Having a blog is in many ways like having a child. Conceiving it is the fun part; it can make you proud and bring a great deal of satisfaction. But as it grows you realize the hungry little bastard needs feeding all the time.
It is not that I have lost my desire to write here (Far from it.) it is that I am finding it increasingly difficult to find suitable subject matter to write about. I started this blog in the fall of 2005; that is seven years which is a long time as blogs go.
I have covered just about every technical aspect of the bicycle I can think of. One of the reasons I want to keep the blog going is because between 1,500 and 2,000 people come here every day to find the answer to some question about cycling or the bicycle.
Those who know me know that I hate bull shit, and there are mountains of bull shit spoken and written about the bicycle. The bicycle is such a simple machine, you push one pedal down and the other one comes up. How can you get over technical about something so simple? The modern bike with its sealed bearings, limited sizes, etc., has further simplified it.
Cycling is a joy; or at least it should be. However, it is not like golf, where you have a set of golf clubs in the garage and on occasions pull them out and go knock a ball around a golf course. Even if you play badly you will still get some measure of satisfaction.
If you own a bicycle, especially a road bike and you pull it out only once in a while; there will be no pleasure, just a whole lot of pain and suffering. Your arse will hurt, your back will hurt, and who knows what else will hurt. Cycling requires a minimum of dedication to reach a level of fitness where it becomes a joy and a pleasure.
In order to take up cycling, you need a bicycle; that is obvious. The problem is many never get past the “Ownership” stage. They fall in love with this beautiful machine and buy it; but then never dedicate the time required to ride it.
It is the reason many of the bikes I built in the 1980s come up for sale on eBay in near new, mint condition. They have never been ridden. The pleasure is derived from “Look at me, on my $10,000 bike.” Which is pretty shallow, when compared to the real joy of actually riding the bike, and it becoming a life long passion and commitment.
This year my ex-apprentice Russ Denny built me a new welded steel frame, with a carbon front fork. It is one of the best bikes I have ever owned. One reason is that it was custom built for me, designed so that I can ride in a comfortable yet efficient riding position.
I recently offered to go to my local bike shop and talk to a group of their customers. What I had in mind was to take the custom ‘dave moulton’ bike that I built in the 1980s, (Just as a showpiece.) along with my new Fuso bike and talk about some of the advantages of such a bike.
When I didn’t hear back from the bike store after a few weeks, I checked again, and was told this particular store’s clientele would not be interested, because “Quote,” “If it ain’t carbon fiber they’re not interested, in fact if it has round tubes they are not interested.”
What the fuck does the shape of the tubes have to do with cycling? This is what I mean about bull shit. It is all about owning the latest high tech bicycle, regardless of whether that bicycle is the one best suited to that rider’s needs.
These are adults behaving like school kids, afraid not to have the latest fashions lest they be ridiculed and bullied by their peers. God forbid anyone should show up on a club ride on anything but the latest in bicycles.
This is what happens when large corporations take over an industry as they have done with the bicycle business. They build in obsolescence.
For 100 years, bicycle frames had round steel tubes, 1 1/8" down tube and seat tube, with a 1” top tube. It was good for at least 10 years before it became dated; longer if you updated the components.
Now you will be lucky if your bike will last two years. Not because it needs replacing, but because the style is outdated. Oh well…. That’s progress.