Going north on a 50 year old Honda S50 (90cc)

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by sarcus, Dec 25, 2018.

  1. sarcus

    sarcus Adventurer

    Joined:
    Mar 22, 2015
    Oddometer:
    49
    Location:
    Belgium
    Hello

    Once again I'm trying to ride the Honda s50 '68 to places further than the local bar. In 2014 I rode it to Slovenia and Croatia. 4000km of fun.

    https://advrider.com/f/threads/belgium-slovenia-2014-20days-of-honda-cs50-fun.1051847/#post-26422561

    Late 2016 I had a broken wrist and was 3 months at home. I knew the 2014 trip wouldn't be the last one so I started dreaming again. In that time home I read to much 'Ed March and his c90 adventures' going to the Arctic etc. , the entire blog from ' where the hell is Murph' and the overload stories you can find here on adv.
    Because I'm doing season related work I can get the most time free between December and April. So the first day I returned to work in 2017, I had to discuss something with the management and without any problems we agreed that I could skip work for a couple of months.

    I thought ' yeah whatever' 2 years that's still a long way to go. In february this year I cut up a spare gastank in 3 pieces and started fabricating and welding to make it bigger. Because high in the north chances to fill up the tank are less. And I also wanted to have the extra fuelweight in the middle. TIG welding and sheet metal: 2 things I had to learn from scratch. I had the luck that I could do this at ' MGB moto', a local bikeshop in Belgium who are making awesome bikes and my kind of bikeshop. I emptied more bottles of Argon than beers there.
    The year went by and now and then I worked on this gastank. Just before September I had something that was actually sealed. A succes! Next thing were the rack, seat and a complete overhaul for engine and rolling frame. 50 years old and 9 years of butchering through every kind of condition wasn't the best thing to start with if you ask me now. I don't like shiny bikes.

    Here are a few fabricating pictures

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    In the weeks before departure I did a lot of testing. Many things came up that could be better made or had to be rebuilt.

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    Enough flashbacks:

    Going north. What's the plan?

    The goal is Nordkapp. You need to have one. But I'm not desperate to reach it. If I just see the northern lights I might as well be happy. And if that doens't work out: a little bit of crying and than I'm going back , more south or to Spain or, or, if, if...
    I also have a limited budget so it's day by day. I also thought about Iceland but we'll see about that. The more I'm travelling in this beautiful Sweden , the more vague that idea becomes. Many thanks to my family ,friends , MGB moto, HD classic and Jurgen "rouselle". Every little help is a day more riding.

    The trip!

    I started the 4th of December. I took the volvo-boat (DFDS) from Gent (B) to Göteborg (S) and I discovered very soon I was the only passenger and had the whole passenger space for myself. I binge watched the first season of 'sons and anarchy' before I arrived at Göteborg on the 5th of Decembre at 9pm. I then drove to a hotel so that this awesome trip finaly could start.

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    6th of December

    I got up early and drove away into the first beautiful landscapes. I've done a lot of testing before in Belgium but still there were some new minor issues that I wanted to fix already. One of them was the repro clutchcable. After 122km I arrived at a small farm where I booked for a night and I met the old couple who run the place, Lorens and Monica. Very friendly people. They keep sheep and used every single bit of it .From coat to all kinds of meat. We had a lot of good conversations. I would stay until Saturday. Mainly because I needed spikes for my tyres. The first day I allready had a little warning on the smaller roads. That would end in 150km searching. I was driving from tirecenter to tirecenter without any result.


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    On sunday I was ready to go when suddenly a guy appeared on the driveway with an old Zündapp moped.
    After a little conversation I went further and after 80km of rain I stopped at a hostel in Skövde, that was on a first gear hill. While riding I enjoyed the gravelroads a lot but the weather wouldn't change the rain in to snow yet. As a Belgian I was desperate to see the snow again.

