Dave Moulton


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Bicycle Accident Lawy

 

 

 

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Thursday
Jul102008

Tagged once more

I’ve been tagged again, this time by Ron over at Cozy Beehive. The idea is to write six random, unknown things about me. Then tag six other people to do the same.

Here is my six:

1.) As a child during the 1940s I lived in a house in England with no electricity and no water piped into the house. Water was brought in by bucket from a communal well outside. Lighting was by oil lamp and candles. My mother cooked with a coal fired range and baked wonderful pies and cakes. She did so without a thermometer on the oven.

She ironed with a flat iron also heated on the stovetop. She would spit on the iron to test the temperature; the spit would boil and run off immediately if it was hot enough. She had a pair of flat irons; one would be heating while she ironed with the other for a minute or so before it cooled.

2.) As an eighteen year old in the mid 1950s, an older drunk man, probably in his forties, picked a fight with me. I hit him and he fell backward through the plate glass window of a television shop. It was the early hours of Sunday morning and the noise was deafening. The last I saw of the drunk, he was lying on his back amongst the TV sets, with his legs in the air.

I took off running, and was chased by two American Military Police, in a Jeep. They pulled along side me, and when they saw I was not an American Serviceman, they stopped and gave up the chase. I made it home without further incident. Later the local newspaper told the story of a broken store window mystery, and that nothing was stolen. There was no mention of the drunk guy; I guess he was not seriously hurt, and had left the scene.

There was a large American Air Force Base, near where I lived and the Military Police would patrol the streets, but had no jurisdiction over the civilian populous. We called them "Snow Drops" because they wore white helmets, reminding us of a British wild flower that has white bell shaped petals and is called a Snow Drop.

3.) When I built frames in Worcester, England, in the 1970s; I shared the business premises with a car body repair man named Roger Brown. Roger had lost an arm (Above the elbow.) as a child after falling from a tree.

He would replace his prosthetic arm with a hook when he worked and there was not much that he couldn't do while working on cars, in spite of his handicap. However, he couldn't do some simple tasks, and would come to me, to roll up his shirt sleeve on his good arm, or to tie his shoe lace. We take for granted the simple every-day tasks that require two hands.

4.) In 1980 while working for Paris Sport in New Jersey I had a job interview with Trek; they flew me out to their factory in Wisconsin. I didn't get the job, which turned out okay because later that same year I landed a job with Masi, in Southern California. I have nothing against Wisconsin, but I dislike very cold winters, and later when I started my own business, one of the reasons it was successful was because of my location in So. Cal.

5.) In the late 1980s I was approached by Fila, the sports clothing company. They where interested in a line of bicycles with the Fila name on them. Two people from the company came to my shop to look at my operation, and we talked about my building these frames. They must have dropped the idea, I never heard back, and I don't recall anyone else making a Fila bike.

6.) When I left the bike business in 1993 I took a job with a company that made bowling equipment. I designed metal furniture for bowling centers, also ball racks, and a ball return machine. I oversaw the manufacture of these and other equipment.

There’s my six. It was extremely tough for me to come up with six stories that I had not previously written about. I was first tagged in December of 2006 and then again just a year ago in July of 2007. In addition, I have written about many of my life’s experiences elsewhere in this blog. Still others became part of my novel Prodigal Child.

If I am tagged again I may have no choice but to decline, as much as I would hate to do that. I am simply running out of stories. I am going to tag six people who have been kind enough to link to my blog and are listed on the side bar here.

Biking Brit
Cycling Addict
Dano
Movit Fred
Something Maybe
Ultra Rob


Monday
Jul072008

Is there a connection between technology and rudeness?

I own a cell phone with a cheap pre-paid plan.

The phone stays turned off, until the rare occasion when I need to use it. I carry it for emergencies when I drive my car, or ride my bike.

I have no desire to be in instant contact with everyone else on this planet; I have managed to come this far in my life without that option.

