5 Random Things I Did This Weekend

Here’s the rundown of what’s been going on in my little world the last few days.

1) Friday afternoon happy hour of sorts

Back perhaps a month ago we began a bit of a tradition of Friday afternoon happy hour at the DCR Cave/Studio.  It’s really only just a couple of us.  Basically The Girl, myself, and one of our employees that’s often there in the afternoon.  But sometimes we have visitors, such as The Girl’s Dad, who is in town this past week.  For a cake shop, Friday afternoons are some of the busiest as you’re working to prepare what are often a slew of Saturday morning pickups for custom cakes (weddings/birthdays/events/etc…).

Normally for our happy hour it’s just wine and warm chocolate bread (plus cake/frosting scraps), but this time we expanded it by going to get some cheese, as well as some fresh olives from the market.


And then it commenced:


This was actually after The Girl had given presentations to two different classes that came in from her alma mater (Coastal Carolina University).  The second class below (much smaller than the first class).



They got cupcakes, not chocolate bread.  Can’t be giving out wine, cheese, and chocolate bread to just any folks that walk in off the street.

2) A Meandering Run

I headed out Saturday around lunch time for a 12ish mile run.  It was nothing fancy, just a 10-mile run then followed by a 10-minute slightly faster section which was in turn followed by some short sprints.

As with most bikes/runs lately, I was using the Apple Watch alongside the Fenix3.  In this case, I was going sans-phone with the Apple Watch, to see how it faired accuracy-wise on the pace/distance front.


I also did some bumbling through the trails a bit as well in an area of the park/forest I hadn’t previously been to.  I’ve been trying to scout out good places to get more complex trail runs in that are close to/in Paris, to assist in GPS testing.  These ones were OK, but still a bit tame by mountain standards.


After the trails I hit up a few ponds before working my way back.


Overall, nothing too special about the run – which, I suppose is like many training runs.

3) Lots and lots of food

With The Girl’s Dad in town, we’ve hit up a variety of Parisian eating establishments.  For example, one of the many pop-up restaurants for the summer along the Seine.  These are constructed around April, and stay till early Fall.  This year they’re up a bit earlier than in past years.



Then there’s our favorite grilled cheese place, with myself going for the pastrami grilled cheese.  Or chèvre in the case of The Girl, with her Dad going for the salmon option.




Then there’s the nut man at the massive Bastille Antique market that was up the past 10 days:


Speaking of the market, I give you two options for sitting.  The first:


And the second:


Then for anyone staying with us – they generally get pulled into doing our weekly Metro runs to the restaurant supply store. It’s in one of 3-4 cheese aisles that things get distracting:



There was also the wine aisle. How can you resist picking up a case of wine when each bottle is only €2.54…and actually quite drinkable?  Oh that’s right, we can’t.  Plus, we had to refill another case that we get for happy hour (at a rather pricey €6 a bottle).

Though, we try and maintain order and keep the train moving through the store.


Still, by the end of it we had considerably more cheese (and wine) than would be required for operation of any household for weeks.  No worries, you only live once, right?

4) A flat-tire ride

Before I headed out on my ride on Sunday, I had a semi-long list of things to prep on the bike.  Various cameras, power meters, head units, etc…  Often times I’ll do this the night before, since I find it usually takes longer than I anticipated.  And that was certainly true of this morning as well.

It’s always little things. Like re-adding a mount for a particular head unit to a specific bike, or getting the cameras in the right spot on the bike.  And sometimes bigger things, like the head unit that you thought you had charged…is now completely dead with 0% battery.

With everything settled I started riding and headed west out of town. I didn’t have a particular plan of attack, but knew I was roughly looking at a 2-2.5hr ride with a 25min run following it.  Simple enough.

I decided to head towards Versailles, since the weather was nice and the traffic minimal on this route. Here’s one of the climbs:


From there I snuck through the woods. There’s a small few hundred meter non-paved section – but nothing too worrisome for a road bike.


Roughly 20 minutes later, I arrived at Versailles.  As the tourist season picks up, it was swarming with both tourists and various street hawkers as well.  You’ll see the massive key ring of Eiffel Towers on a few people closer to me in the photo, as well as postcards, etc…


After turning around I started working my way back.  About 5 minutes later though, just as I was about to pass out of the Versailles city limits, I flatted my rear tire.

