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West Coast Tour 2015

It was exactly a year ago today, October 17th. 2015, I finished my West Coast Tour. How time flies, so hard to believe it’s a year ago already. My wife Kathy and I had flown into Portland, Oregon almost three weeks earlier, the drove down the West Coast.

We made stops in Eugene, OR, Benicia, and San Jose in the San Francisco Bay Area. Then on to San Luis Obispo, and Chino Hills and Laguna Beach in the LA, Orange County area. We stayed at homes of DM Bike enthusiasts, and I spoke to groups of people at various venues on the way.

It was a wonderful series of events, and we met some incredible people, it was one of those special experiences that stay with me forever.

I have a number of West Coast Tour tee shirts left over and to mark the occasion I will give one of these away FREE when you buy one other shirt or sweatshirt. I have only a limited number in XL and XXL sizes, but plenty of the other sizes S, M, and L.

If you already have one, you can always use another, especially if it’s free. You might like one to frame and keep as a souvenir. In fact if you want it for this purpose, ask for a Small size as they fit in a frame easier. The shirts are all top quality and screen printed, not digitally printed or heat transfer printed as many shirts are today. The print will outlast the shirt.

Above is the West Coast Tour shirt. Bright white 100% cotton. Screen Printed in five colors that really pop. Features the Fuso logo and those of the other dave moulton brands. Normally $15.00, Free when you buy at least one other shirt from below. Don’t order the WCT shirt or you will be charged for it, but rather put “FREE WCT Shirt” along with the size you would like, in the space for a note on the Check-out page.

DM Braze Tee Shirt. Reduced to $15.00 and it will qualify you for a FREE West Coast Tour Shirt. It comes in the colors shown below, although I don't have every size in every color. The order page on my onlne store will indecate what is available.

(Below.) My New "Classic" design. $20.00 Qualifies for a fee WCT shirt. Comes in Black, Navy and Red. A great gift for any Vintage Bike Enthusiast. 

Below is my "Retirement" design, $20.00 add a FREE WCT shirt. Comes in black.

A really superb quality Black Fleecy Lined Hoodie with a tie neck. $40.00 Qualifies for a FREE WCT shirt and FREE Shipping.

Has a large design on the back featuring the FUSO, John Howard, Recherche, all the dave moulton brands.

A smaller shield design is featured on the front left side. 


Hoodie back design is shown above. The front design is shown left.

Orders over $40.00 qualify for FREE Shipping.

Start your Christmas shopping early, Remember I have Books too. 

Go here to view all the products.







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After the Storm

Most of you will know that Hurricane Matthew traveled up the east coast effecting Florida, Georgia, and North and South Carolina. I live 25 miles inland from Charleston, SC. so the storm had less impact here.

We did have some flooding locally but not where I live. That was to be expected, the storm dumped 15 inches of rain in a few short hours. All that water can’t drain away quick enough. There were power outages as trees and tree limbs fell and brought down powerlines.

But it was not as bad as the media made it out to be. I wish they wouldn’t do that. If one believed what the TV News and the Weather Channel told us, we would all be engulfed in a huge tidal wave that would wash us from our beds, and send us to a watery grave.

Instead I looked out on my window around noon on Saturday, at the height of the storm, and thought, “I’ve ridden bike races in England in worse weather than this.” It was raining heavily and winds were at 50 mph.

Don’t get me wrong, this storm was a Category 3 Hurricane when it hit Florida, so damage there was much worse, and I am not trying to make light of that. But I know, as do all people who live on the east coast, that once these storms hit land they slow down.

As Matthew traveled up the coast line it was gradually downgraded to a Cat. 2 then Category 1. However, the media kept up its barrage of doom and destruction. As Matthew passed by Charleston, it was almost a Tropical Storm which is not even a Hurricane.

I am a positive, “Glass half full” type of person. I hate negativity. When these natural disasters happen, the media, especially TV whips up everyone into a frenzy of fear and negativity. People are already afraid, they need calming words and reassurance that they will be okay.

Of course it is the almighty dollar at work again. Fear ensures viewers will stay glued to the TV, and the advertising revenue will stream in. But I get annoyed because I can’t get accurate information. I look at the actual weather forecast which says 50 to 60 mph winds, but the TV is telling me I am about to get blown off the face of the earth.

So what was this bike race I mentioned earlier? It was in 1970. I rode a 25 mile Time-Trial on the East Coast of England. I had driven over 200 miles and stayed overnight to compete in this event. I didn’t sleep much the night before as there was a storm raging outside. On the morning of the event, it was raining heavily, with 60 mph winds, gusting to 80 mph.

