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5 Random Things I Did This Weekend

After getting back from Dubai on Thursday, here’s a look at what I squeezed in over the weekend before getting back on another plane Sunday night.

1) Friday Night 800m Intervals

I started off the weekend with some late Friday night running intervals.  It wasn’t exactly my intention to do these at 10PM.  But something happened around 6-7PM and I found myself face down on the couch asleep.  The Girl was kind enough to apparently take a photo somewhere along the way.

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It wasn’t till around 9:30PM that I woke up.  So…that’s when I did my run.  One way or another, get ‘er done.

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These were my usual workout right now, currently at 10x800m at 2:50/800m.  I pretty much nailed them all except the last couple because I was trying to people-dodge along the water coming back home.  Being prime walking/drinking time, there were tons of folks out so it’s sorta a game of run around the peeps (and dogs).

Once back I made an uber-quick transition via the shower and back out the door to one of our favorite little places all of 20-30 meters from our front door.  I had ran in before I started my intervals to let them know we’d be in around 11PM for dinner, and having “our usual”:

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Mmm…so good!  That’s a camembert sauce you see there.  Yes, pure awesome.

2) Pouring sweat on the trainer

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This weekend was on and off again pouring rain and hail, and bright sun (as seen a bit later).  Above, was what it was like both times I got anywhere near my bike.  It just dumped out.

So for Saturday I went ahead and just rode indoors.  This worked out though because I’m able to have a bit more controlled environment to start testing on a variety of things, including both the Edge 1000 but also their new magnet-less speed/cadence sensors.

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I’ll be talking more about the speed & cadence sensors on Wednesday in a dedicated post with lots of fun data.  And I’ll be diving into the Edge 1000 in a full in-depth review in about three weeks.

I also went out for a brief ride on Sunday to play around with the new Garmin Segments functionality.  I created a handful of segments around me (since there’s approximately 5 segments created in all of Paris), and then cycled through them.

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The experience was mixed.  The notification before a segment started worked very well.  As did routing to a segment, I could just pick a segment and have it route me there.  Once in the segment (started) it worked fairly well as far as showing me how far head/behind the leader I was.  Though I did receive a ‘Virtual Partner Complete’ notification mid-way through two segments, but that was only temporary and disappeared without any ill effect.

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The transitions out of the segments were sometimes inconsistent with display changes. For example it randomly zoomed out to all of Europe, rather than the zoomed in street view I had going into the segment.  Though, about 10-15 seconds later it corrected itself, I believe only because I hit a turn.

Still, in general there’s quite a bit I like about the unit.  There’s a host of changes around how it does sensors and activity profiles (such as it does away with bike profiles).  On the whole I think that’s a good change to simplify things.  Though there appears to be a side effect there of killing the ability to have a per-bike odometer.  So hopefully that gets straightened out.

And the upload via WiFi worked seamlessly for me, just like the FR620 does.  And while the Bluetooth setup is a bit more complex than other Garmin products (as you pair it both as a Bluetooth Smart sensor and as a legacy Bluetooth sensor), once you get past that, it seems fine.

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I won’t be able to test out the Di2 functionality until next weekend when my LBS gets in all the parts to convert my bike over.  And of course, all of this ignores the larger question of whether or not the small bump in functionality is worth the $600 price tag.

3) CupCakery delivery-man and fix-er-up man

There are only a handful of things that The Girl does not enjoy doing – and one of them is driving in Paris.  Thus most of the time I get that duty.  I don’t mind, I find the whole Parisian traffic situation like a giant arcade game.  If you treat it like that, it kinda works out.

As part of those driving duties, we had a wedding cake to deliver Saturday.  Actually, both a wedding cake and a ton of cupcakes.  So, The Girl, myself, and one of our employees all got into our little Autolib and zipped across the city to near the Tuileries gardens.  Typically we wouldn’t need another employee for a delivery, but in this case the wedding location was actually Swedish in nature, and our employee is from Norway and speaks Swedish – so we thought it might be good to have back-up (just in case something goes awry).

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The deliverly was very simple, and we needed neither French nor Swedish (nor Norwegian) for the delivery.  Everyone ended up speaking English.

