In the immortal words of Gozer the Traveller: “Choose!”

I am on the hunt for a new bicycle. Natasha is fine, but Natasha doesn’t take my two boys, aged 1 and nearly 4. I’ve looked at various options, which are as follows (in no particular order).

Number One.

The Workcycles FR8.

This is a fantastic bike. I would dearly love to have one, and still think it ranks as one of the best urban bikes you can buy on the world market today. Uber quality with rugged good looks. Fabricated from steel (hey, steel is real bro!). Hand made in the bike capital for the world, Amsterdam, the FR8 is a marvel. I could order it with a special pack which included Magura Hydraulic brakes and a Shimano Alfine 11 speed internal hub. Sexy AND cool. People have waxed lyrical over this bike’s ability to carry very loads with ease, whilst leaping tall buildings in a single bound. I was extremely excited about it and very nearly pulled the trigger on buying one. If you wanted a serious cargo bike or something to with which to haul 2 kids around, this should absolutely be on your short list.

But. I’m an external gears fan. Call me fussy but I like 27+ gears. It’s the racer in me. It’s the Sydneysider in me. We have brutal hills. And I like disc brakes. Also, this bike is NOT light (probably why it is rock-solid when carting heavy objects/people). The guys at Workcycles are fantastic to deal with, and happily answered my never ending barrage of questions, but everything cost extra and I mean everything – credit card payments generated a premium, paypal generated a premium. It all became too much – not to mention I didn’t like the fact that only one child would be in front of me, leaving the kid behind practically ignored. As I said, great guys, great bike, it’s just not for me; and I re-iterate that my decision not to go for this bike centers around my boys and communication, not the cost – although they really should address the whole payment thing.

Number Two

The Surly Big Dummy.

This too, ticked all the boxes. Made by a 15 year old, progressive company which many, many people admire, this bike had me all a-twitter. You could take this thing off road if you wanted as it was practically set up as a mountain bike. Surly themselves brutally tested one with an extensive offroad tour before they brought it to market. This is one tough bike. If anything does break – there are steel welders all over the world who can fix it for you. This model is practically a do it all one – it’s for you AND the family. I’ve seen one set up with Boxxer forks which looks freaking AWESOME. Anyway, there was a local dealer right here in Singas, it was made of steel as I said (a nice big plus), and it had external gearing and enough space for seats at the rear for two (plus any other additional freight you’d care to bring. Like nappies for instance. Ooops. Deal breaker right there, the separation thing, not the nappies……. By the way, the Japanese LOVE this brand – and that’s saying something. If you get a chance, check them out, they have an awesome range, and I do plan on buying a bike from them just for me (probably the Pacer or the new ECR, or both), after I sort out the kid carrier. They too, are extremely friendly with regards to questions.

There were a few others around but nothing worth mentioning. Some of you may have heard of the Yuba Mundo, which is great – but is cost MORE than the Big Dummy over here (whereas in the US, it is half the price of the Big Dummy). How does that work? Demand I’m guessing.

And The Undisputed Winner?

This leaves us with the current contender. The Larry vs Harry Bullitt Cargo Bike. Wow-oh-wow. It looks so slick, so fast so yeah-baby-I-want-one-so-bad! I think there may even be a race series especially for them. In Denmark though. Okay, it’s long. Perhaps a little too long at around 2.4 meters. Will I get it in my lift? Probably not. But surely it can stay chained up downstairs in the carpark? It is patrolled by security after all? Anyway, we’ll see about that. Width – no more than a normal bike. Now this is a huge plus for me, because it means I don’t have to worry about cars riding around me because I’m not taking up half the road like with other cargo bikes. Perfect! External gears? Check. You can spec this baby up with full Deore XT and hydraulic discs and lots of other go-fast goodies and bring the weight down to 22kgs! That is NOTHING for a full blown cargo bike. Stick a tub in the front and both my boys and I can have long conversations with ease – just as if we were sitting on the couch at home. Again, perfect. Did I mention how cool it looks? It ticks all my boxes but one – that being price. I may just have to bite the bullet on that one because it will be priceless being able to have everything I’ve wanted in a bike, and being able to have fun with my boys. One other caveat I’d like to mention is that I’ve never ridden one of these “long johns”. I’ve heard there is a learning curve with riding them [well], but then, I never met a bike I didn’t like.