Normally, that’d be no big deal.  But unfortunately in this morning’s prep I had swapped out the spare kit that was on one of the water bottle holders for an actual water bottle.  And then forgot to grab the smaller kit for my back jersey pocket.  Which, left me with nuttin’.  I didn’t have an under the seat one as I usually have the camera there – but the camera mount was accidentally left back  at the house (as opposed to the DCR Cave), so I skipped that.  As you see…lots of fail.

The tube wasn’t just low on air, but simply completely dead.  So my only choice was basically taking the train back.  Thankfully where I was is pretty near a train station – so perhaps only another mile or so to get to the RER-C, which goes directly back to the house.


Still, bummed, it was a really nice day out and was enjoying riding around.

5) Some late night photo shoots

Finally, I wrapped up the weekend just around midnight getting a few photos taken care of for a post later this week.


It’s funny, the vast majority of the time my concern is not having enough daylight.  So it’s rare that I’ve got the opposite problem – not having enough darkness.  With the day getting longer and longer here, it wasn’t really ‘dark-dark’ until around  10-10:15PM or so, as the light seemed to last well after sunset (officially at about 9:29PM now).  I did some shots at sunset, and then another round at midnight.

Still, I got the shots I wanted.  But the audio on the video…not so much.  So will have to re-do those tonight.  Not that I don’t mind an excuse to head back out riding around the city at night.

With that – thanks for reading, and have a great week ahead!


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  1. Jackson

    Hi Ray – Your wrote “There was also the wine aisle. How can you resist pickup up a case of wine when each bottle is only €2.54…and actually quite drinkable? Oh that’s right, we can’t.”

    Why is that? Do you need a license?

  2. In a pinch you can always try knotting the tube to isolate the puncture. Although if you also didn’t bring CO2 or a pump then that won’t help much either.

  3. Mike 9

    You’ve got to hate a flat on the bike when you’ve got no fix for it, especially on a nice day. Good thing you’ve got public transportation though…love your weekend reports, always entertaining.

  4. Reg

    Great update, riding to Versailles on your weekend is a very cool concept!

    Also those ham and cheese sandwiches look incredible…

    How was the accuracy without your iphone on your run? Not tried mine yet, tempted to along with some bluetooth headphones.

  5. Glenn

    Ray – your meaning was completely clear – “There was also the wine aisle. How can you resist pickup up a case of wine when each bottle is only €2.54…and actually quite drinkable? Oh that’s right, we can’t.” – Looking forward to the rest of your test being released for the Apple watch. How badly did it fare sans phone?

    • I see variance sans-phone (with phone, no real issues there). In some cases it’ll be short, and in others long. Usually about the same amount (+ 5-8% distance).

  6. Antoine

    Readig your article I was saying that I recognized the meudon forest and my favorite trails. Then I see a picture of my train station!
    Next time you want to go running or biking around Viroflay keep me posted!


  7. Daniele

    How was the Fenix3 accuracy through the trails with the trees and all ? I am facing some strange behavior here.

    • Petteri

      Ray, would be nice to get your view on Fenix 3 and accuracy on trails. Mine tend to be short compared to other Garmin devices, and have to admit that it is very annoying (especially if doing races on trails). no problems on normal roads though.

    • There’s currently an issue that Garmin has acknowledged for trails/trees and shortening it. See the ‘Bugs’ section of my review for further (albeit minimal) details.

      In my case on my run, I didn’t have another GPS unit (just the Apple Watch in non-GPS mode), otherwise I would have done some digging. And since it’s all tree cover, there’s no way to tell where the trails are on the satellite map unfortunately.

  8. CMV

    Hi Ray, one possibility for trail running is the Parc de Saint Cloud, from which you can easily go into la Foret de Fausses Reposes (by going through the town of Marnes la Coquette)
    By public transport you can reach it either by Tram (T2 – get off at “Musée de Sèvres”) or by train (Garches station, from Saint Lazare or La Défense).
    An example of a 25k run in those parks, starting from the Garches train station, here.