Later on Saturday evening post-delivery I spent a bit of time re-building some new chalkboard signs.  Our old ones had been through a rough winter and needed to be dismantled and then I’d paint some new ones up.

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The bonus here is that I got to eat one of the handful of leftover cupcakes at the end of the day.

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Despite what some might believe – ‘selling out’ of cupcakes it actually not our goal.  From a business standpoint it means that people that wanted cupcakes couldn’t get them, and it also typically means a reduced selection – thus potentially turning some folks away if they couldn’t find a flavor they like. So a few cupcakes left at the end of the day is a positive thing for both the “end of the day customers” AND my belly!

4) Checking out the Notre Dame bread expo

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Every year about this time the plaza in front of Notre Dame becomes the epicenter of bread.  Last year due to the big messy structures the church had built, the bread expo tent was much smaller.  But this year it’s back to full size!  There’s also a smaller row of more sales focused stalls out of the frame to the left in the below image.

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Inside they bake all assortment of boulangerie goods each day.  If you go early enough in the morning (well, just before noon), you’ll catch them baking the baguettes fresh.  Most actual neighborhood boulangers do that almost all day long, just up till last call at closing time.

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They’ve got a bunch of different breads on display for you to check out.  Most of these I see day to day, but there were some ones I haven’t seen before.

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They have some nice sized mixers too.  Being involved in the business at the cupcake shop, I’m quickly becoming familiar with commercial grade mixers.  Especially since tomorrow we have to order yet another one to keep up.  Tomorrow’s order will be a 30-liter bowl-size.  Most of your standard residential KitchenAid ones are 5 Quarts which is pretty close to 5 liters.

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At the larger sizes the issue is actually being able to pickup a fully loaded bowl.  If you imagine 30 liters of batter, that’s incredibly heavy – especially if you have to scrape down the inside of the bowl while holding it upside down (impossible as one person). No worries though, I told the Girl it’s like any other training… she’ll eventually build up the arms to lift a bowl her size!

In any case, the bread guys are cooking along all day long on all sorts of things:

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And at the end of the place you can buy lots of breads and some basic ham and cheese sandwiches.

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The whole setup is there about 10 days, which I believe is longer than it was last year.  Cool stuff though!

5) A flight down to Portugal

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I’ve got meetings all week in Lisbon, Portugal – but since they don’t start till Tuesday, The Girl and I headed down Sunday late afternoon after she finished up her busy morning at the shop.

We’ll head out and wander the coast a bit on Monday before I dive into work.  She’ll then explore the city over the next few days while I’m working.

So far for our few hours tonight at dusk – the weather is quite nice, and expected to get nicer!

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I had planned a late evening run, but I’ll just knock it out first thing in the morning Monday morning.  A nice 13-mile tempo run, after completing a short warm-up. Reaching out on Twitter many of you suggested running along the river, which happens to be right near where we’re staying.  So it’s an easy 2-minute walk to the above areas.

With that – enjoy the week ahead and thanks for reading!

Oh, and PS – don’t forget that the giveaway closes later tonight!

42 Comments

  1. Randy

    I am jealous of your life.

    Reply
    • MAGNUS replied

      Plus one.

      I'll be making my first trip overseas later this year. Too bad it will be too cold to ride around your city.

      Reply
  2. Remco Verdoold

    I am jealous of your life. (except all the flying for work, though).

    Reply
  3. The Girl should go to Belem, where they have Pastéis de Belém, delicious! But for her it will be purely professional of course. Let's call it "a market study".
    If you ever going to Macau, you can buy it there as well - Macau used to be a Portugese colony - and you can do a comparison between the Original and Copy.

    Reply
    • Ricardo replied

      I agree with Tristan here but I would say that you not pass up on that opportunity either. Nothing like eating them straight out of the oven. Even if The Girl takes you some, they'll be better than any other Pastel de Nata in the world. Again, the experience of actually being at the Pasteis de Belem shop is unique and not one to be missed. Beautiful tile work inside. Missing the motherland :(.

      Reply
    • Tony Goncalves replied

      Plus one for a visit to Belem!

      Reply
  4. scott buchanan

    I know you've said you don't do reviews of your Tri gear but wondered if you'd consider making a slight exception for Di2 or at least give your considered thoughts on it. Looking to get a new sportive bike and Di2 is an option. So far the reaction has been polarised with people either loving it or hating it. Interestingly it appears the 'lovers' are those that have used it and the haters are those that haven't.... go figure!