And finally, surely the movie Bullitt is also one of your top 100 favorites of all time?

By far the most significant fly-in-the-ointment here is that I won’t be able to physically test ride any of these behemoths. Which is a shame because the ride tells all. Meh. As Gozer demands so eloquently: “Choose”!


One of [Those] Days

Sunday, 21st July, 2013

I love the weekend – but don’t we all. It’s especially awesome when the sun’s out, the sky is blue, so blue, and there’s that energy in the air. Heck, it’s so bright my sunglasses barely keep the glare out. Today is one of those days. I had planned to go out on Natasha by myself, but I noticed my son kicking around the lounge room and tentatively asked him if he wanted to come along. He jumped at the chance. Now anyone who’s had a 3-4 year old little boy knows what a handful they are – and how difficult to please. From a dad’s perspective I feel I’m engaged in non-stop discipline. Kids do take it in their stride though. That he loves being with me for this particular activity; where we can chat and just be together enjoying the outdoors, thrills me to no end. So I loaded Natasha up with 2 Kleen Kanteen water bottles – yes, you should ALL get rid of plastic – packed my backpack, slapped sunscreen all over B1 and little on myself and off we went.

It was 10am and traffic was noticeably light. I decided to go and visit the guy who carries Surly here in Singas on the off chance he’d be open, but no such luck. Nevertheless, a gorgeous day is too hard to pass up, so I decided to be bold and ride on. Singas is fast shrinking now that I’m riding all over it. So we flew down Lavender Street and on towards the park, along where the Formula 1 street circuit building sits. There’s a bike/people path that hugs the river/inlet all the way from Kallang Road right around to Marina Bay Sands. It’s a beautiful section right on the water which has a very holiday feel about it. Very tropical – lots of palm trees, grass and shade – and so perfect for a morning roll. I passed a number of bikes, a few with kids on the back all going at very leisurely paces. My pace seems to be on or about 30kmh these days – certainly much higher than when I started a few weeks ago. But that’s down to my comfort level being in the big ring. It just feels right. And smooth. Once I get into a rhythm I can practically switch off. Clearly my natural cadence sits at that level.

B1 was loving it and commenting on all the various interesting structures we were passing. Pure bliss. Out on a ride with my kid who was happy – it doesn’t get too much better than that. I’ve been contemplating organizing a Kidical Mass here in Singas – I’ve yet to sort out the logistics (and reasons why I shouldn’t), but I’ll see how it all goes. Right now, I was on Natasha and steaming ahead, enjoying the sunshine and cool breeze. Oh yeah.

Once we reached Marina Bay Sands, there is no way to make your way across to the Marina Bay Gardens – except under the MRT section, down lots of stairs, (or over through the Marina Bay Sands overpass). This time I chose the hotel option as I could put Natasha in the lift and not have to worry about pulling B1 off the bike. Anyway once we were down on the other side, it was back to clear paths with little to no other foot or 2 wheeled traffic. So we rode all the way to the Barrage and across, (passing a few more kids being hauled by their parents) into the East Gardens where we had a pit stop for a well needed cool drink. There are chilled bubblers there which enabled me to refresh our Kanteens with cold water – nice one Gardens people[!], and the bathrooms there are new, beautifully designed and extremely well kept [read, super clean].

I can’t describe the feeling of freedom on a bike quite enough. Being able to cut through traffic, whilst they are gridlocked – or in our case, just pushing up against the wind in a near-empty park with stacks of shade; is just amazing and something I could happily pursue all day. Natasha being the trooper that she is has shown no signs of fading or hesitation, a testament to her build and Shimano make up. Shimano is brilliant stuff. I had a brief affair with Campagnolo (Record) a number of years ago but that ended quite badly. I still don’t like talking about it. What an enormous disappointment. Shimano, like Apple, just works. I did get that mild squeak return briefly whilst in the granny ring going up a hill (cursed tin worm); but after spinning in the big ring for an hour or so post, the problem disappeared. I suspect the chain oil re-lubed itself on various other gears – and the problem solved itself. There is still a fair bit of WD40 on various bits and pieces which cuts through the oil. I will give it some more attention next weekend; when I plan to tackle the rust on the granny ring.