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    On monday I found a store in Skövde that had spikes. Not very cheap but I didn't want to go further without them. After fitting 200 spikes manually I was ready to hit the road.
    When I was making a route I connected it with the gpx from the Swedish TET. I began a section in a place called Hjo and did about 40km. At 2pm I drove towards Mjolltorp and saw a beautiful lake where I wanted to put up my tent. The only thing was that everything was private. Because it was getting darker I started to knock on some doors at the other side of the road and found an owner. It was going to be a very wet night.

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    Tuesday 11 december I woke up and my sleeping bag was wet outside. Lot's of condensation. Apperently up to 3l per person. So they next time I had to open every possible door for more ventilation. After a little breakfast I did 105km more TET. Awesome views, nice roads and shit wheater. After a total of 130km that day I staid in a B&B in Degerfors. When the owner wasn't watching I rapidly brought all the wet luggage to my room. And then I used every cm to hang up the tent and sleepingbag. I decided to post some pictures on the TET facebook page. If I hadn't done this I wouldn't be in the position I am today. The Swedish biker scene is amazing.

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    Wednesday 12th I hadn't got a real plan. Because of my posting on the TET facebookpage a guy called Ingemar "Igge" invited me to an anual winter bikermeeting at a lake. " Bring a good sleepingbag" he said. It was 160km from Degerfors, the place of the B&B. So with no real plan I started the day. After done 107km I passed a camping. Nobody was there but a paper said just take a spot and the rest can wait. I don't have to mention that I didn't had to search long for a free spot.

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    Heinkel kabine 154 rotting away
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    The day after no real driving. I met the owner and had to pay almost nothing because "normally we don't have any guests with a tent" ,she replied.
    Also I did some maintenance. Chain , oilcheck and that was it. The extra LED light that worked on my 6v battery was also broken. After opening it I found out a little coil came loose. No problems with that. Just find yourself a little garage and it's an easy fix.

    On friday I went to the place of the wintertreffen. It was not far from Nyfors. I had the biggest laugh when I came in to a town called Kloten. In dutch this means a man's nuts and also a kind of swearing. Yes, picture time. 5km's after Kloten I saw a couple of sidecars going into a gravelroad towards Nyfors. Because there was more and more snow I struggled to follow them . After 15km I arrived at the lake and there were allready tree sidecars. The guy's allready made a proper fire inside the wooden cabin. More winterbikers joined the party and also Igge , the person that invited me. This was going to be an awesome weekend! Like every weekend this is the formula: on friday go over the top and beyond. On Saturday things are more relaxed because of the drinking on friday. I dronk glück, and other stuff. I told I couldn't count the number of all the different drinks I had on two hands. One guy called Lars responded with: " then start counting with your toes".

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    A picture just before the light went out
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    Saturday morning: my head , my poor head. Crazy night. When travelling solo you don't drink that often.
    No riding that day. Everybody cooked his or her ' christmasdinner' and then the drinking started all over again, but slower.

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    On sunday the most went away early. Some had to ride 400km with their mc. For me it wasn't that far. I only needed to reach Ludvika. There I could stay with a family from belgian friends. Arround midday I arrived. Tom and Frida welcomed me with open arms. Our house is your house. Nice!
    Lazy Sunday it was.
    The day after I waited for a new tire because the rear one and the spikes didn't go well together .But the day passed by and still no sign. I decided to do a little walk in the woods. That resulted in 5km and with my -40 suit I was sweating like hell. After lunch the tire arrived and I started immediately. One look at this tire and I knew it would be much better. After putting in more than 100 spikes I tried some sledding with Tom and his kids. Hey, it's a holiday after all!

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    On tuesday I left Tom and Frida and was ready for 155km of snow. And snowing it did! At some point I thought that 155km was a bit optimistic in this kind of conditions. But because of the Wintermeeting I had a lot of beds offred afterwards. That results in riding from village to village at this very day. And that day I was invited to sleep in the red Wings mc house. They even had a pool. Later I figured out I still sucked in it. The pipes were broken due to the freezing. No problem I thought. I don't need a shower every day. But I hadn't counted on mother nature! I can tell you that one toiletflush needs A LOT of melted snow. Before I forget I also had my first crash in the snow. Second before the crash I pushed on the button of my GoPro that was on my helmet. So a one-hander over the handle bars it was. That will be nice footage to see when I'm back home.

