Week in Review–May 26th, 2014


The Week in Review is a collection of both all the goodness I’ve written during the past week around the internet, as well as a small pile of links I found interesting – generally endurance sports related. I’ve often wondered what to do with all of the coolness that people write, and while I share a lot of it on Twitter, Facebook, and Google Plus, this is a better forum for sending it on to y’all. Most times these different streams don’t overlap, so be on the lookout at all these places for good stuff!

So with that, let’s get into the action!

DCRainmaker.com posts this past week:

Here’s all the goodness that ended up on the main page of DCRainmaker.com this past week.

Sunday: Week in Review–May 18th, 2014
Monday: 5 Random Things I Did This Weekend
Tuesday: Hands on with the IOLITE GPS-enabled swim goggles
Thursday: How I evaluate Kickstarter and crowd-funded projects for rainbow-farting ponies

Last call: Deals on FR910XT, Edge 810, Suunto Ambit2 variants

Remember that the following deals expire at the end of today (Monday, May 26th):

– Garmin FR910XT down to $249
– Suunto Ambit2 down to as low as $180 (for the 2R, and a bit more for the 2S and 2)

Full details on the above items here in this post.

Finally, at the end of the week the Garmin Edge 810 $100 rebate closes.

Stuff that I found interesting around the interwebs:

Here’s a not-so-small smattering of all the random things that I stumbled on while doing my civic duty to find the end of the Internet:

1) Nike & Oiselle tango with USATF…and I think Oiselle is actually in the wrong here: I like Oiselle (and The Girl really likes them), and I think that a governing body (USATF) being sponsored by a corporation (Nike) is likely a bit awkward.  Further, I think that USATF has made other clear mistakes recently.  But none of that changes the fact that Oiselle photoshop replaced a logo on uniforms and misrepresented that to people in doctored photographs.  That’s simply wrong, no matter which side of other issues you may be on.  And remember, two wrongs don’t make a right.

2) A scientific look at the Vibram lawsuit outcome: For those of you that have followed along since the beginning of this lawsuit – a good perspective on things.

3) The datecenter deets behind Strava’s heatmap: I love geeky stuff, and the numbers and some of the architecture behind how Strava stores and visualizes some of it’s data is impressive.  Just a mere 220 Billion GPS points.  Yes, B, like ‘Boom-shakalaka’

4) Strava sells your data, doesn’t notify you, doesn’t allow opt-out: Now what’s interesting here is that I’m actually not opposed at all to the end-goal of what Strava is trying to do with communities and bike paths.  However, there’s a bunch of problems with how they went about it (just like last year).  First as far as I read their policy agreement, they violated it.  It’s very clear in their agreement that they won’t sell your information (which is what they’re doing).  Second, they didn’t communicate it, or anything about it on their own site (which they also said they’d do in their agreement).  Third, they’re using the bike path thing as a distraction for a single line in the article – which is really important – they’ll also sell to ‘companies’.   Fourth, they allow companies to buy a single user’s data (for 80 cents a month).  So while I’m all for them using my (paid-subscription) data if they ask me nicely (per their policy), I’d really like to control what type of organizations it goes to.

5) Crazy treadmill lets you walk in any direction you’d like: At this point the treadmill has to be controlled by another person, but it sounds like they’re relatively close to automatic wandering.  Definitely check out the video.

6) How ‘Through the Glass’ Backboard Cameras are Set Up at the NCAA Final Four: The perfect blend of sports and photography.

7) Glass Half Phil – Driving the Team Bus: This is funny, simple as that.

8) Wanna cover the Tour de France?  Well, here’s your opportunity.  Totally awesome stuff from the Cycling Tips folks.

9) DC police originally ticket cyclist…then decide perhaps not: Check out the video below of the driver going all crazy on the cyclist:

10) The Win Tunnel: To Beard or Not to Beard: I continue to enjoy the whole Win Tunnel series.  Fun (and informative) stuff.

Crowd Funded Projects of Athletic Note:

Most of this content used to be found within the main section, but I figured I’d just call it out up here and make it easy to find. I regularly sift through Kickstarter and Indiegogo (plus a few others on occasion) looking for sports projects.  If you’re unfamiliar with projects, read my post on how I decide which projects I personally back.  Note that as always with crowd funded projects, assume the project will be late and will under-deliver on features. Thus far, on the numerous products I’ve helped ‘fund’ (except a leather bike handle), that’s been the case.

