Unfortunately, It's been a while since my last post. It was actually just a month and a half ago, but I was very keen on posting an article every 2 weeks. It just wasn't possible right now.
I've been quite busy lately with all sorts of activities and I'm loving it. Well, apart from the fact that I can't travel to see my friends.
I still work from home and besides my job I fill my days doing all sorts of things. I work out, educate myself through Udemy and entertain myself on Youtube.
Here are some highlights of how I used my time during the Corona smart lockdown.
1) I've sold my Honda Dax ST70E
I'm actually not sure when I first bought this bike, but it must have around 1995, so it's been in my possession for quite a long time. The bike itself was a so-called Honda mini bike from 1979 with a 72cc engine. It had a motorcycle registration and I rode it a lot. I even took on a few short holidays to Belgium.
When I went to college I hardly ever used it anymore and at some point I just stored it in a garage and forgot about it. I simply had no time, space or use for it. The last couple of years I was keen on fixing the bike and then either sell it or use it. After some consideration I chose to sell it. The bike was taking too much of my time and money and it wasn't giving me the joy I once had. So the decision was made to sell it someone who could give it some much needed TLC (tender love and care).
Selling the bike wasn't as difficult as I imagined it to be and I also got a reasonable price for it. So, one less worry and some cash in the bank for me to invest in more Vanguard ETF's.
2) Looking for a bicycle
The weather has been quite nice for 'normal' Dutch standards, so I decided to buy a bicycle. It's fun and it keeps me in shape. When I was younger I used ride mountain bikes all the time. As a matter of fact, I still have a TREK Antilope 830 to which I added a front fork suspension. Unfortunately, the bike is no longer usable and fixing it will take a lot of time and money. It's much wiser (and easier) to just buy a new one and sell the old one in parts or as scrap.
I had to do some research on what kind of bike I wanted and soon made a top 2 list of bikes I liked. First I wanted a Cannondale cx 1 (or 2). It's basically a mountain bike, but more suitable for the roads, both tarmac and country roads. The difference with a regular mountain bike is that this bike has slimmer tires and a higher range of gears. Mountain bikes usually have a lot of low gears to help it through rough terrain and up steep slopes.
So, I made some inquiries only to find out that the Cannondale CX series bikes where all sold out in the Netherlands. Ugh.
I then turned to my second option. The TREK Dual Sport 4 (or 3). I called our local TREK dealership and got disappointed again. These bikes where also all sold out. It seems that I need to wait until next year to buy a bicycle. Crazy times.
I also looked at other brands, but there was very little or no equivalent choice at all.
3) Attend to my Honda C90ZZ
Apart from owning a Honda Dax ST70E (now sold) I was also the proud owner of a green Honda C90ZZ. I can't remember exactly when I bought it, but it must have been around 1994. I used this bike quite a lot. Mainly to go to school or hang out with friends. It has a 89cc single cylinder engine and the original papers say the bike is from September 1978 when it was first sold to a man in Croyden, Engeland. It has only one previous owner and that's quite special for such an old bike.
I used it once to go on a short holiday with a friend to visit his father in the province of Groningen. Which is an 8 hour ride from Utrecht. Just like the Dax I didn't really use this bike anymore when I went to college, so I parked in a garage and waited for the right time to use it again.
I recently took it out from underneath it's protective blanket and started polishing it. I forgot how cool looking this bike was and surprised to see in what good of a shape it still is after 42 years. And it's 100% original Honda. After the bike was cleaned and polished I fixed the carburettur, because it was leaking fuel. I also bought new mirror and a new seat (amongst other things). The bike is now slowly starting to look even better.
My goal is to get it tested and approved by the Dutch motor vehicle administration and ride it.
4) Upgrading my house
Since the prices of houses here in the Netherlands (and especially in Utrecht) are still soaring I don't see myself moving anytime soon.
Therefor I've set my mind on upgrading my current living conditions. With upgrading I mean cleaning, repairing, painting and decluttering. I may need to buy some new curtains, because the old ones got very dirty in the washing machine. They also shrunk a bit.
Many years ago I decided to paint my kitchen blue. It looked nice at the time, but now it needs to go. I also used the wrong kind of paint, so I couldn't properly clean the walls. They got a bit dirty over the years as one may expect from a kitchen. It's a difficult and awkward space to paint, but I have time on my hands. I painted one wall already with textured paint and topped it of with latex for easy cleaning.
I also sanded and painted some doors and door frames. All-in-all, it's fun to do, but also quite strenuous on my body.
I'm still planning on living abroad for some time, but in the mean time I can enjoy upgrading my current home. Hopefully, in the near future I can adopt a life style in which I can life in Utrecht for a few months a year and life abroad during the other months.