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    Wednesday 19 december I only had to ride to the next adress. The place to crash was fixed again. This time heading to Alfta I enjoyed the beautiful landscapes. It didn't snow today so I could watch a lot arround. While upgrading my driving skills in the snow I realised I don't drive much faster at home on sunny days. Great feeling, but still sliding with the spiketires. Knees pushing against the gastank and let the front wheel do whatever it wants.
    After following Evy from the center of Alfta to her lovely home I was the end of the day. 127km , more than happy.
    She prepared a tasty meal , and we told each other a bit of our lives. She recently lost her husband, a diehard motorbiker, and showed me a few photographs. Very handy man that could rebuild any BMW . At 8pm I went to bed because I was broken. The short days and the "snowfocus" was beginning to get a grip on me.

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    New day, new goodbyes and off I went. This time to Maja in Farila. It was an easy day, only 99km. I've got a tip that I had to go to Knåda sport. A Husqvarna shop but they also have sports equipment. The owner was a swedish motocross hero from the past and had a nice "never rode" collection of mx bikes. Very Nice place and good coffee with ginger cookies! Today even more beautiful roads with on the sides a lot of trees covered in snow. At some point you have the idea that they bow for you. The warmer it gets the heavier the snow , until the tree bends. After having some trouble finding the place I arrived at arround 3pm. Again a very big welcome and during the day she told me she used to do a lot of motorcycle journeys in Europe. I could use the couch and that's all I needed. Once again I just had to take a seat and enjoy the prepared food. After some coffee and ice cream I called it a day.

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    On the 21th , the shortest day I planned some wildcamping. I had to go to the direction Hammarstrand but that was a bit to far for one day. After getting food and drinks in the next town I passed one of the many wooden cabins you can find here. It was only 1pm but I decided to stop. The opposit was that I had to ride 140km the day after. Next thing was to gather some wood so that I could start a fire and finally had a chance to put this online after almost three weeks of travelling!

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    Well that didn't work out. I'm going to need WIFI. After a good night sleep in the open cabin I failed to guard the fire the whole night. One badge less on my scouting vest. I've got out of my sleeping bag and saw the temperature was 6 degrees below. Today I had to do a lot of km's so I tried to start the day more early. That didn't work out because I first had to bring my bike to the street, where the snowplow allready had passed, through 30cm of snow. Then I brought all my luggage in three times towards the Honda. Getting up early resulted in leaving at more or less the same time like all the other days. Feeling a bit grumpy I started to ride . The grumpy Bram faded very fast because the roads were perfectly scraped. I managed to do a "high" average speed well above 40km/h and did a maximum of 72km/h gps on a white road. Riding with spikes is awesome.
    When I arrived in Hammarstrand I called Sören, a motorcycle guy that invited me. He gave me a little house to stay and my bike could go into the garage. After dinner he took me on a little snowmobile tour through the forest. It's crazy what those things can do. Fallen tree? No problem. Thumb on the throttle and over it goes. We had a nice view over the city at the highest Point of Hammarstrand. Last summer there were big fires in this forest and he told me that it almost reached his house. I could give the snowmobile a try the day after. We'll see how that was going to end. A day of rest wouldn't be that bad and I went early to bed again.

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    On Sunday I woke up early, had a good breakfast and writed a little bit on this summary of my experiences I had on this trip. After I failed once again to get this online I did some check-ups and a little maintenance. Most of the time went to the cleaning of the chain.
    Later on Sören and his son were ready for a "little" snowscootertrip. We were four houres away and did about 35-40km! We started in -16°C and when we got back it was -20°C. The scooter I rode wa a 37hp 400cc parallel twin twostroke. It's not The strongest but I had a blast! It's the only scooter that putted such a smile on my face. Hanging of in fast corners like a trackrider while pressing the throttle forwards as far as possible with your thumb and just ride on the tracks in the forest up or down the hill, what a splendid vehicle.
    When it was allready dark for a couple of hours me and Sören searched for some extra spikes that maybe could work on the two thin motocross tires I brought with me from Knåda sport. It came clear that it wouldn't work so I'll just leave them on my luggage rack. On the way back I was told of a big nature disaster in Hammerstrand in 1796. To make the story short: it was a lake that desapeared. Some signs show the waterlevel from way back and an old church is still standing high. That wasn't the only thing in the Hammarstrand area, they also had a recently built Thai temple. Hundred years ago a king called Chulalongkorn had travelled here and even a street was called after him.

