built, is historical, rides and rocks but y'all? :-)
Personal, 'Dave, not time to depart as this party is just starting!'
Future EFFICIENT personal transportation is bicycling and you count!
Enjoy this Ride!

August 25, 2008 | Unregistered Commenterwrw

I really am sorry to hear this. It always seems to happen to blogs once I put them on my blogroll ...

I think with oil prices going down, and the media attention eventually moving on, cycling will soon go back to being something we can enjoy, rather than argue over - here's hoping you may then relent...

August 25, 2008 | Unregistered Commentertown mouse

Sorry to hear this, but I completely understand. I wouldn't be offended if you posted from time to time about some great rides that you have in the future. Take care!

August 25, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterMarla

As a lugged steel and classic bike culture enthusiast, I can say that stumbling upon your blog (when looking for technical information, as you said most do) has been extremely beneficial. I thank you for what you've done and wish you the best in any and all endeavors you undertake in the future.

August 25, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterBenjamin

Thanks for all the great posts!
I do hope you continue to post on an occasional basis - whenever the spirit moves you. No pressure to write 3.2 articles per week or anything like that!
And as you know - it's better to BE riding than to be READING (or WRITING) about riding.

August 25, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterBob B.

Sorry to see you pack it in, Dave. When I started my own blog, yours was one of the ones I looked to for inspiration. I understand your decision, and wish you well.

August 25, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterBike Noob

I agree with you.
Every good story has a beginning, middle and an end; so yours also does.
You don’t have to keep re-writing it.
Thanks Dave.
Steven Farner

August 25, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterSteve

Dave, your blog encouraged me to go from a weekend cyclist, to a workday commuter. I enjoy biking now more than ever. Your posts on the geometry of bikes has led me to appreciate bikes more, and helped me choose my next ride.

I hope you don't dwell on the comments of a few angry people. As people who work in custom manufacturing we know that some customers were already upset. I know I'll keep the link to your blog and look for the new one.

I just didn't expect you to go all Jim Thill on us twice in one summer.


all the best,
Buji

August 25, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterBujiatang

Dave,

I have been only reading your blog for the last year or so, but it's one of the 2 or 3 I check regularly. It's been a great resource and pleasure. Take the time off, but if you occasionally get the urge to comment on something or share some bit of history, please do. I am sure there are a number of us who would like to read it.

As for the critics, don't let them get them down. You're better than them.

Take care,

hal.

August 25, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterHal Render

Enjoyed the blog. Thanks for sharing.

August 25, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterHuge

Change is good. This blog was so good it started to squash my interest in other things. The party is over? We should throw you one!

August 25, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterKelly

Sorry to hear of you quitting, Dave, but I understand. Most people cannot successfully communicate in person, much less via a keyboard, and it's easy to get affected by what people write on a website. I've given up trying to make political arguments--I might as well throw small stones against a brick wall. Thanks for all you've done, and will do.

August 25, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterAudeamus

I am glad to see your previous entries will stay up. All are entertaining and well thought out and I point others to your thoughts regularly. Thanks Dave.

August 25, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterKind

Dave,

I want to thank you for sharing a wealth of knowledge and information on your blog, I have enjoyed it so much.

Happy cycling, and look me up if you are ever in Amsterdam, I'll buy you a beer.

Jan

August 25, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterJan

Dave,
I've always looked forward to reading your blog. You have always had something interesting to say and, from my perspective, have hit the nail on the head every time. You write well and my hope is that you will author a book on cycling as a way to continue your contribution. I love bicycling and am always 18 years old when on my bike (even though I'm 57 when I get off it). Thank you for your insights. I will miss your blog.
Sincerely,
Jerry Somdahl

August 25, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterJerry Somdahl

Never say never, you'll write on here again, whenever you feel like it.

August 25, 2008 | Unregistered Commentermike

Godspeed! I have enjoyed reading your blog for 6 months or so. I will now need to mine the archives, which I am sure will take a while. Thank you for what you have given us! I love reading all of it.

August 25, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterMichael P.

This has been a great read: well-written, informative, thoughtful. Although I will spend some time catching up with the oldest postings, I have to admit it is disappointing that you are not continuing. And with all respect, there is always something to write about when it comes to cycling!

Best of luck, Mr. Moulton.