On the other hand, I embrace the Internet; anyone can find me fairly easily and contact me by email, and many do.

It keeps me extremely busy trying to respond them all, and I sometimes fail in the attempt. Which is one of the reasons I do not need the rest of my waking hours, to be spent with a cell phone in my ear.

This is not just another "Old Man’s Lament" post about how things were better in my day. Things were not necessarily better in the old days; it is just that some of us, having lived a little longer, saw the changes take place and because of that can see both the positive and negative aspects resulting from change.

Do cell phones and the Internet make us more sociable? I think the reverse is true. It enables us to be in contact with an ever-increasing number of long distance relationships, at the expense of those closer to us.

It used to be a person would walk into a bar, order a drink, and then socialize with the bartender or others seated at the bar. Today a person walks into a bar, orders a drink, and immediately flips open a cell phone.

They become oblivious to everyone around them as they hold a long distance conversation with someone maybe sitting alone in some other bar. The person will often finish their drink, and their conversation, then leave the bar having made no verbal or even eye contact with anyone there.

Even in situations where there is an opportunity for chance encounters, they no longer happen. Two people in a Laundromat for example; in pre-cell phone times they would at least exchange a smile and a few words.

Today, chances are at least one or even both are talking on cell phones. They are too busy socializing long distance, and totally ignore each other. Completely missing the opportunity to socialize face-to-face right where they are.

Even though the Internet is my favoured medium; I am dismayed at the rudeness shown on Internet forums. If a person is rude to a stranger online simply because they can remain anonymous, is there a chance that rudeness will spill over into their every day lives? I can't see where being rude online helps a person with their social skills in interacting with others in day to day situations.

The cyclist, who posts an angry comment on an Internet forum, is just as likely to get on his bike and flip a finger at the first motorist they perceived had made a wrong move. Both the cyclist and motorist do not see a fellow human being, but some anonymous figure; much like the one on the Internet.

Much of the carnage on our roads today is caused by rude, angry people behind the steering wheel. Rude, angry cyclists are mostly a danger only to themselves. How did these people become so consumed by anger? It does seem to be a growing trend.

When I started cycling, I was fortunate that I was able to join a cycling club. There were other members of the club, older and more experienced, who taught me all I needed to know about the bicycle and the skills required to ride it.

Today, there are still such local clubs, but it seems most would prefer to go on Internet forums as their source of knowledge. The problem is the experienced people with knowledge to share do not go there because they are often treated with contempt and rudeness.

There is now a whole generation for whom there has always been an Internet, and cell phones, and there has always been rudeness. Rudeness is accepted as the norm. One time when I protested the online rudeness, I was told, “It’s an Internet forum, what do you expect?” Actually, I expected politeness, how naive of me.

Rudeness has no beneficiaries, either those dishing out the rudeness or the recipient. It makes people angry; the person being rude is angry because they see themselves as right in a situation and the other person is an idiot. And of course the recipient of the rudeness is also angry.

Just as the person on their cell phone ignores the person standing next to them, there are some who will stumble on one article I have written here, and then shoot off some angry comment dismissing the article as “BS by an arrogant SOB.” This happened just last week on Bike Forums.

If only the person, instead of responding in anger because they disagreed with my view, had taken a moment to peruse my profile, and learn a little more about me. Maybe if they had read a few more articles here, they may have actually learned something about bicycles.

By being angry and rude, they missed an opportunity to improve their knowledge, simply because they did not take the time to get to know me.

The Internet is a wonderful thing; however, it is an entity with very few rules and relies on human decency to operate smoothly. Human decency breaks down when people become detached from each other.

Could the cause of this breakdown be over use of the Internet, and other technology like cell phones? Those of us online, find the thread that attaches us is extremely fragile to begin with. People are naturally social beings, and need that personal contact.

Rudeness drives people apart; it isolates the person being rude. Are we in danger of becoming a race of rude, angry, and lonely people, with few social skills?

