Dave Moulton

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 Lawy




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A restored 1977 English built frame

I recently received a email with pictures from Rod Taylor, who lives in England. Rod is the original owner of a frame I built for him in 1977. In his message he wrote:

“Out of all my bikes, road, track, audax, touring, roadster, cyclo-cross, hybrid, mountain, my 1960 Dave Davey and 1977 Dave Moulton stand out as my favorites.

Last year I gave the frames to Dave Yates for renovation, the Dave Davey as a track bike was simpler to restore, but I took the decision to equip the Dave Moulton with the newer Campag gear.

The rear ends were increased to 130mm and new gear brazings fitted. Although I was using the latest components to rebuild it, I didn't choose carbon parts as I believed Campagnolo Mirage alloy would be more in keeping.

The finishing touches were added by employing a company in Cambridge to copy the transfers / decals, and the original orange Unica saddle has been retained. I am extremely pleased with the results of both machines, I love steel frames”

Thirty-one years old, in dog years that would be 217. I’m not sure what the ratio is for old bicycle frames. Maybe 2-1, sixty-two would be a reasonable guess.

I whole-heartedly approve of Rod’s decision to build this bike up with modern equipment and keep riding it. Rather than keep it as a museum piece.

The interesting thing I notice is that the bike does not look odd, with the old frame and modern components. I have seen several Fuso bikes re-built this way.

I think the reason is, by the mid 1970s I had established my own frame design, which at the time was out of sync with what other builders were doing.

However, I stuck with what I believed in, and this would become the standard design I would use on my American built frames of the 1980s. (John Howard, Fuso, and Recherché.)

An interesting footnote. Rod still has the original brochure from 1977 when he ordered the frame, he sent me a photocopy.

Click on the picture to view a larger image. Look at item 2: Shot-in seatstays. This is what is referred to in the US as “Fast Back” seatstays. Of course, they are no faster; it is just another way to attach seatstays.

The Dave Davy track frame (Mentioned above.) that Rod had restored along with the ‘dave moulton,’ can be viewed here. Scroll down the page to see pictures of this frame in white, along with photos of Rod Taylor riding the same bike in 1966 time-trials.

This is on the Classic Lightweights UK site; an interesting source for pictures and info on vintage British lightweights.


Please don’t make the bicycle a political issue

When Dan Schleifer sent me a link to a site called Tree Hugger, running a story called “Why do Republicans Hate Bicycles,” my first reaction was, “I am not going to touch this with a ten foot pole.”

I am not a citizen of this country, therefore I cannot vote, and I usually stay as far away from politics as I can. My feeling is, I am a guest in the US, and as such it is not proper for me to voice an opinion on American politics.

However, I will say this much. I hate extreme politics on both sides, and here you have the two extremes. On the one side, a site called “Tree Hugger” with the subtitle, “Unchecked Environmentalism.” (The very epitome of Liberalism.)

On the other side, a video of a republican politician going off on an anti-bicycle rant, simply because the bicycle is seen as something “green” and left wing, and therefore is open to ridicule.

The two extremes cancel each other out; people on opposite ends of the political spectrum reading the article and viewing the video are not going to move an inch towards each other’s point of view. In fact, stuff like this drives the two sides further apart.

I hate that the bicycle is made out to be something political. I have stated here before, if automobiles ran on pixie dust and had zero carbon emissions, I would still ride a bicycle. I am a cyclist, and riding a bicycle is a love and a passion.

Forget the burning of fossil fuel for a moment, even if we overcome that issue; the bicycle is still a more civilized form of transport. It eases congestion; one person on a bike is taking far less space on the road than one person in a car who is taking up the space of four to six people.

It is less dangerous to other road users, and more bicycles on the road, with the resulting less cars would make it safer for everyone. It is a wonderful form of exercise, and it is fun. When is driving a car fun?

These are the real benefits of cycling. Riding a bicycle to ease the dependency on foreign oil is not what the majority of Americans want to hear. If we think, everyone in the US is going to dump their cars overnight and start riding a bike, either to save the planet or save America, think again. It is not going to happen.

Sell the idea that cycling is fun, and it is good for you, not keep cramming the green, environmentally friendly idea down people’s throats. All that does is it makes people feel guilty, and that makes them angry and sends them off on an anti-cycling rant like Representative Patrick McHenry.

I am sure all republicans don’t hate bicycles; even George Bush rides one. But if the Democrats make cycling a political issue, then naturally the Republicans are going to oppose and ridicule the idea, because that is what politicians do.

In the long run, is this going to help the cause of cycling?


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
Movit Fred
Something Maybe
Ultra Rob


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.


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.