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5 Random Things I Did This Weekend

This was officially the weekend that never seemed to end, nor one where I stayed in any one place very long.  Here’s the run-down.

1) Flew to Mallorca to test out PowerTap P1 & C1 power meters

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With Friday being a holiday in France (along with some other countries), I flew down to Mallorca Thursday night to meet up with the PowerTap folks.  They’d been down there for the previous week as various media outlets from Europe dropped in to test out the new PowerTap P1 & PowerTap C1 power meters.

You’ll remember from my announcement post that the PowerTap P1 is the $1,199 pedal-based power meter, while the PowerTap C1 is the $699 chainring based power meter.  This was really the first time folks outside of PowerTap people have been able to ride units.

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As is always the case, I paid my own travel expenses – and tomorrow you’ll see some first impressions of those not-quite-final units (the pedals are closer to finished though).  I’ve got a few videos lined up and already waiting on YouTube for your love, plus data of course.  Because everyone loves themselves some data. Stay tuned!

2) I did a lot of cycling

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Of course, any time you’re at such an event you’re going to do cycling.  The amount and intensity of the cycling depends rather heavily on who’s in the group.  Most often though, cycling journalists are usually some variant of ex-pro cyclists.  Or at the very least, really damn fast cyclists.  There are some exceptions, mostly if you get someone that’s fallen off the cycling rocker a bit – but that’s rather rare.

For the two days I was there, there was a group of Spanish journalists, along with one Italian and another from Paris.  Within the group, the Parisian has a profile pic with his UCI Masters World Championship medal/jersey, and the Spanish armada seemed to have equally as impressive legs.

As a result, I basically died.  On the bright side, I managed to not sunburn myself in the sizzling heat.  Nor was I last.

Below is a small gallery of photos from riding around the island for two days.  The gas station was at the top of one of the major climbs, note the incredible number of cyclists there.  The stat I heard was that 8,000 cyclists per week come to Mallorca to ride.  I don’t doubt it.  I’ve never seen so many cyclists riding before while not in a race.

And for those curious, here are two of my Strava ride files.  The first day we rode a variant on the Ironman 70.3 Mallorca course (the event is next weekend).  It was almost the exact course, with a small diversion onto some smaller farm roads for the fun of it.

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And then the second day was a rolling loop of sorts through vineyards.  Quite a nice route.

3) Flew back home to Paris

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Mid-afternoon on Saturday I headed back to the impressively large airport in Palma (for a small island) for the 90 minute flight back to Paris.  It really is mind-boggling how big this airport is with respect to number of flights per day, given the size of the island.  Virtually all of the flights being low-cost carrier traffic from Europe with beach goers.

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When I landed back in Paris, it was raining, cold, and pretty much miserable.  Somehow my shorts, t-shirt and flip-flops were no longer appropriate (actually, per Parisian dress code flip-flops are never really appropriate for guys).  Still, definitely glad to be home!

4) Went to a Star Wars themed creperie in Paris

For whatever reason on Sunday I was feeling pretty lazy.  Perhaps because it was raining like an elephant peeing outside.  Desolate:

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But, by time The Girl wrapped up baking in the morning it was time to head off to lunch.  For that we hit up a semi-new creperie about 2-3 blocks away. We had seen it open some time back, but despite being so close, it was on a street that we didn’t traverse much so we always forgot about it.

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Now, the kicker is this place is themed Star Wars style. Seriously, check it out (above and below):

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It’s always been reasonably packed when we’ve gone by, despite what my photo above shows.  And by time we left it had gotten a fair bit busier.

Likely, because the crepes were quite good!  My savory crepe below had bacon, chevre, emmental and honey:

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Oh, and there’s dessert crepes of course:

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Definitely a solid contender that we’d go back to – with or without the Star Wars movies playing on the big screen behind us.

5) Flew down to Istanbul

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Last but not least, I flew down to Istanbul where I’ll spend the week for work stuffs.  My flight was originally at 6:15PM, though just before I headed to the airport it got delayed till 7:10PM.  Kinda sucky, but not the end of the world.  Then, while I was sitting in the lounge waiting for the flight to start boarding it showed a move to 8PM.

So, I kept working away.  The folks in the lounge had said they would announce the flight once it started boarding.  It’s worthwhile pointing out at that Charles de Gaulle’s Terminal 1 (in Paris), the Star Alliance lounge is pre-security, and, about a 200-300m dash away including a few turns and a tunnel.

Around 7:03PM I figured I’d ask the lounge folks why the Istanbul flight was delayed since the incoming plane came in on time.  As I did that, she asked which flight I was on, to which I noted ‘the delayed one’.  She responded: ‘Both are delayed’.  A minor moment of ‘Oh crap’ struck.  Turns out the second flight (the one I’m not on) was delayed till 8PM, not my flight (which was still at 7:10PM).  While monitoring the status boards, from half-way across the room I just saw Istanbul.  And apparently said room was in the ‘quiet’ section of the lounge that doesn’t have announcements. Noted.

