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Wednesday
May022007

German eZine Interview


Last week I was contacted for an interview with an online magazine from Hamburg, Germany.

Okay, so it’s not the New York Times, but it is the coolest looking eZine I have ever seen.

It is called BETA-SWAY “Urban Sport Guerilleros Monthly.” Its sports related content includes cycling.


Written in English, the photography is outstanding, as is the layout. Check what happens when you click and drag the bottom right corner of each page.

English was obviously a second language for the interviewer, Carlos Pinto, but I think because of this some of the questions were different from the usual stuff that is asked.

I certainly enjoyed responding. Check it out here. The interview is on page 24 of the May issue.

Thursday
Apr262007

Mike Melton


From time to time, I get emails asking for information on framebuilder Mike Melton. I always respond that I have no idea where Mike is now. However, here is the little I do know.

I met Mike in 1980 a year after I came to the US and I was working for Paris Sport. I was building some aero-bikes for the US National Team. Time was running short and Mike Fraysee of Paris Sport brought Mike Melton in to assist me.



Mike was an established and well-respected American framebuilder from Columbia, South Carolina. We worked together for a week and obviously got to know each other pretty well during that time.

Afterwards we went our separate ways and usually met up at least once a year at the various bicycle trade shows. Mike continued his connection with the US team when he later went to work for Huffy and built frames for the 1984 Olympics in Los Angeles.

In the years that followed he would design and build some carbon fiber frames for the US team and was somewhat of a pioneer, in building frames using that material.

Below is a picture of an earlier 1982 steel tube Aero frame that Mike Melton built for John Marino for his winning “Race Across America” ride.

I have not heard anything of Mike since the late 1980s and I would love to renew our contact. I recently received a request for info from Matthew Marion who sent me the photos of his red Melton frame you see here.



I believe Mike is a few years younger than I am so he may or may not be retired now.



If he wishes his whereabouts to remain unknown, I will of course respect that. However, he may not even know that his past work still has a following and their owners treasure the fine crafted frames he built.

Update 1/29/11: Mike Melton died on January 26th, 2011, after a long illness resuling from a rare neurological disease believed to be spinal cerebella ataxia, similar to ALS or Lou Gehrig’s disease.

Monday
Apr232007

I Rode to the Edge of America and Back

Early last December I rode my bike to Folly Beach. A long narrow barrier island, close to Charleston, known to the locals as “The Edge of America.” It was a beautiful sunny day, temperature in the eighties, with a cooling breeze.


I stopped to take some pictures of my bike on the pier; they were never posted here (until now) because two days later I would be involved in an accident and my frame was wrecked.

Just five weeks ago I started riding again; I’ve been riding three days a week, 25 to 30 miles each day.

Yesterday was an almost identical day to the one when I last rode to Folly Beach. Temperature 81 degrees, with a light breeze; perfect riding weather.

That day last December I was flying, I really felt I was starting to find form. I decided to do the ride again to compare my fitness level with that before my accident.

I didn’t take the direct route because Folly Road is narrow and highly congested, especially on a warm, sunny day when everyone heads to the beach. Instead I headed south on Savannah Hwy. actually going away from Folly Beach.

Left on Main Road an over the Stono River bridge. Left again on Rivers to Maybank where another left took me over the Stono River for a second time. Then a right on Riverland Avenue; a pleasant road to ride on, shaded by old growth live oak trees.


A long way around but worth it because when Riverland finally merges with Folly Road, the road is much wider at this point and in a few miles there is a bike lane.

A turn around at Folly Beach without stopping and I headed back the exact same route. About fifty miles round trip done in three hours; 15 minutes slower than when I did the same ride last December.

It appears I have not quite reached my previous form, but I’m getting there.

Thursday
Apr192007

Would you buy it, strip it, dump the frame?


A Paris Sport tandem that I built in 1980 has been up for sale on SF Craigslist for a few weeks now. The price is right at $1,000 and there maybe several reasons why it hasn’t sold yet.

Craigslist doesn’t have the safeguards that eBay has so you really need to go look at something before you buy. That limits potential buyers to people within driving distance of Sacramento, where the tandem happens to be.

No one buys a bike unless it fits them; here you have a machine that has to fit two people. Therefore limiting potential buyers still further, unless someone buys it first then goes out to find a partner to fit the other half.

I am in no way connected to this sale, but I do happen to believe this sale is genuine. I have previously corresponded with the owners, who are the original owners. I also wrote about this one in a blog (July 2006)

This morning the sale was mentioned here, and I quote from the post: “I reckon someone might want it just for Phil Wood stuff...”



WTF. Has the value of my work sunk so low that someone would suggest buying it just to strip it of a few of the component parts?

Now you can call me over sensitive, or call me an egotistical MF, but when I read something like this, it is like a swift kick in the bollocks.

Friday
Apr132007

1981 Custom

Here is a very early California built custom ‘dave moulton.’ Built in January 1981 while I was working for Masi, having just moved there three months earlier.

My thanks to owner Ken Meyers for these pictures. Ken is the original owner, and this 56 cm. frame still has the original paint.




Built in Reynolds 531 tubing, this one definitely shows my English heritage. The contrasting color on the head tube and panels on the seat and down tubes was typical of English frames from the 1970s.


The World Championship rainbow bands that edge the panels were from a small supply I had brought with me when I moved to the US just two years earlier. The “Union Jack” British flag decals were cut from the Masi Gran Criterium decals that had flags of several nations.

The concave seat stay caps, made by brazing in place an off-cut of head tube would become typical of my custom frames. Also used on many frames that followed was the slim-line fork crown. Investment cast in Italy by Microfusioni, (The company that cast Cinelli crowns and BB shells.) and imported by the British company, Saba.

There is no engraving on the fork crown and bottom bracket of these 1981 custom frames, that started the following year in 1982 when I started building my own frames full time.

This frame was built with “Henry James” lugs, hand cut at the head tube to the shape you see here.