CENTR: Interactive Panoramic Video in the Palm of Your Hand (via Dirk)

SkyLock: Bluetooth connected bike lock (via Randy Cantu)

Sports Technology Software/Firmware Updates This Week:

Each week I quickly highlight some of the new firmware, app, software and website service updates that I see go out. If you’re a sports technology company and release an update – shoot me a quick note (just one liners is perfect, or Tweet it at me is even better) and I’ll make mention of it here. If I don’t know about it, I won’t be able to post about it. Sound good?

Site/Firmware Updates:

Stages Power Meter firmware update: Bug fixes and calibration tweaks.

Garmin Fenix/D2/Tactix Firmware Update: This is a non-beta version of all of the beta features we’ve seen added over the past few months.

Garmin Fenix2 Firmware Update: Bug fixes/tweaks

Garmin FR220 Firmware update: Bug fixes/tweaks

Garmin FR620 Firmware update: Bug fixes/tweaks

ROTOR Power Meter Firmware Update: Bug fixes/tweaks, interestingly some based on specific pro team issues.

Training Peaks add data editing options: Useful if you’ve got a bad data point along the way to fix.

iPhone Updates:

IMG_7291 IMG_7258IMG_7259

iPad Updates:


Android Updates:

(Will be rolled into next week, having WiFi issues with my Android phone at hotel)

Windows Phone Updates:


Thanks all!


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  1. Hubert

    Ray, your site is highly addictive!
    I see myself coming back more than twice a day, hoping for new posts!
    Thanks for your work :)

    • Efraim Shaw

      Same here!!! :)

    • Judy

      I will be in Paris from 6/20-6/25/14–I’m training for a marathon so I need to keep running though we will be on vacation ( Florida USA)-can you please suggest a nice route or two that I can try while in the city? I probably wont get a long run in-toomany sights to see!- but hope to squeeze in a few 8-10 milers:-)

      Want to meet me LOL?!

      Thanks! Great website!!!

    • Ironically, those days I’ll be swapping places with you – heading to Tampa then.

      Nonetheless, here’s my favorite running grounds in Paris: link to dcrainmaker.com

  2. Remco Verdoold

    At #9 You can clearly see the bike sign on the ground just before the truck stops and he hits it with his bike. Cycling is actually quite annoying when busy, though I like it to much. And most people (pedestrians) really are deaf or do not listen to the bell. They really should make a decent cow-horn for on a bike (i know the flimsy plastic one, that one is rubbish). Here in Holland we have nice bike paths but still people cycle on the left or move from right to left like Brownian particles, and when you pass them at speed they are annoyed, well they should listen to the bell and skip those headphones in traffic!

  3. David Manley

    Just an observation – twice after loading this page after about 2 minutes some audio conversation starts but I can’t see anything playing? Certainly none of the videos are.

  4. scott buchanan

    @david Yes, got that here as well.

    • Hmm, very strange. I can’t reproduce it. In theory all ads are only served up by Google Adsense, and their policy is no auto-play of any audio (and I ban the vast majority of ad categories). I have seen in some cases if I’m coming from some less-well-served countries they’ll proxy to 3rd party ad networks which seem of lower quality. But I assume/think you’re in the UK/US, which usually has ‘good-quality’ ads :-/

  5. Jason

    I agree with Hubert . Your site,reviews, and general musings are my favorite destination. Here’s to you doing more. I know you can only review so much stuff.

  6. Mary Jo

    1. Bikes trucks each entitled to full lane. No sharing required.
    2. Truck passes bike. Bad truck.
    3. Truck now ahead of bike.
    4. Stop sign visible ahead. Stop, bike stop!
    5. Bike going to pass truck on inside (see #1)
    6. Truck move to right while stopping at sign (see #1, entitled to full lane).
    7. Bike hits truck squarely in the rear.
    8. Biker goes to emergency room “despite showing no sign of injury.”

  7. Viewers of this video should note that these cameras (GoPro & Garmin VIRB) use wide angle lenses and things are a lot closer than they appear. When the truck shifts right in the crosshatched markings on the road presumably to make a right turn at the stop sign, he essentially squeezed the cyclist into the parked cars. I know from reviewing video from my own camera this was a lot scarier for the cyclist than it appears on camera.

    When I took my own video from a similar incident to my local police, they literally said they can’t do anything until someone gets hurt or there is violence – crazy but true – even though traffic violations, the license plate, and driver’s face were visible (I use front and back GoPros). Since there is going to be a lot more of this video becoming available with the new Garmin VIRB and excellent bike mounts now available for GoPro, the cycling community needs to start developing awareness at local police and demanding a protocol for submission of video and response.