Riding back home from the CDB was interesting, I dog legged a bunch of streets – avoiding main streets where I could – just to not be sucking in fumes after the wonderfully clear air of the parks. It was awesome – I was able to see parts of Singas which I would never otherwise get a chance to. Nothing quite beats exploring. It was nearly 1pm at this point and both B1 and I were starving for a well-earned lunch. We made it home not long after – I was thoroughly drenched in sweat; and smiling ear to ear.

Put Some Elbow Grease Into It!

Saturday. 20th July 2013

Damn I love these things. They are so, so light at 305 grams PER PAIR!

Damn I love these things. They are so, so light at 305 grams PER PAIR!

Hello dear readers. I had a lovely weekend. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again – the body remembers fast. My weekend was spent working on, and riding Natasha. I spent the majority of Sunday spinning the BIG RING. The middle and granny rings get almost no use now – except on steep hills (and that’s with the 21kg worth of kid weighing me down). But that was Sunday – this is all about Saturday. The initial rust damage on the cassette is superficial I’ve since realized. And it is all pretty much gone now (thanks to a bit of attention from yours truly). The crankset is another story. The first two rings are aluminum, but the granny ring is steel – and that is where most of the tin worm sits. I may have to pull the rings off to do a proper job on it. On closer inspection too, my front tire has chunks missing out of it – so I guess a new tire (may as well get a new matching pair) is in order. I pulled the rusted crankset bolts off to see how much rust I could remove. Whilst I got the top layer off, there is still a deep under layer well dug in. I think new bolts will be the best option. On the subject of bolts, I’ve noticed the odd loose bolt on Natasha of late – nothing serious, the water cage allen bolts for example have worked their way loose on the down tube – easy fix, but hammers home that a long stored, un-ridden bike needs proper sorting. You certainly wouldn’t risk touring on one. I’m guessing a month’s riding should have her perfect.

Sexy new HT Components pedals - check out those grommets and how high they are! They're practically like having clip-ons. I've gotten rid of almost ALL the rust on the steel granny ring, courtesy of some skateboard grip tape and elbow grease.

Sexy new HT Components pedals – check out those grommets and how high they are! They’re practically like having clip-ons. I’ve gotten rid of almost ALL the rust on the steel granny ring, courtesy of some skateboard grip tape and elbow grease.

But, to the riding. On Saturday morning I took my son with me to run a few errands. I’m using a Co-Pilot seat which isn’t too bad. It is supposedly rated to 22kgs. My boy is nearly four and very tall for this age. B1 is around 21kgs. That he is remotely comfortable in it astounds me. The next seat I get will have to be more suitable – as in, a bit larger with longer leg sections. I purchased this one in a bit of haste I’m afraid. I suppose it will comfortably take my one year old (B2). Anyway, this time B1 felt a little less like a purpose built de-stabilizer. Perhaps because I was prepared for it. My first stop was to buy some chain oil in a can (at a bargain *cough* S$19). I had to ask the guy twice what the price was because I couldn’t quite believe it. At least I scored a free rag out of the deal to apply it. Squeaky chain solved. For now.

Lots of manual intervention - and that's just for the's at a point now where I think my wife wants Natasha back.

Lots of manual intervention – and that’s just for the rust…….it’s at a point now where I think my wife wants Natasha back.

Another ride around my personal ring route to another shop-front, this time for some WD40 to help get some of this rust off (S$6 bucks!). I’m not so certain WD40 is designed for this job, but I’ve given it a shot anyway. Supposedly vinegar is efficient at removing rust but I tried it – it doesn’t work all that well. Maybe it needs to soak overnight? Back on the bike and I decided to explore a bit of the local location with the little man. He LOVES riding with me. Seriously. And damn if we didn’t find a bike/walking track along the river behind where we live. Pretty nice – and easy, good for kids on bikes…..too short for me however, I’m guessing it is barely 2 kilometers long – but it’s longer than anywhere Sydney would have. Sydney is starved for decent bike paths. I will further stick my neck out here and say that I feel infinitely safer riding around Singapore than I do in Sydney. Sydney drivers seem intent on killing you (sometimes on purpose). I find the complete opposite here. Drivers are very courteous (to bike riders) and I am more than happy riding on very busy main roads with B1 in tow. Call it a sixth sense. Bicycles make absolute sense in this country. They make sense in every country but I feel welcome on the roads here and I love that. But back to the track-by-the-river. It was fun and served its purpose of me stress testing the very unstable racebike/kiddie-seat set up that I currently have going. Don’t try this at home kids – get a proper, long wheelbase, stable bike to carry your little ones. I actually bottomed the rear Alex 300 rim out fairly hard on this particular run – how it didn’t get bent is beyond me. Lesson learnt however – CHECK YOUR PRESSURES. The overall kid-carrying experience has me thinking of the Big Dummy courtesy of Surly (so I can take both B1 and B2). Oh sure there are other brands out there with kid carrying/big load models but Surly has my vote at the minute. More on that later.