    • Awesome route. I got lost in the woods there one day on a long run last year sometime. But having the exact tram stop is definitely very useful. Appreciate it!

  9. GregTR

    Great to see you scouting trails for GPS testing. You never seize to amaze with your dedication, all in the name of covering all scenarios! Keep it up, Ray! Oh, and bummer about the flat.

  10. I discovered your blog recently… someone at the Paris marathon expo told me about it. I am American, live in Paris too and run in the bois de Vincennes…. too funny, I know where your pictures were taken because I too ran by that lake this weekend.
    Kind of like déjà vu !

  11. Sandy Milton

    Hi Ray. I really enjoy the insights you give to the Parisian lifestyle. Just returned from a weekend there – didn’t manage to fit in a single run, cycle or swim, but did make it to the Cupcakery. My compliments to The Girl (& the staff).

  12. Digi

    Ray – huge thanks for all the effort on this site. Some of the combined info/research here cannot be found anywhere else. Now I’m hungry after looking at those photos – yum!

  13. Melanie Ware

    Ever hopeful for more Lucy updates. Did she get to spend quality time with her Grandpa? Has her opinion of the treadmill changed, or does it still mirror mine (as mentioned on last week’s podcast)?

    • I think she might make the cut for next weekend. :)

      But she’s quite enjoying spending time with him, they’re BFF’s now.

      As for the treadmill, we haven’t quite approached that again…

  14. Mike Hensen

    Was that a pic of the vibrator, note I mean the cobbled climb, don’t need more confusion.
    This is my favorite blog and podcast, hopefully soon looking at a new powertap either pedals or crank.

  15. Bill Y

    Wife and I passing through Paris for a couple nights on the way to cycling in Provence. Any awesome hotel recommendations off the top of your head? Comfortable, mid-range, San Germain area? Ray or anyone? Thanks!

  16. Your life is SO cool! Love reading these recaps!

  17. Fab

    The Opinel Knife. hadn’t seen one in ages.

    (ehrrm, the “fromages italiens” corner in the cheese aisle does not look so italian, must say. Going on like this I shall plan a travel to Paris and bring you some serious stuff :))

  18. Thomaek

    Hi Ray, I was wondering whether you have an opinion or are planning to test Zoi. It’s a product supposed to help you improve your running technique (primarily), due to be released Q3 2015. Looks quite interesting

    link to runteq.com

    Hope it’s okay to ask this question here, didn’t know where else to submit this.

  19. The REAL Tim

    Is that child riding a pony in the park? Growing up in California was great, but we didn’t get to ride ponies through a park :(

  20. Adam

    I’m eagerly waiting for your review of the AppleWatch to see if it is indeed accurate enough sans iPhone to warrant a purchase instead of my ForeRunner.

    • Reg S

      If you’re anything like me you know that it won’t do the job as well as a forerunner, but it does do the job and you just need someone to excuse your purchase.

      I am here to do that for you, get the apple watch you won’t regret it! :-)

  21. stylePolice

    You really need to slam that stem, Ray..

  22. AndiT

    Any idea when you will publish your piece on UA? I’m quite curious about their plans with Endomondo.

  23. Patty Remoy

    Wait, the girl is a Coastal Carolina graduate? I grew up in Georgetown, south of Coastal Carolina and visited your shop while in Paris for the marathon. Yummy!!

  24. Ken press

    I’ve been riding tubeless road (and mtn) for over 5 years. Zero flats, plus a more comfortable ride at 80-85 psi. It can be A bit of a challenge initially to mount the tires, but you’re a pretty capable guy. Highly recommended.

    Stan’s notube solvent is the magic sauce.

  25. Cathy parker

    Small world. I have enjoyed your website the last few years. Fun to see “the girl” attended Coastal Carolina. My youngest daughter graduated from Coastal in Marine Biology and then went to Michigan State for graduate school. Talk about climate change! Her attendance @ Coastal started our annual family vacation at Pawleys Island. #12 coming up. As the family has grown and the budget allowed we have gone from Creekside to mid-island to ocean view to Oceanside over the years. Go Chanticleers!

  26. AndreLondon

    Hey Ray, love reading your adventures. What is the name of the grilled cheese stall/where is it?
    It looks really good