There was no way I was not going to ride after all the preparation, and expense of getting there. British bike races rarely get rained out. The course was a straight out 12 and a half miles, and back. Out into the headwind it took me 45 minutes to get to the turn. Wind gusts almost brought me to a standstill. I turned at the halfway point, and came back in 20 minutes with the wind behind me, for a finishing time of 1 hr. 5 mins.

My biggest gear was 53 x 13. Had I had 53 x 11 like today I may have gone faster. I finished extremely cold and wet. I have ridden other races and many training rides in similar conditions, but remember this particular event well. It is the reason I still use it to measure storm intensity.


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Here we go again

A brand new study shows that bicycle helmets reduce the risk of serious head injury by 70%. How about a worthwhile study into the actual cause of death of every cycling casualty. Were they wearing a helmet, and if not, would a helmet have prevented that death anyway?

Because if a cyclist is hit by a motorized vehicle doing 60 mph, he will most likely die from blunt force trauma to both the body and head whatever he is wearing. The same goes if he is crushed under the wheels of a vehicle. Does a study like this conclude that someone so crushed and dead, but avoided head injury because they wore a helmet. Does that count as a win for the helmet?

Wear a dozen woolen hats, each stretched over the next, and that too would probably reduce the risk of head injury, but that is not the issue. Studies like this just make it easier for legislators to make helmet use mandatory, and harder for those opposed to argue against.

I am not against helmet use, I wear one myself, but I am definitely against being compelled to wear one. Why not helmets for pedestrians, as more of them are hit by cars and die than cyclists. How about the elderly, they are always tripping and falling?

How about mandatory bullet proof vests for everyone, as about 10 times more people are shot to death in the US than are killed on a bicycle. We could start with bullet proof vests for school kids, and people shopping in malls. That would cut down the number of fatalities in the event of a mass shooting.

I am being facetious of course, but is it just me or can anyone else see how ludicrous it is to single out the cyclist to wear protective gear. To make him wear it under the threat of a fine, or by peer pressure from other cyclists.

It is a distraction that diverts attention from the real problem of people driving carelessly. 


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Don Dave

When I left my bicycle business in 1993 I went to work for a company that manufactured bowling equipment. The company was located in the City of Orange just south of Los Angeles in Southern California. The workforce of about 100 was almost entirely Mexican.

The following year the owner of the company decided to move the business to Springfield, Oregon. The State of Oregon, along with the City of Springfield gave him large tax breaks, low rent, and other incentives to move there because of Oregon’s high unemployment rate.

All employees were given the opportunity to move with the company but only about 15 of the original workforce including myself decided to move. When we arrived in Oregon we immediately started hiring. My position with the company was Welding Production Manager so I did some of the hiring. 

We were not necessarily looking for skilled workers, we were prepared to train people. We didn’t drug test anyone which may have been a big mistake, most of the people we hired it seemed had been unemployed for so long, they had lost any desire to work. One man I remember started work at 8:00 a.m. I showed him how to do a simple assembly job with a wrench. He worked until 10:00 a.m. when we took a break, he left and we never saw him again.

Another man I hired lived near me and I gave him a ride to work each day because he had no car. He quit after two weeks and stole a box of bronze bushes from the company worth several hundred dollars and sold it for ten dollars to a local scrap metal dealer. How do I know this? I found the bill of sale from the scrap dealer in my car some days later. As fast as we could hire these local workers, they quit. We didn’t fire them, they quit. We may be found two or three workers we could hang on to.

In desperation the owner contacted some of his original Mexican workers from Southern California and offered them a job. A few of them came and soon the word spread and others followed and by the end of that first year in Oregon our entire workforce was once again almost all Mexican. The company had really tried to give locals the jobs but had failed through no fault of our own.

I found the Mexican worker a joy to work with. You could take someone who had never welded in his life before, spend about half an hour showing him how, and by the end of the day he was welding with the speed and quality of someone who had been doing it for years. The Mexican has a work ethic like you wouldn’t believe having been taught to work hard from a very early age. In their own country they don’t work just to get by, they have to work hard in order to survive.

If one of their group was not pulling his weight for example the others would say to me, “Juan is lazy.” Not behind his back but to his face. Juan would become embarrassed and we would all have a laugh. He had been shamed into working harder by his fellow countrymen.

They called me “Don Dave,” in a somewhat lighthearted manner, but never-the-less a mark of respect they didn’t even extend to the owner of the company. Being an immigrant myself helped, but I believe I got that respect because I treated them with respect. I treated them as I treat everyone, as an equal, neither above me nor beneath me. I learned a few words in Spanish, enough to instruct them on their daily task. They made me look good with the company, because of the quality and quantity of work they produced.

