Moultons drifted into my life in the early sixties when I saw an illustrated account of some place to place record being broken on some queer looking small-wheeled bike with dropped 'bars. Probably John Woodburn breaking the Cardiff to London record in 1962. This article was stuck in the front window of Riddell Brothers cycle shop in south-side Glasgow. Riddell Brothers was a bit of an institution in the south-side then.Yes, they were brothers, but they could have been identical twins dressed in dressed in matching brown workshop coats. At first I thought I could tell them apart because they operated a sort of "Good bike mechanic, Bad bike mechanic " policy, but later I reckoned that they just switched roles as they felt like. One side of the shop was cycles, the other side was model boats, planes and all the stuff required for that. It was a wee boy's , and big boy's, paradise. As kids, we rarely ventured in, we were quite happy to gaze in the windows at things like Campagnolo crank sets that cost the equivalent of a whole week's wage ! And brand new Flying Scot frames hanging from the ceiling along with an occasional curly Hetchins ! Stuff of Dreams !
Eventually one of our rich-kid pal's parents bought him a Moulton. Much to our disgust, this wasn't a record breaker in any shape or form, it was a rather wimpy shopping bike. But I was pretty taken with the Sturmey Archer 3-speed hub gear with twistgrip control.Most Sturmey Archer gears that we had then were either stuck in top gear or slipped so badly when changing that they were left alone and the bike ridden as a single-speed. So this , I thought was quite good, and the suspension, front and rear ! To be honest, we just weren't sophisticated enough to appreciate suspension, It was good to brag about but that was about it.
|My Series One F frame Moulton|
|Alex Moulton's Home in Bradford on Avon|
|The Great Man Himself !|
|APB in Audax Guise|
|Tribute to Tom Simpson at Alex Moulton's House|
|APB rear fork after repair|
|Original Gear Thumbshifters|
|Latest Gear and Brake Levers|
Mind you, my Raleigh Model F is well over 90 years old and the frame on that hasn't collapsed ?
Am I still a member of the Moulton Owners Club ? 'Fraid not ! Our dear wives got us drummed out ! A couple of years after the first Moulton Week-end Alistair and I thought it would be a nice wee treat to take our wives as guests.We were staying in a really nice B&B in Bradford on Avon not knowing that it was owned and run by the wife of Alex Moulton's company secretary.Alex Moulton's family were Avon Rubber as in Avon Tyres,Avon Rubber Dingies etc and Alex was the man responsible for the rubber suspension on the original Mini car and of course the rubber suspension on the Moulton bicycle. So you could say that he's really into suspenders and rubber, couldn't you ? Well, during the course of our breakfast, the two besoms (don't worry, this is the last Scotticism of the day ! the term "besom" is probably related to the English word scrubber but used almost as a term of endearment...usually! ) coaxed this information out of Alistair and next thing were laughing like drains and making the most disparaging and inappropriate remarks about the good Dr Moulton. Before you knew it the whole breakfast room was in stitches of laughter except for the woman who was serving us our breakfast and fairly banging down the coffee pot onto the table. It all became clear that evening at the annual Moulton Dinner when who did we see sitting at the top table beside Alex Moulton but the Coffee Pot Banger herself. She was fairly glaring at us and seemed to be having plenty to say to Alex.
|Ready for a Few More Kilometres|