    As you brought up the cupcakery! I was in there a couple of weeks ago. Hand on heart and coming from a person that doesn't overly like anything sweet, they were the best cupcakes (yup, I had 2!) I've ever had and that includes 'Sprinkes' that my sister raves about and insist on taking me to every time I'm that side of the pond. Anyway was surprised at the choice of coffee machine. It appeared to be a pod type, was wondering if that is a space, training, timing issue? O.K I'm a coffee fascist ;)

    I missed the bread Expo!

    Reply
    • Jason K replied

      Scott,

      I've had Ultegra Di2 for over a year now on my Tarmac. LOVE it! I've never dropped a chain or missed a shift. And its fast! I also love the programability of it, you aren't locked into this button/lever does this, you can swap it all around to your preferences. I had mine programed to continuously shift through the cassette while the button is held. Shifting is as easy as clicking a mouse no worrying that you didn't push far enough over to shift.

      I'll be curious to see what Ray thinks of it.

      Reply
    • Rainmaker replied

      Thanks Scott!

      Assuming the install goes all good (there's some potential for failure there, since my bike isn't really designed for it with internal routing), I'll definitely give some thoughts on it.

      Glad you enjoyed the cupcakes!

      As for the coffee machine, it's mostly a space issue. As you saw, it's a tiny space. Everything from production to sales is done in that little 14sq meter space. So that's one issue. The second is that the lines can be big depending on time of day. So if you hit a quiet time, then waiting on coffee wouldn't be too big an issue, but at rushes, it's tough. If we had a bigger space, we'd definitely have coffee + a place to sit (couches, tables, etc...). But, that's all we've got!

      Reply
  5. Tony

    Hi Ray,
    When you do your 800m repeats, do you have a set rest period (time) or do you wait for your HR to get to a certain point in recovery? Also, do you use the workout feature on the watch for these runs, or a set course you know is 800m?
    Thankyou
    Ton

    Reply
    • Rainmaker replied

      The recovery is 90s, so about half the normal Yasso 800's style recovery time.

      I just do them all manually, most of the time. And I use a loop that's pretty close to a mile, but still use the GPS for the distance.

      Reply
  6. Helder Rodrigues

    Welcome to Portugal.

    If you have the time you should come to the north. Great landscapes, great food and great people!

    Hope you have a nice time!

    Reply
  7. Juergen Veith

    Thanks Ray, looking forward to a Lisbon runaround ;-) Going there on the ECL week end and would like to sneak in a few runs & swims

    Reply
  8. Finally, proof that you do actually sleep!

    Reply
  9. Wendy

    Beautiful cake!

    Reply
  10. DS

    I think I recognize that steack frites, or rather the restaurant. If you're willing to walk another 200m, try the foie gras (or almost anything else) at Le Petit Pontoise. Life-changing.

    Reply
  11. Hi Ray,

    I'm very much looking forward to your Edge 1000 review... Since my bike computer is probably the device I use the most, I am considering buying the 1000 despite the fact that I felt burned with the 810... but I have a few questions about the 1000, and am posting them here pre-emptively, hoping you will cover them!