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    December 24th I went more north. Today only 104km. I started in -17°C and the temperature decreased until -12°C when I arrived in Backe. There I could stay with a Belgian couple and their four sleddogs. What a beasts! But very kind. After seeing the sled and the dogs in action on the river I got to know John and Riet a little bit, as we didn't know each other. It was the 24th so we drunk a little aperitif and had a delicious christmasdinner. I even got a present from santa himself.

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    On the 25th I tried to see some wildlife animals that came close to the house of John and Riet. Normally they do but because I was "new" they didn't want to come closer. Instead they run of.
    We had big conversations about life and in the afternoon they told me to go out and explore the nature because it would be soon dark. They were right! Still managed to see some beautiful skyes and in the end I was away for a few hours. It's really nice walking on snow when it's more or less quiet. The only bad thing today was that the temperature changed to non freezing and I could not see some more sledding. Falling and melting snow from high trees is the worst.

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    I'm still on the road. I hope to update more frequently because it will be less work than this 'little lord of the rings'

    Greetz.
    Bram
    #1
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  2. CROSSBOLT

    CROSSBOLT Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2018
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    403
    Location:
    Hillville, TN
    Super trip and pictures and report! 50 year old Honda! Ya cannot kill a Honda!
    #2
  3. thirsty 1

    thirsty 1 Rider Supporter

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2009
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    Top Hat - Seattle Wa.
    :thumbup:thumbup Sub'ed ! Good luck to ya! Happy Trails! :beer
    #3
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  4. sshbsn

    sshbsn Been here awhile

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    Oct 11, 2014
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    southwest florida
    excellent!!
    #4
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  5. Brunow - 007

    Brunow - 007 Bantam Fever

    Joined:
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    Epic ride! Good job!!!
    #5
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  6. TropicalDale

    TropicalDale The Adventures of Peter Pan

    Joined:
    May 29, 2013
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    261
    Location:
    Cleveland,Ohio
    Awesome! :clap
    Enjoying your ride report.
    #6
    sarcus likes this.
  7. btrrtlwtr

    btrrtlwtr Adventurer Super Supporter

    Joined:
    Sep 28, 2014
    Oddometer:
    96
    incredible!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! what kind of clothing are you wearing to stay warm? ive always thought of spiking the tires and trying what you are doing
    warmest regards and safe riding
    #7
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  8. Corneel

    Corneel Adventurer

    Joined:
    Jun 23, 2015
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    Belgica
    Machtig!
    #8
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  9. rtwpaul

    rtwpaul out riding...

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    makings of a classic...
    #9
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  10. sarcus

    sarcus Adventurer

    Joined:
    Mar 22, 2015
    Oddometer:
    49
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    Belgium
    I'm wearing a suit used in a factory. With a little movement it's keeping you warm well below zero. A lot of movement then I'm sweating inside. It's around 170euro. 1st layer is underwear made of Merino wool. Second are normal clothes.
    The Canadian handle bar gloves from "Bar Mitts" are awesome. Normally for a MTB but perfect for my bike. Together with the windprotector I still manage to ride"glovefree" in -13
    #10
  11. Murre 2

    Murre 2 n00b

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2018
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    Belgium
    Bjistig goe bezig
    #11
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  12. Tewster2