I spent the rest of the day trying to get the rust off with some WD40 and a toothbrush. I think I may need some wire-wool. I used some sandpaper on the crankset bolts – and whilst they no longer looked “flowery” I think the rust has permanently taken hold of them. They must be mild steel. I can see the steel granny ring is going to need something industrial to clean it up. On the flip side though, everything is looking much, much better, and best of all, the drivetrain feels incredibly smoother now. Amazing what a bit of tender care can do. Your local bike shop can service it – but they won’t love it like you can. And I know Natasha appreciates it.

Friday’s Early Morning Ride (19th July 2013)

Another ride this morning. Albeit only 16.6 kilometers. It’s amazing how quickly the body adapts at becoming more efficient. Already I’ve started to notice that Natasha’s frame is indeed too small for me. I’m getting uncomfortable arms/wrists from being too cramped – and numb hands. The alloy frame probably doesn’t help. Still a heck of a lot of fun though! I’ve decided to go for an old school steel frame, with reasonably priced, tough components. I plan on pretending it’s a mountain bike so I can still jump gutters, go over gnarly, broken concrete, and heck, off road. There’s a brand kicking around called Surly which should address what I’m after. But I digress. I’m ALL ABOUT THE RIDING these days. I have to keep reminding myself. I’m an awful gear head.

This morning’s ride was beautiful, cool[ish], light traffic and that morning light that you can never replicate at any other part of the day. I also ran almost the same route far quicker than the last time… I said, the body remembers quickly. I have to look into extending the route now….and naturally getting a bike that fits me properly.

Interestingly, the chain has started squeaking ALREADY. I guess that’s what living in the tropics does – there’s just so much moisture. It probably doesn’t help that there’s a layer of rust still on the cassette and the granny ring on the crankset. Damn. Elbow grease work for me on the weekend……….

Nothing quite beats flying through traffic when they’re all stranded at the lights. I breeze past everyone. I can feel my confidence surging forward – I’ll have to remember to keep it in check…….

It’s started changing my diet too – my ride started at 7am and went for about 45 minutes. When I got home I had a big breakfast – well, cereal. At about 20 past 11, I had to have a snack; or part of my lunch anyway because I was STARVING. Nothing like getting moving to up your calorie intake. I’m planning a biggish ride tomorrow and Sunday too so I’ll be monitoring that part of things closely.

If I may discuss the bike I’m looking at briefly – I’m going with a small brand, from a small, local bike shop. I recently saw something which went along the lines of – why give your money to a faceless company run by a CEO who hands it to the shareholders, when you can give your money to a small business who’ll use that money to buy his daughter a ballet lesson? I’m opting for the ballet lessons……….. Surly bikes – small American company. The local bike shop I’m using was started up by a small group of friends who have a genuine interest in bikes.

Erm, excuse me whilst I have another sandwich.

The Joys of [Push] Bikes

Amazingly comfortable. And it isn't even broken in yet.

Amazingly comfortable. And it isn’t even broken in yet.

And so I have started riding a bike again. I used to ride so much in my youth, it was only when I went to bed that I finally lifted my backside off that saddle. And I loved it. The wind in your hair, the freedom, the excitement. Battling with cars and pedestrians whilst being able to see and smell all your surroundings without steel and glass muffling your senses. As a young adult (years and years later) I decided that I should take it up again. But I approached it all wrong. I researched the heck out of what I wanted to buy (obsessing for months) rather than buying any old thing and just RIDING IT. So I ended up with a very expensive race machine, which whilst ‘fun’ to ride (a lot of ‘fun’), I was far too precious about riding it because it cost a bomb. Sure I could whip a 40+ kay ride without breaking a sweat, and yes, that felt great – but it wasn’t the right kind of fun. I was stressed riding it. I was stressed taking it out the door. I started riding it less and less. I also noticed that because I force matched the top end Campagnolo groupset to a Shimano slanted frame, the campy record bottom bracket and crankset combo had damaged the frame (mildly). Okay it was really just a bit of light scoring/rubbing, but still. That was it. That was the final straw. I sold the bike. I later realized that I’d never even named her – which meant she never actually belonged to me. I didn’t miss her one bit when the couple came to pick her up.