    Perhaps a good start would be for this blog to have a section where we can upload all our videos in one place (running on Vimeo or YouTube of course) as a common reference to be able to demonstrate to local police and local leaders how serious a problem this is becoming.

  8. Matt B

    Hi Ray – you mentioned last week in the comments section that you were expecting to hear from Garmin this week about the schedule for the long awaited 620 bike mode … have you heard anything yet? Thanks!

  9. BillM

    Vibram fivefingers. I’m 46, never ran until 2 years ago. Started in stiff motion control Asics due to my flat feet, loved the idea of getting back in touch with the primeval runner within my body/feet and ran for 18 months in Skechyers GoBionic Run -a flat zero drop cushioned shoe. This year started running in Fivefingers KSO and now run exclusively in them and now it feels weird when I try to run in anything with cushioning. All throughout its been a slow journey with each step involving stiff calves and tendons being tested like never before. I even adopted wearing minimalist footwear for work ( Vivobarefoot Ra) so that my feet werent having to adapt from traditional heeled during work hours to non heeled footwear for my runs)However I’m not training for anything so do my own schedule and take it as easy as my body tells me to and even then had a couple of minor sprains. I only ran 13K at most in the Skechers and hope to eventually get to half marathon in fivefingers at some unknown point of time in future, I’m up to about 8K at moment but running more frequently as less recovery time needed between runs- I guess if I was 20 years younger or a seasoned runner I’d adapt quicker. Like anything in life the user has to take some degree of responsibility.

  10. Kenni

    Hi Ray.
    Any news on the cycling update for the FR620?
    Perhaps garmin has put that project in the trash can.

  11. Mikey

    Come the cyclist was no saint here he was cussing and swearing as much as the driver.

  12. Mr Nofish

    Last time I was willing to cut Strava some slack but this matter really looks ugly, deserves a much stronger reaction than last year’s API changes.

    • Mark

      As long as the Strava Metro data is anonymized (which it apparently is), I think I can live with it – which is not to say that I like it a lot, just that I can live with it. As a matter of strict interpretation, Ray is probably correct that Strava is violating its own TOS with Metro, but the practical effect probably is that your and my privacy is still being protected. Ray also points out that Strava is allowing companies to buy a single user’s data for 80 cents a month, but I don’t think that this is actually the case. The $0.80/mo is really just the price per Strava user for a large dataset. If Strava really did try to sell just my individual data, even without my actual name on it, then that would be a real violation of user privacy in real contravention of the TOS, and it would be something to be upset about. But I think the likelihood of Strava wanting to sell just my data, or any other user’s individual data, is probably pretty remote.

    • Mr Nofish

      Basically the only way to anonymize this kind of data is by aggregating it (their FAQ confirms this is what they’re supposedly doing), but you have to trust them to do it properly – and are you going to trust a firm which is violating their own ToS, not asking and not warning the users beforehand, not offering a way out?

      Given the sensitivity of the topic and the way it’s been done, assuming that everything is “probably” alright would be disingenous.

      There were actual reasons behind the API changes, and I believe it was simply handled badly. But this is just them, lacking a sustainable business model, trying to monetize sensitive data.

      A lot of firms out there are getting away with raping the users’ privacy, with or without their consent, but that simply doesn’t make it right.

    • Mark

      Can’t say I disagree on principle with what Mr Nofish and Bruce (below) say. Guess we’ll just have to wait to see how things play out with Strava Metro to see if it actually becomes an issue.

    • Mr Nofish

      That sounds awfully like leaving your bike around unlocked to see if it gets stolen.

      Just as you can’t get your bike unstolen, you can’t get your privacy restored. You can buy a new bike, but you can’t buy new privacy.

  13. Bruce Burkhalter

    I’m a huge Strava fan but I do feel they dropped the ball on this, especially by not alerting their users about Metro. Given the overall climate of privacy issues and wanting to do right by your users, I’m surprised they didn’t explain Metro to their user base first. There is a FAQ for potential customers, but no FAQ for users to understand how their data may (or may not) be used.

    I’m really curious about the data being anonymous. While it might not have my name attached, can someone look to see where my rides start and stop? If so, they can probably see where I live and work and figure out who I am. Are privacy zones enforced? Do all rides have privacy zones applied to the start/end points? Are private rides exempt from Metro? Is it possible to opt out of Metro? Why don’t they believe Metro violates the TOS?

    These are the kinds of things Strava should be proactive about and not be dealing with as a reaction to users concerns about Metro.