    Tewster2 Long timer Supporter

    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2011
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    DeLand Flatistan
    Thanks to the mods for making this a sticky...I LOVE RR's featuring small bikes doing stuff I'll never be able to do :thumb:thumb
    #12
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  13. prima19rider

    prima19rider Adventurer

    Joined:
    Jul 15, 2018
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    Virginia
    So cool. Thanks for the post.
    #13
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  14. Jetlag Jon

    Jetlag Jon Adventurer

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    Oct 27, 2018
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    Manchester, Lancs
    Great rr, looking forward to more
    #14
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  15. norham

    norham flagrant bozo

    Joined:
    Nov 16, 2006
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    360
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    my own world
    Great story and photos, this may prompt me to assemble my 1965 CT200. Ride safe....
    #15
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  16. Jerre Terre

    Jerre Terre n00b

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    Dec 28, 2018
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    Kortrijk
    #16
  17. Jerre Terre

    Jerre Terre n00b

    Joined:
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    Kortrijk
    Machtig wi Bram!!! De goe bane nog en veel leute é!!!
    #17
    sarcus likes this.
  18. sarcus

    sarcus Adventurer

    Joined:
    Mar 22, 2015
    Oddometer:
    49
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    Belgium
    26th December it was time to move on. This time heading towards Skelleftea. That's about 360km shortest route.
    After a typical healthy Swedish breakfast I waved at Riet and John and went on the road at 9am. It seemed that the big breakfast worked well because I rode like hell. But now and then I also stopped to capture the breathtaking sky.
    After 190km I reached Lycksele and bought some food as the plan was to wildcamp.
    I decided to ride Further towards Skelleftea and try go find a Nice spot.
    I have to say that the roads were very slippery because of the low temperatures. It was just 0°C or below. That results in very bad circumstances.
    Again there was a car behind so the routine is that I slow down and go more to the right. At the time the car was next to me I was in some kind of bad track and fell "hard" at 40km/h. The car just drove away. It wasn't his fault but at least he could check. Positive is that I was ok and the Honda started directly.
    After this happened, a little bit irritated, I found a nice spot. Nice, it's how you want to describe it. It was 1m below the street and at least 30-40cm of snow. Think twice I thought. But yep I went for it. Tried to make a path and hot the bike at least 50m in the field until I parked it where it stalled. Before I crawled in my sleepingbag I spent one hour on making a path for the day after. Luckily I have enormous boots so it wasn't that hard. To prevent a wet sleepingbag I lit up some tealights.

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    27th December. Tealights are good for dinnerparties. But at least the condensation had frozen on the inside, it didn't drip. I got up very early and at 7am I noticed that it had been snowing. Shit, I had to make the path again. I think it's the best morning gymnastics because after this I was sweating. Damn suit! For some reason my path worked perfect , not to say it was easy but when it was arround 8am I got the bike and luggage back up te street .
    I decided to stop and eat in the next village. After 60km sliding and slipping I finally saw something to stop. It was a warehouse with a heated room in front. Luckily my bike was in front when I sat there like a Michelin mascot. People looked like I was a homeless.
    After 385km in two days I arrived at 2pm at the hotel in Skelleftea . After a pizza and a hot shower I felt very tired. I booked a second night because I didn't see me riding te day after. Meanwhile I could fix some things due to the fall the dat before. The handlebars weren't very attachted anymore and one legshield just hang there.

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    Fridaynight 28th was a lazy day. Igge had arranged a garage where I could work in the dry. Better than in the snow in front of the hotel. It was with a guy that does funerals.
    A lot of wrenching today but I have to say after 2000km without many problems that's ok. Tomorrow I'm ready again to hit the road and ride those 1000km to Nordkapp!

    Ok it's the first watercooled VW , the biggest disaster, but you don't see these K70's anymore.
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    Only 200km to the dark side now!
    #18
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  19. Corneel

    Corneel Adventurer

    Joined:
    Jun 23, 2015
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    85
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    Belgica
    Whats the idea with the t lights? Is is because they make the condensation rize ?
    #19
  20. TwilightZone

    TwilightZone Long timer Supporter

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    Dec 2, 2008
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    After looking at this... I'm COLD !
    Gotta turn the heat up in the house.
    #20