For some reason, we kept my wife’s bike (purchased at the same time, so we could ride together). It was a fifth of the cost of my bike.

For some other, stranger reason, we lugged my wife’s bike when we moved to Singapore. And so, on the back balcony, outside, (where all the aircon units were mounted) fully exposed to wind/rain/oh-so-dense moisture and the elements, that bike sat, awkwardly angled, rotting away. For nearly two years. Until one day I decided I wanted to go for a ride. I pulled it out, put it all together and had a good look at it. I’ll mention here that thankfully, I’m adept at all things mechanical and enjoy getting my hands dirty. There were some serious issues.

Chain – rusted beyond help. Practically a useless, solidified chuck of steel. The links no longer pivoted.
Casette – pretty darn rusted, except for the top three gears – stainless steel maybe?
Cables – one was awfully frayed (corrosion most likely).
Tubes – both completely perished and unable to hold air.
Generally in a horrible state of repair – and filthy dirty.

Rust had taken hold of every piece of steel hardware. Thankfully there wasn’t too much of it (steel/iron).

I felt awful. This was directly my screw-up – I’d stored it where it shouldn’t have been stored. And it hadn’t been used, exacerbating the rot. So I walked it (complete with flat tubes), to a bike shop I’d noticed locally. Surprisingly, they were upbeat about it – although needed to the bike for over a week to get it right.

Fast forward to picking the bike up. It was like brand new – they’d even washed her! I thought I’d be in for an extortionate amount of money – but they’d done a super job and didn’t haul me over the coals for it. Be nice to your local bike shop, if they’re good – they’re indispensable.

First ride? Pure exhilaration, what a sweet bike! I’d forgotten the feeling. I was absolutely loving life. I rode myself all the way to the point of exhaustion – I couldn’t move the next day (and slept most of it). But what a feeling, I rode all over the place that day, back and forth between places, bunny hopping gutters, racing/dodging traffic and whatever else. Even getting lost. Incidentally, the bike in question is a Merida T5 Speeder. Which is basically a flat bar racer. It is aluminum but fairly comfortable albeit STIFF. I had to replace the seat – it had a woman spec one which was killing me (so I put a beautiful Brooks B17 on it). I also replaced the clip-in Shimano pedals with some very cool mountain bike ones (HT Component AE02s) – very light, very slick looking and very, very cool. And to make sure I never got lost again, I put an iPhone holder on it – I know, I know, lamest accessory ever – but hey, it’s a GPS unit! Anyway my next ride out on it was superb. No more backside pain, no hot-spots for my feet – just ease and fun. And more bunny hopping…….maybe I should get a mountain bike? Nah, I’m having too much fun; I like to go FAST – and IF I break something, I’ll fix it. Oh, I also moved the seat back a smidge because I was feeling cramped on the medium frame (and getting sore as a result). It isn’t my size, but smaller means stiffer – and I’m not doing any centuries on it just yet. Shifting the seat back an inch changed everything.

This was very much an “it isn’t about the bike” moment. I now patiently await my next run on her. I think I shall christen her “Natasha”. For she is a dark and willing beauty with an English accent.

Arrgh!  Rust!

Arrgh! Rust! I now need to replace those bolts on the crankset.



Natural (Minimalist) Running

So there’s this crazy new thing called “Natural Running”, or “Minimalist Running”. I’ve been reading up a fair bit on it and my intellect has decided that it might very well be worth a try.

Let’s start with the feet. A lot of people are always at me to put some shoes on, put some thongs on – my dad HATES people who don’t wear shoes. I, however, have always loved being barefoot. It goes with my other love, the beach. The feeling of bare feet on sand, or tiles, or sandstone is just marvellous. Heck, any surface. So suffice to say, I spend a lot of time (as much as possible in fact), barefoot. I also love to trail run. Although perhaps trail hack is a closer description to what I do. Somewhere along my decision to seek a new pair of trail hacking shoes, I stumbled upon a brand called Inov-8. I initially thought they were US in origin, but in turns out they are from merry old England. That in itself is a surprise from a product perspective. A lot of high end sports gear usually stems from the US.