Hang up the phone and look at the person standing next to you. Look at the author of what you are reading on your computer screen. It is entirely possible that he is not just some “Wanker” trying to push your buttons; he may actually have something worthwhile to say.

Wednesday
Jul022008

Helmet Poll Result

After 15 days of voting, here are the results.

Those who read this blog at least, wear a helmet all or most of the time; 13% don't

In retrospect, I probably should have left the “saves lives” option out, because it split the vote. If you add the top two together, most feel that a helmet gives considerable protection.

Clearly, although many get passionate over the helmet issue, only a relative few want to make them mandatory. The majority feel it should be a personal choice.

My thanks to all who participated, and commented.

Monday
Jun302008

Cardboard Cycle, and a Bobby’s Bike Ban


Two stories to emerge from England over the last few days:

Phil Bridge, a 21 year old design student from Manchester, England, has designed the ultimate “Cheap” bike, made of cardboard.

A cycle made from re-cycled material; you can’t get any greener than that. Phil hopes his bike will sell for around fifteen British Pounds. ($30.)

The plan is that the bike will be so cheap, no one will steal it. Don’t count it, have you ever noticed that hotel coat-hangers are made without hooks, because people steal ’em. And if thieves don’t steal it, vandals might set fire to it.

No doubt, the honeycomb construction will ensure a sweet ride. I am wondering, will it come in a box, and will the box cost more than the frame? Here’s an idea, the box could be the frame. Now that’s thinking outside the box.

My apologies Phil for having fun with your project. As long as your business doesn’t fold, you’ll probably end up making a packet and retiring early.

All joking aside, I congratulate Phil Bridge. Whether or not this project turns into a practical application, anytime someone brings the concept of the bicycle to the forefront of the daily news, this is a good thing.

In addition, Phil has captured the media’s attention, and obtained worldwide publicity which, in of itself is a huge achievement.

Read the story in the Telegraph

The second story could be straight out of a British police comedy movie.

It is a news item about a British Bobby banned from riding his bike. The reason, he hasn’t passed the cycling proficiency test; even though Officer Nick Barker (Right.) has ridden a bike without incident since he was a kid.

It gets worse; it appears there are not enough police cars to go round, so Nick must ride the bus to patrol the three hamlets (Very small villages.) of Halstead, Knockholt and Badgers Mount, in Kent, in the South East corner of England.

If Nick happens to be in Knockholt and an incident takes place in Badgers Mount, he is at the mercy of the local bus schedule.

Let’s hope the crime rate is pretty low in this neck of the woods; never-the-less let Nick take his cycling proficiency course, and get him back on his bike pronto, before the local villains get hold of a bus time-table, and have a field day.

This story in the Daily Mail

Friday
Jun272008

Friday Fun: Limericks

I composed some limericks for your amusement, with a cycling flavor of course.

A professional golfer from Spain
Decided cycling would be his new game
He had a good year
'Til he slipped a gear
And dimpled his balls on the frame.

A roadie pedaling hard as he could
Was passed by a "Fred;" that’s not good
Legs, hairy and pale
With a flapping shirt tail
And a dirty sweat shirt with a hood.

Riding my bike, who would guess?
That I would come off second best
Got into a fight
With a girl at a light
Turned out, was a bloke* in a dress.

*bloke = man

This last one tells a story in four verses.

A weight weenie said with a grin
My bike is the lightest it’s been
I’ve got ceramic balls
That weigh nothing at all
Then his bike blew away in the wind.

It sailed ’cross the sky like a kite
Gave airline pilots a fright
Made the six o’clock news
And Larry King too
Spoke of a runaway satellite.

Landed in some Middle East Nation
They asked the US for explanation
But even Dick Cheney
Couldn’t explain the
Mysterious flying sensation.

The CIA probed the mystery
And George Bush had to go on TV
Let this be a lesson
A weight weenie’s obsession
Could’ve started World War III.