    -when you push the stop button, are you now 2 easy button presses away from deleting your activity? (It seems like the sort of feature used for testing, but then never removed, even in several firmware versions.).
    -when you are in the middle of an activity, and power-off, and later power-on, what is the start screen? Is it like the 810, where it is very easy to reset or delete the track? It's good that it reminds you that you have an active track, but it shouldn't be so easy to delete/reset it.
    -does the "you are moving, do you want to start the timer?" actually work? It doesn't seem to work very well with the 810. It really should also be able to be a "you starting moving 37 (and counting) seconds ago, would you like to retro-actively start the timer?".
    -can the 1000 track events longer than 24 hours (of riding)? For example, a 600km or longer brevet? Does it have a time or track distance limit? What does it do when that limit is reached? (as in, does it freeze up and lose the track, like the 800?)
    -If you have the 1000 mounted on your stem, is it possible to have a standard USB-mini cable powering it while it is mounted and the timer is running? in the rain?
    -if the timer is running, and a normal USB-mini cable with power is attached (or power on an attached cable is started), what happens? Does the screen change its backlight setting?
    -if the timer is running, and power on an attached cable is removed (or the cable is removed), what happens? Does the screen change its backlight setting? Does it start a 15-second shut-down timer like the 810?
    -how stable is the 1000 with Open Cycle Maps? (my 810 crashes frequently with them, usually while in map view, and it seems to crash more zoomed in to the 120m or 80m scale, but is still unstable less zoomed-in)
    -when the 1000 crashes (which I assume it will), does it:
    --lose the track from the previous power-on?
    --get a satellite fix right away/quickly on power up? (or take a couple minutes like the 810?)
    -are there distance alerts, and are they from power-on, or start of track? (on the 810, they are from power-on instead of start-of-track, which seems quite silly).
    -the 800 and 810 have this irritating behavior: on a ride, you power-off in order to eat a meal (or whatever), and when you power on again (in the same location), the elevation is way off. It should be fairly easy for the device to "see" that you are in the same place as you were when you powered-off, so the elevation should be the same. Perhaps the device should ask: "do you want to set elevation to previous" if you are powering up and there is an active track.
    -what is the battery life in real life? with a little backlight? on the map screen?

    Love your blog, The reviews as well as your other write ups!

    Reply
  12. Greg Hamm

    Hey Ray,

    Just a curious question.... If I was to create a course on Strava and there are segments on the course...could I upload this to the Garmin 1000? If this doesn't work is this something that Strava could program? Anyway, I was thinking I'd rather use all of the segments Strava has instead of making new ones on Garmin Connect.

    You may be describing this in your review anyway....

    Thanks for everything

    Reply
    • Rainmaker replied

      No, unfortunately totally separate platforms/systems. The only thing they share is the English word 'Segment'.

      What you describe is a bit of the crux of the challenge for Garmin (and, also, what irritates many Strava users). Will they get enough people cutting over? I think in order to have even a slim chance of that, they need to backport the Segments functionality into as many devices as they can (i.e. Edge 510/810 at a minimum).

      Reply
  13. whoda

    Hi,

    I was wondering if you would do a review on Verve Cycling InfoCrank power meter in the coming weeks?

    Thanks!

    Reply
    • Rainmaker replied

      Definitely not in the coming weeks, merely because I have a few others slated first (it'll be the ROTOR as next up). And typically I use a power meter for 4-8 weeks at a minimum before posting a full review.

      I actually reached out to the Verve folks, but didn't hear back. I'll ping again.

      Reply
  14. I love hearing about the cupcake shop! That cake looks so pretty and delicious! Sounds like you are having a pretty fabulous life right now!

    Reply
  15. ltyoungster

    Where do I get one of those comfy looking coaches? My coach is a real slave driver and I don't think I would feel comfortable taking a nap on him.

    Reply
  16. Clinton

    Ray,
    Heading to Madrid tomorrow for the week. Any suggestions for scenic places to run.
    Thanks

    Reply
  17. Eduardo

    Hi Ray,
    I'm from Portugal, hope that both had enjoy the visit in Lisbon.
    That place where did you take the picture is good to run :)
    Next time you should visit Oporto. It's also a beautifull city :)

    Reply
  18. Paul Schwartz

    You don't comment on the Garmin Connect system for creating segments. I tried it recently and found it absolutely horrible compared to Strava and RideWithGPS. It was very tricky to get the start/finish positions where I wanted, and it seems to snap to points which can be rather far apart, so it's pretty much impossible to get the points just where you want (say, to re-created a popular Strava segment). Maybe it's because the ride I was using was fast and so GC is only allowing snapping to a data point (though I do have 1-second recording turned on)... well, either way, NOT easy or useful. AND they don't have Street View enabled which is an important too in figuring out desired start/finish points when creating segments. In short, unfortunately I think they have a LONG way to go to make the Segment functionality useful. Too bad.

    Reply
    • Rainmaker replied

      I'm mixed on it. I actually didn't have any problems with creation of my segments from a spot location perspective. But, all my rides/runs are based on 1-second recording.

      Now, that said, I do find the post-creation processing time takes a long time. I'm impatient, and when I have to wait 5-15 minutes for it to calculate leaders, that's a while.