August 25, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterSprocketboy

Dave, I don't think there is much I can add other than "thanks" for creating a reason to turn on my computer each morning. I've enjoyed every topic, as well as the responses, regardless of how they tilted the scale. I especially enjoyed your viewpoints on the steel frame, as that is what I plan to be buried in (fill the seat tube with my ashes). I'll tip a pint of Guiness to you tonight and wish you much happiness in the future.

By the way, I enjoy your writing so much, it's time for me to pony up and buy the book....so that I'll do.

Also, thanks for taking the time to answer all of my emails regarding Fuso's that had hit the market. Nothing beats asking the "master" questions and then receiving answers.

Take care!!

Steve

August 25, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterMaltese Falcon

Dave, you will be missed. Many people value the wisdom of experience. You even got me to finally switch back to tubulars, and they feel like home. Now I'm torching metal in the garage and riding my own ... and you've been a part of all that. If you're ever in Indiana you have a friend to stay with.
Craig Ryan
http://forestbikes.blogspot.com/

August 25, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterCraig Ryan

I feel I joined the party too late. Sorry to see you go Dave. I appreciated that you wrote about experiences and other ramblings and not about new product updates. I hope that you still surprise us with the occasional post 'as the mood strikes you' and don't abandon it altogether.

Oh well, I have some back reading to do. Good luck in your future endeavours and thanks for writing honestly

August 25, 2008 | Unregistered Commenteritripped

Gosh dangit. What the heck. I really enjoyed your blog. I don't know of any like it. Your right about it always being positive. Your also right about some of us having some catching up to do. And I would like to end with a quote. " I suppose that was what attracted me to the bicycle right from the start. It was not so much a way of getting somewhere as it is a setting for randomness; it makes every journey an unorginized tour." Daniel Behrman

Dave,

Thanks!

August 25, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterDanC

Dave,

Your blog was the first one that I read when I started mine. I'll always remember when I asked to place your link to my new blog, you replied, "This is how empires are built!'

All the best in your future endeavors!
Richard Lee

August 26, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterRichard Lee

I'm sad to read that you made that decision. However, as a regular long-time reader of your blog, I kind of saw it coming. The number of controversial entries increased lately, and there were quite a few people who made comments that I knew would hurt you personally.

I have to admit that I did not always agree with your opinions on the non-technical and non-historical pieces. But that would never lead me to post offensive and rude comments. Not on any blog, and least on yours. There were some posts that, when I read them, made me think: "Was that really necessary to post?" But when I thought about them a little longer, I could always see why you wrote what you wrote, and it helped me see some things from a different perspective.

Thank you for being courageous enough to publish these postings under your real name. And sorry for all the people that use the anonymity of the internet to throw out all these discouraging comments.

I hope that some miracle happens, and you maybe decide to restrict your postings to the historical facts (who if not you would tell us about British TT races in the 50s?) and technical insights (who will now keep track of all the well-preserved Fusos and Moultons, and put them into their correct historical context?).

I think you saw from the comments that you got quite a fan base...

And if you ever want to rant about day-to-day things, you can always use a synonym, like most of the offensive commenters do anyway...

All the best, and thanks again for the great times reading your blog.

-- Thomas

August 26, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterThomas F.

A sad note to end this day upon. Your posts are always worth reading and it's important to have good writers involved with this passion of cycling. I will hope that your decision will be like a frame hung up for a while, then, in time reconsidered and ridden once again. In the meantime, thank you for your posts and for keeping the flames of history and tradition lit. Best of luck, Dave!

-- Jim

August 26, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterCyclofiend Jim

Sorry to see you go Dave. I've spent many a minute reading your blog when I should've been writing one for Tredz. Informative and honest to the end, good luck with your future endeavours.

August 26, 2008 | Unregistered Commenterol

Hi Dave,
I am sorry we are losing you, but understand your reasoning entirely. Thanks for sharing so much cool info and giving pause to much thought for many of us.
All the best in all your endeavours, Oli

August 26, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterOli

As the person who wrote the comment you quoted in your post, I can only say that I'm very sorry that my words proved the catalyst they have; that was far from my intention. Neither was it my intention to cause offense and I'm sorry if I have. I have enjoyed reading your blog immensely and would have liked to see it continue.

August 26, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterNick

"extreme left wing, eco-nut?" - it's not extreme left wing or eco nut to be driven by ecological reasons (as well or instead of the economic reasons that you state have driven you to use your car less) and it's not political to use a bike for those reasons and more than for economic or leisure reason - Surely the politics is trying to change other peoples minds.

August 26, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterMe
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