    • Brian

      Great set of questions here are some responses:

      While it might not have my name attached, can someone look to see where my rides start and stop?
      No you cannot extract a view of a single ride for one person. The data is fully rolled up, anonymized and reported on the street level. It’s actually a rather cool process that allows us to report back user trends while protecting all users privacy. Think of it an many to one: many rides cross a street but if we can just report a number back for the street then you view the cycling activity on that street for any time frame. We are reporting what the cycling population is doing overall. Reselling the raw GPS tracks would be lame and boring.

      If so, they can probably see where I live and work and figure out who I am. Are privacy zones enforced?
      yes in fact we apply a privacy zone to every activity so as to create a buffer for all users.

      Do all rides have privacy zones applied to the start/end points?
      yes they do.

      Are private rides exempt from Metro?
      They are exempt.

      Is it possible to opt out of Metro?
      Right now there is not a global opt out. However this is a good idea and one that we are looking into.

    • Bruce Burkhalter

      Brian –

      Thanks for the responses. I saw you were taking questions on Twitter and was going to send these to you but thanks for answering here!

      Sounds like the data is sufficiently anonymous and protected (at least in my opinion). I appreciate that you guys put a decent amount of thought into this. I definitely think you should update the FAQ with this info. I’m not opposed to you using the data this way (even as a premium member). I want you guys to be successful so you can keep adding new features.

      Lastly, you did avoid the question about Metro and the Privacy Policy. “Strava does not share, rent or sell your information to another company in ways other than disclosed in this privacy statement.” You can play the, “I’m just an engineer” card. :)

      Best of luck and keep up the good work!

      P.S. Paul’s heatmap stuff is really cool but I’m really digging the flyby app.

    • Mr Nofish

      I’m really enjoying all this friendly bant about the privacy zone …not.

      You do realize that the PZ is just one of many settings, that a user must actively seek for, since it’s given no attention, neither when you first sign up to Strava, nor in any other occasion you are prompted to set it?

      That is my experience and judging from my Strava circle, it would appear things have not changed a bit.

      Not that enforcing changes anything about the issues raised wrt Strava’s course of action, it simply reads like a lalala I’m not listening.

    • David

      While I don’t personally have a problem with Strava selling my anonymized data. I thought the whole Netflix anonymized data for research sort of proved that you can’t truly anonymize data. There is always identifying data that will stand out. For instance, if you see regularly that 1 “road section” typically has an even number more transversals than its adjacent counterparts. You can assume that it is likely someone lives in that section (or their privacy zone ends there). If it is only a couple times that shows up, then maybe it is someone turning around. But if it is that way in every data “slice” you can probably even tell how often that person works out, or even if multiple people live on that street. Unless you published the anonymized data for someone/some group to analyze independently, I think there will always be some doubt.

      On a somewhat related note, I think privacy zones themselves give away plenty of information. Unless you always leave/enter your zone in the same spot, it is probably trivial to calculate where the center of your privacy zone is, since the size of the zone is constant (and probably default). This is one reason I did not center my zone on my house, but one near me.

    • Mr Nofish

      David, only noticed your comment now. In keeping with your side note and leaving the Metro thing aside for a moment:

      As far as I can tell the privacy zone is subject to a (slight?) randomization to prevent the simple geometrical approach you mention from being used. Honestly, I never checked how much randomness there is to it, or how effective it truly is against someone who’s determined enough, but I have noticed it myself.

      On the other hand, if you don’t live in a densely inhabitated area with plenty of different paths that can be taken inside the privacy zone, it’s still a weak-ish solution.

  14. Steve G

    Any news about the Shimano D-Fly being eventually compatible with Edge units 510 and 810 Ray?


  15. David

    Just stumbled across this:
    link to theconversation.com

    I didn’t think there was an optical sensor that had the capability to detect HRV. Or is this just smoke and mirrors?

    • I’m pretty certain that’s definitely smoke in mirrors in Samsung’s case. The reason is that those sensors are known as not being able to. I suspect they’re basically applying an estimation filter on top of it (sorta like other optical sensors do). Sometimes it works out, sometimes not so much.

  16. Brandon L.

    Anyone else notice that in USATF’s letter to Oiselle, they can’t seem decide if they are “USTAF” or “USATF”? And they want to be taken seriously?

  17. Ian G

    #4 There is now an update on the Strava Metro page linked above indicating Strava have done a u turn on and you can opt out by marking activities as private or by using privacy zones. Bowing to the bad PR (again)?

  18. Your site is sooo helpful. Your posts alone make me want to run a triathalon! Also, Skylock is SUCH a brilliant idea. My boyfriend lost his bike key while it was locked up in front of a very public place and he was too scared to cut it free and have the police think he was stealing it!