So anyhow, I haven’t received these new wonder shoes yet, they are winging their way to me from the UK as we speak. They may, in fact, be at the docks here in Singapore right now. I am very giddy at the prospect of opening them up to behold, slip on and take for a test drive. But until then, tomorrow marks the beginning of my full training regimen. I’ve been building up to it with a series of trail run/walks/hacks at the local reservoir, along with backpacking my 8 month old son at various intervals (I use an Osprey Poco Premium for that – another marvellous product. I’ll review that pack in a separate piece). But for tomorrow I’m going to add stair training (barefoot), push-ups, core exercises and some barefoot sprints. I’ll do some tummy work if I’m not passed out afterwards. Just kidding, gently, gently is the way to go. Burpees anyone?

Which now brings me to the “barefoot” part (with the minimalist shoe). These shoes have little to no “drop”. By drop I mean the height from the heel to the ball of the foot. Most running/support shoes these days have around 9-12mm(ish) of “drop”. Some have more (a higher number). The main reason for this big drop (or as I now like to call it, the sissy platform), are our piss-ant, ultra stiff calf muscles. Just ask a ski boot fitter (but that’s a whole other story). Minimalist shoes have between 3mm to zero drop. Yes, zero. So it’s a thin bit of level pad protecting your feet from debris. No arch support, no roll support, no nothing. Natural, the way we were born to be. The theory behind this is, your foot increases its own muscle mass and strength, thus negating the need for all that mega marketed cushioning and excess support which has left our feet soft and weak. I look forward to the practical and real life experience result of this. As I said, I love being barefoot so the transition (in theory) shouldn’t be that difficult.

I won’t be doing much to start with in the shoes themselves, about two sets of five minute runs per week to start with. I know that doesn’t sound like a lot, but I will be doing a heap of walking in them – to help re-build the muscle that I have lost. As I said, gently, gently. The dreaded TOO MUCH, TOO SOON mantra is loudly banging away at the back of my mind

This will also mean that I have to change my STYLE of running. A lot of runners land on their heel. If you’ve ever run barefoot, you naturally tend to do so whilst on the balls of your feet. This is what nature intends. More spring (or shock absorbing properties…… I think I normally land mid-foot anyhow), but I have to consciously do it in the current pair of runners that I have – the drop in those makes it difficult to do that naturally, unless you’re running uphill. Those particular shoes are North Face trail runners with full support etc. They are very cushy and feel “normal” to me. Before that, I must have gone through dozens of pairs of Asics gel Kayanos or GTs over the years. I once completely destroyed, whilst running, my first – and LAST – pair of Nike Air runners (back when those first became a thing). Boy are my feet in for a shock.

Some of you might be thinking, if you love being barefoot so much, why wear shoes at all? Good question. Easy answer though – the trails I go through can at times, be dangerously slippery and muddy. Bare feet offer no real grip in those conditions. There are also a lot of sharp rocks (amongst other things, such as jagged branches and bricks). Did I mention the giant ants? The thing is, minimalist shoes, and specifically, these ones from Inov-8, are as close to barefoot as I’d like to get on trails like this one. And they weigh virtually nothing. It will certainly be a telling experience.




One For Those Purist Perfectionists

Well here it is; part three[?] of some [direct] Porsche advice.  If you’ve got a spare bit of wedge and want what is possibly the BEST November 1988 built 911 available here in Sydney at THIS PARTICULAR time point (30 Aug 2011) then here it is, no kidding:

1/ Visit

2/ Click on the Red Porsche 911 Carrera (8th row down, 1st across)

Apologies for not having a direct link, but WordPress blogs currently don’t allow for java scripts – which drives the classicthrottleshop website.  I am currently searching for a fix to this – or at the very least another blog host which does support java script.

Regardless, WHAT A CAR!  I don’t use the word “best” about second hand cars too often – it once took me well over 6 months to find a mint, unmolested, Series V Mazda RX7 for example.  But here, for your pleasure, is the 911 Classic (SC) you want.  The wait is over.

Images above are owned by the classicthrottleshop.