Mexicans would not cross the border each day in their thousands if there were no jobs. People hire them not because the Mexican is cheap labor, but because they work hard, do a good job and often an employer can’t find others to do the work they do.


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Aligning Slotted Shoe Cleats

With the growing popularity of events like Eroica where vintage bikes must be used with old school toe clips and straps, there is a need to know how to align slotted shoe cleats.

Slotted Cleats for use on modern shoes with a standard 3 bolt system, are available from Yellow Jersey. These cleats only use two of the three screws. The reason being that with this old school system, the strap is what holds the foot to the pedal, the cleat is just there to prevent any fore and aft movement. Therefore two screws are enough and also two screws allow adjustment for angle.

But where do they go, and how do you know they are aligned properly? Well read on and I will explain. When I started racing in the 1950s, cycling shoes had leather soles and the cleats were nailed on. So we had to get them positioned right, there was no such thing as “Pedal Float.”

The slotted cleats were usually made of aluminum and came in a little packet with enough nails to get the job done.

Remember this was in the days before God invented Tennis Shoes. (or Trainers in the UK.)

Every household had a shoe repair kit that included a cobblers last, which is a cast iron foot that holds the shoe while you hammer nails in it. (Picture above left.)

The first thing we did with a new pair of shoes was go for a ride without cleats. The toe clips held the foot in place, and after a 20 or 30 mile ride, the pedal would make a mark on the sole of the shoe. This mark acted as a rough guide to where the cleat should be, but there were also a few simple alignment checks that I will pass on.

We nailed the cleat on using just a few nails, then went for a test ride. When we were satisfied the cleats were in the right place, we hammered in the rest of the nails. As usual, my post contains a little bit of history. If we look back at how we got where we are today, often the problems we encountered in the past are a clue to solving the problems of today.

The first thing to do with today’s set up, is clip in your regular shoe to your clipless pedals, and measure from the pedal spindle to the toe. It is important you replicate the same foot position with your old school pedals, as this is what you are used to, and a different position will affect saddle height and other things.

This is shown in the picture above as measurement “A.” Position the slotted cleat so you attain this same measurement. Choose a toe clip that will allow clearance between the toe of the shoe and the inside of the clip.

1/16 to 1/8 inch is ideal, slightly more is no big deal. What you don't want is your toe pressing hard against the inside of the clip. Sore toes will result, and maybe some blackened toe nails. If the clips are too short, they can be packed out with washers or nuts between the pedal and toe clip.

The cleats are aligned as follows. With the shoes side by side, soles and heels touching, the slots in the cleats are in a straight line across both shoes. You could drop a straight edge in the slot. This means when pedaling, the inside of the foot is parallel with the crank arm. In addition, when the two shoes are placed with soles facing, the cleats line up exactly, and you can see clearly through the two slots. (See above picture.)

It is important that both these tests check out. The reason being, let’s say both cleats are rotated slightly in the same direction. The straight edge check across the slots may line up, but when the shoes are placed with the soles facing the cleats will not line up.

Conversely, the cleats could be fitted so the toes are turned in or out slightly. With the soles facing each other the cleats may line up, but when the shoes are placed side by side the cleats will not be aligned straight across. Only when both checks agree are the slots in the cleats at a true 90 degrees to the inside edge of the shoe.

A word about toe straps. Thread the strap through the outside quill plate of the pedal, then through the slot in the pedal frame.

Give the strap one complete 360 degree twist, before treading the strap through the inner pedal plate.

This prevents the strap from slipping. It probably won’t slip anyway, but if you want to be true old school, give it a twist.

There is a little tag thing on the inside of Campagnolo pedals that stops the strap from rubbing on the crank arm. Make sure the strap is inside this little tag. Thread the strap through the toe clip, then through the first spring loaded quick release buckle. But never, repeat never, tuck the end of the strap into the second loop.

Only Trackies tuck the strap in. They have the luxury of a person to catch them when they come to a stop. Roadies just fall over if they can’t undo the strap. Which will happen if the end is tucked in. Leave the end of the strap sticking out, so you can grab it and pull it tight

Even better, if you can find some of these little strap end buttons, you will really be the Dog’s Bollocks.

They give you something to grab hold of when you tighten the strap, they prevent the strap from slipping completely out of the buckle, and your bike is idiot proof so no one can borrow it and tuck the straps in.

Tighten the straps by pulling on the loose end as soon as your feet are in the clips. Before you come to a stop, reach down and flick the buckle open with your thumb. Give the straps an extra tighten as you approach a climb, or if you are about to launch a big attack. But go to the back of the pace-line first so no one sees you. 


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