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5 Random Things I Did This Weekend

Here’s what I was up to this weekend.  Or rather, all of about 24 hours of it while at home. Had to squish things in a bit!

1) Flew home from NYC

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While it may seem as a bit of an easy one to put on this list, it sorta took up about 1/3rd of my usable weekend space.  Thus, it counts as far as I’m concerned.

For better or worse, the flight from NYC to Paris is super-short.  In this case at just about 6 hours in length.  Had it been to London it would have been even shorter, roughly on par time-wise with a typical winter flight from NYC to LA.  Always kinda funny to think of it that way.

My flight arrived in Paris a little bit before noon, given it was a late evening departure from New York.  That meant that basically half of my Saturday was already gone.

2) Some steak and a walk

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Back a few weeks ago some folks suggested that The Girl and I try out one of the more famous steak locations in Paris: Le Relais de l’Entrecôte.

The establishment (given its namesake) is known for its one and only dish: The Entrecote

There are no choices aside from what doneness you’d like your steak.  Salad comes out first, and then bottomless steak and frites.  Rather good bottomless steak and frites.

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Did I mention it was bottomless?

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We both agreed the frites were excellent, and the steak quite good considering for the total meal price (~25EUR).  But certainly not the best steak in Paris.  But still, a very good steak with very good frites for a very good price in this city.

From there we walked the mile or so back home.  It was a nice warm Saturday night, so we enjoyed the jaunt – even when it’s just passing famous buildings we pass back and forth in front of all day:

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Definitely looking forward to the weather continuing to warm up, and the daylight continuing to stretch.

3) Spectated the Paris Marathon

While I’ve run the Paris Marathon in the past, this year it was not on my to-do list.  Instead, I’d walk across the island and watch it pass by.  Seemed much simpler and less painful that way.

I first went out to go see the pros flying by.  Or at least the male pros.  While it’s always astounding how fast they run, I don’t think even standing there does it justice.  I think you have to run that pace to realize just how fast that is for as long as it is.  Mind-boggling.

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Then I headed back to the home and office to take care of a few things before returning to watch the masses running on by:

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Congrats to all those who ran yesterday!  No doubt the fairly warm and sunny weather made it a much more difficult day out there, as there’s not a ton of shade on the route given the sun position and the river.  Well done!

4) Unboxing the Rideye, and a short bike ride

Upon departing NYC on Friday, I had one additional box with me: A Rideye camera to test out.  The company shot me over the unit to my hotel room, which was cheaper/easier than sending it to France.  Upon getting back this weekend I got it all unboxed:

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Here’s the video I shot of the unboxing:

The Rideye is designed to be a black box camera for your bike.  There’s really only one button/function, which is turning it on.  It then records the footage within its very-crash-resistant shell.  Seriously, it’s built like a tank.  And weighs like one too.  It’s not so much designed to replace a GoPro as it is designed to assist you in the event of a car/bike tango.

Following the unboxing, I took it out for its maiden voyage on a short 30-minute bike ride loop to the Eiffel tower and back.  I didn’t have much time for a longer ride given the weekend and everything else going on – but the weather was so nice I couldn’t resist at least a short ride.

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For fun, here’s a short little clip of the action from the camera as I rode on the closed road that was adjacent to the marathon still going on.  Towards the end of the clip, I then depart that road and head onto a stretch of cobbles.

(Yes, I realized I forgot to update the timestamp before heading out.)

First impressions are that the unit is built physically quite well.  Though, perhaps overly so.  Also, I’m a bit surprised with the wobble you see in the video.  These are some of the smoothest roads around, and it was a bit wonky.  The wobble of course won’t matter in the case of an accident, but it does minimize the ability to use the camera for other purposes.

Still, I do like the one-button approach.  And, I’ve yet to test (or at least simulate) the crash functionality in terms of being able to write-protect data.  So certainly much more testing in store.

5) Flew to Qatar

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Last up…just a bit over 24 hours after I arrived home, I was already leaving home.  This time I’ve got a relatively quick 2-3 day trip down to Doha, Qatar for work.  I selected the late afternoon flight over the redeye option, as the flight to Qatar is only about 6 hours.  Thus for a redeye to start off the week that’s going to be busy, I wanted to save my sleeping for actual legit sleep in a real bed.

I’d land around 11:30PM or so, and then it was off to the hotel.  Simple and straight forward.

Thanks for reading, and stay tuned for the week ahead!  I might just break a non-CES week posting record here.  Tons of stuff going on…

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19 Comments

  1. Fred2

    Whoa, an Airbus A380! I didn’t realize there would be that many people flying to Qatar. Hope you get to enjoy some good weather.

    • Yeah, there are three major Middle Eastern carriers: Ethiad, Emirates, Qatar Arways. All three of them are massive (Emirates the largest). While there is considerable traffic to the hubs of all three, their mainstay is actually onwards/connecting traffic.