No worries, she called the gate and I made the dash in near-record time.  I take no responsibility for the girl on the moving carpet on her phone with her luggage blocking the other half of the lane.  And I wasn’t officially the last person to board the 337 seat 777-300ER.  That honor goes to the family with three children in strollers that I passed on the jet bridge itself (like passing someone in the finishing chute).

Anyway, my excitement for the day.

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48 Comments

  1. Adam Z

    Ray,
    appreciate the great posts. When you first mentioned the P1 pedals you said price ~1200 USD. This post mentions price of 1,999 USD. Did the price go up? Was looking forward to them, but this might take them off the table for me.
    Keep up the great work!!

  2. Did you log that run as training?

  3. Greg

    Not necessarily related to the post, but I’ve been wanting to ask…any thoughts of making an app for mobile devices? It’d let us know when you’ve created a new blog, gear comparison list, etc… Anyway, not sure how practical it is 🙂

    Thanks for all you do!

    • Dave Lusty

      There already is an app, it’s called Twitter, RSS, Facebook and others. Links are on the right at the top of every page so you can subscribe to the feeds. Most blogs and news sites have these in case you were wondering why nobody else has their own app either 🙂

    • Indeed. I’ve thought of an app – but haven’t really seen anything that would be truly unique or offer anything more than the mobile site does already.

  4. Joan Alcover

    Great to see you liked the place where I do most of my riding in the summer. Sa Femenia and Sa Batalla are great and it would have been nice if you had had time to go to the Formentor lighthouse, too.

    FYI, the Palma airport handles over 100,000 passengers (over 630 flights) per day in the summer, making it the busiest Spanish airport at that period of the year.

    I ordered my PowerTap pedals some time ago; cannot wait to read your review!

  5. Paul Frost

    You must have visited the gas station at a quiet time, that only looks about third full by the standards I’ve seen over 3 years of visits during late April.
    North Mallorca in spring is just perfect for triathletes, we just had 2 weeks of dry & mostly sunny weather about 20 degrees every day and not too much wind. The sea is just about the right temp, being cool enough for a wetsuit but not cold.

  6. Matthew C

    I love the first sweet crepe listed, “Melmac” – which is a nice reference to ALF’s home planet….

  7. Mike 9

    Wow, your bike is loaded down with technology…just wondering, have you ever knocked one of your computers off of your top tube with your knee while climbing? As always, love reading your weekend reports.

  8. Tobywankenobe

    Is that an iWatch I see? Oh wait, Apple Watch. I can’t keep that straight. Anyhoo, I can’t wait to see what you have to say about it, but I’m not likely to give up my Garmin 305.

  9. Jason

    Was the other Paris rider named Guillaume ? I have gone out on a lot of group rides where we he has taken the lead… Never a very enjoyable experience.

  10. How is traveling with your bike? I’ve never flown with mine before and I’m wondering how much of a hassle it is. Thanks for sharing, I really enjoy your posts.

  11. Tommy

    On a bit of a tangent note, how many passports do you go through a year? With around a dozen pages and only two visa stamps per page (in and out) you must fill up quickly. Do they staple in extra pages or do you need to get a new one every time it fills?

    • I have two sets of extra pages in mine, so I think that’s 48 pages total. Each page officially holds 4 stamps, but realistically most places (especially CDG) just stamp the crap out of the pages (which I love). And then I’ve got two concurrent passports.

      Finally, many times if I’m within the EU stamps aren’t given. So if I go from Paris to Barcelona, or Palma or wherever else…no stamps.

      So it’s actually been a few years. Of course, if customs officers limited stampable space to the official rules, then I’d go through them pretty quickly.

  12. fanis konst

    Why 4 head units? I can only see 2-3 powermeters. Is there a fourth somewhere else…?

    • Actually 5 head units. 😉

      2x Joule GPS: One paired to the pedals and another the chainring. I wanted to test some stuff there.
      3x Edge units: One each paired to Pedals, Chainring, and Hub.

      My workflow is mostly based around the Garmin Edge units, hence having them. I pretty much show up prepared to collect all my own data and don’t want to rely upon other devices (though happy to use them as a backup).

    • Just wondering… do these multiple devices drain the energy from small batteries in the sensors faster in comparison to only one device per sensor? Or is it a non-issue?

    • No additional drainage issues. It’s basically sending out a stream and any devices can pick it up, sorta like listening to a radio station.

  13. Hey Ray!

    What kinda usb adapter you’re using there for all the units?

    cheers Chris

  14. Bruce Burkhalter

    When you are taking photos on the bike with the point and shoot, do you keep it on your wrist at all times? Or do you keep it in your jersey and take it out when you want to shoot? Do you drop it at all?

    I tried using mine on a ride yesterday. If I kept it on my wrist, it bugged me because it was swinging around. If I left it in my jersey, I was afraid of dropping it when trying to pull it out.

    Thanks!
    Bruce

    • No, I toss it in my back jersey pocket. