Alex Moulton, pioneer in the use of small wheels and suspension in bicycles, has written an autobiography titled, Alex Moulton, from Bristol to Bradford-On-Avon — A lifetime in Engineering. Here’s an excerpt from the introduction by the author:
Appropriate to my age, I have been urged to write my memoirs. I showed a few early pages of the draft to some literary friends. They told me it was not how memoirs are written; they are usually about events in one’s life, where one has travelled, whom one has met and so on. Although I have included some of these, my enduring preoccupation is with the creative process of engineering innovation. I realise that this arcane subject usually only interests a limited range of readers, but I believe that cars and bicycles as artefacts, the creation of which I describe, are of great interest to a large number of people.
The book is intended to be didactic as well as descriptive. My friend, the author the late James Lees Milne complained in his ‘Diaries’ that I “pontificated too much”. I have no hesitation in doing this here when to do so is based on my experience of what I believe to be admirable.
In contrast to other memoirs, I am using a large number of diagrams and sketches. Sketches have the mnemonic power to help the recall for the written explanations, which I hope will be comprehensible to those who do not possess much technical aptitude. The sketches and notes are facsimiles from my archive, presented chronologically to show the origins of the concepts and the consequent steps In the process of creating an engineering artefact.
We had a Pashley-Moulton here for a brief time a couple of years ago. It was a lovely bicycle.
The book is available online at Alex Moulton Books.