      They position themselves as the ideal way to transit from Europe to Asia/Africa. And even in other regions, like Australia, they’re doing connecting traffic from Australia to NZ.

      To put it into perspective, Emirates has the largest number of A380’s with 59 delivered and another 81 on order. Qatar has 4 delivered, and orders/options for another 9. Etiad the same at orders/options for 15. The only carrier with more A380’s is Singapore Airlines. Qantas has orders/options for 24, but there’s considerable talk of them not taking them.

      Of course, their impact isn’t just on traditional European & Asian carriers, but more and more on legacy US carriers too.

    • Ha with that explanation you could very well be doing my job! I’m impressed! Most informed non-airline explanation from someone I’ve ever read.

      Jonathon

    • I follow the airline industry pretty closely. 😉

      (And decided to skip all the US vs 3ME type stuff in my explanation)

    • falconeye

      I really like the A380. I have been flying from Munich to Salzburg and back and a little bit over the alps with the second delivered A380 for Lufthansa. Very quiet and stable flying. But I think nowadays more and more companies prefer to buy two 777 over one A380. More flexible and two engines need always less kerosine then four. So I fear the area of four engine airplanes will slowly end if we like it or not 🙁

  2. Neil

    I think the ripply video is due to low frame rates. Sadly, all my cameras do that when bike mounted. If it has 100Hz frame rate or greater, the ripple should be greatly reduced.

  3. Blair

    ran yesterday – made a bit of a mess of it ( injury reduced me to walking) but enjoyed the experience nonetheless!
    Popped in to sample one of Bobbies cupcakes today which was amazing – so pass on my compliments!

  4. Reg

    You get up to more in a weekend than me and my fiancee do in a couple of months!

  5. It’s all very good, but there is a distinct lack of Lucy!

  6. Tom

    I was surprised at the pack of Powerade (or similar) at the marathon this year. Is this part of a trend, or maybe something to do with the number of competitors they had this year?

  7. SteveT

    Ray,

    If you have a 1/2 day take the GoPro and new VIRB and find a Desert Drive on the Doha sand dunes. It’s a wild ride (like zip lining thru the Alps) and would make a great side by side comparison.

    ST

  8. a

    no paris-roubaix???

    • Unfortunately only so many hours in the day. With Paris-Roubaix actually starting some 75km away from Paris, it made it impossible to be in both places at once (roughly same time as Paris Marathon). Combined with the mid-afternoon flight, just would have been too tricky.

  9. I did wonder if you might be out along the marathon route somewhere! Great to see some shots from the elite race as that’s what you miss in the masses. It was a hot hot day but the thought of my post-race cupcakes got me through (I made my husband take a special trip across the city the day before so I could finally get some. Delicious and can’t wait until I’m in Paris again to get more!)

  10. C J

    Anymore feedback regarding the Rideye? Seems to be a mixed bag of reviews but it may be because some think it’s supposed to replace a gopro/virb which I don’t think is the goal. What are your thoughts?

  11. Aaron Keating

    I purchased two Rideye cameras just about one year ago. The video quality is good, sound quality is fair-to-poor, and the units are easy to operate.

    However, this is overshadowed by a number of problems. At this point, the battery now last a few hours at most (not 10 hours, as Rideye’s marketing claims). Both the original and replacement “band and clip” bar/seatpost mounts that shipped with the units have stretched and broken — see this example from Rideye Facebook page:
    link to drive.google.com

    There’s a distinct lack of customer support/service when attempting to rectify these problems. When I sent my camera in for repair (with USPS tracking), I was told one week later (via email) by the company founder, Cedric Bosch, that it would be shipped back; however, I never received it, and repeated requests for information (via email and Facebook) have gone unanswered. I am apparently not the only person who’s had this problem, as these visitor postings to Rideye’s Facebook page show:
    Example 1: link to drive.google.com
    Example 2: link to drive.google.com
    Example 3: link to drive.google.com
    Example 4: link to drive.google.com
    Example 5: link to drive.google.com

    The Rideye camera was originally a Kickstarter project, and it seems many of the project’s backers have had similar problems getting timely/good customer service: link to kickstarter.com

    At this point I’m not sure the company is even still in business. I was told to ship my camera for warranty repair to an address in Campbell, CA — but neither “Rideye” nor “Rideye LLC” can be found as registered business entities with either the California Secretary of State (link to kepler.sos.ca.gov) or the Santa Clara County Clerk’s Office (link to sccgov.org).

  12. Simon

    I got a Rideye, got two rides out of it before it stopped turning on. Tried contacting support multiple times, via Twitter, and tracked down a phone number on their WHOIS page that goes nowhere, nobody ever responded.

    Finally gave up and opened a dispute with AMEX to get my money back.

    Too bad, it took nice video and is exactly what I wanted in a camera.