      Further, I have a segment I created from a run 10 days ago. I can see that my segment time would be #2 on the leaderboard, yet, I'm still not showing on the leaderboard. Given the route was created from my actual run - there should be no issue with me showing up due to GPS variance.

      Reply
    • Tim Grose replied

      For an experiment I created a running segment on a 2 min or so hill "sprint" similar to a Strava one I recently tried really hard on. On Strava I am 1st/82 but on GC it says only 8 people have done it and I can only see a Top 3. It seems to have only used efforts back to just this April.
      Also, despite what looks like similar elevation profiles, Strava puts it a 3% hill but GC only 1%. It looks like about a 20m rise in about 700m so 3% looks more on the money.

      Reply
  19. Nigel Pond

    A bread expo? Excellent! Only in France!

    Reply
  20. Jan

    Hi Ray, Me and my girl are leaving for Lisbon tomorrow too for a little 'in-between' vacation. Do you perhaps have some advise for a good pool in Lisbon to keep up with the swim training? See ya on the boulevard for a run ;)

    Reply
  21. Andrew Moss

    I'm American but I lived in Lisbon for 1.5 years about 10 years ago, lots of interesting things there. For running or biking where it is a little less crowded but also very pretty I would recommend heading to Cascais and/or Sintra. Not too far, but nice places.

    Reply
  22. JCampos

    You are welcome in Portugal! :)

    Reply
  23. Ricardo Resende

    Hey welcome to Portugal! Nice to see my city on your site!

    Reply
  24. Michael

    Hi Ray, you are one week too late - 4th of May there was the Lisbon 70.3 taking place at the Expo areal ...

    Reply
  25. Darwin

    Sadly for all my bitching and moaning about Gamins software quality and a recent bad experience with a Garmin 810 I'm now actually considered the 1000 despite the outlandish price. It didn't help that I conducted an experiment with my iPhone 5s, bluetooth heart rate monitor straps, and a bunch of iPhone cycling apps and it did not go well.
    The apps are generally not customizable, (which is odd) and most of them have adopted iOS 7 thin fonts with no other options which makes them very hard to see.

    Reply
  26. Yann

    Hello,
    thanks for your great blog.
    As you're planning an in-depth review of the Edge 1000, I would be very interested in the quality of the screen, especially compared to the edge 800, that I own.
    I find that that model lacks readbility on the map screen: I'm often obliged to stop, remove my sunglasses to find my way, and restart. So I would be glad that the screen had been improved on that side.

    Also, do you know of bluetooth or ant+ barometric altimeter that coud be connected to a smartphone, to serve as a kind of replacement to an edge device ?

    Kind regards,

    Reply
    • Rainmaker replied

      It's a much higher resolution screen, and as such, the map visibility is definitely higher. Though, on the flip side, I've never had issues historically with reading the Edge 800/810 screen either with or without sunglasses. So I might be a poor person to decide there.

      On the other item, the Wahoo RFLKT+ is what you're looking for: ANT+ bridge to your phone + a barometric altimeter. Details here: link to dcrainmaker.com

      Reply
  27. Sheyne Walsh

    Hi Ray,

    Hi from another supporter and avid follower from Australia. The reviews are fab.

    Based on your initial impressions I took the plunge and purchased an Edge 1000. It's a nice device. I was particularly drawn to the smart phone notifications.

    I often get call and messages from clients, servie providers and friends (even the wife). Knowing who is calling/messaging is great.

    However I can't find how to initiate this feature on my iphone 5. I have read the forums and manuals to no avail. I saw you had it working. Is there a setting on the mobile garmin connect software (2.2 ver) that I am missing? Did it work first off for you?

    Thanks again for the great work you do. It would be nice if we could support your sponsors but it isn't really that easy to order items for delivery to Australia.

    Cheers Sheyne.

    Reply
    • Rainmaker replied

      It seems to be finicky right now on Bluetooth (for me on my iPhone 5s). You've got to to go through the dual-pairing piece, and then ensure you have the menu on the Edge 1000 that specifies text messages. If you don't have that menu, then the unit isn't connected.

      Once that's done, it should come through. But I find it loses that connection near-immediately lately on mine. :-/

      Reply

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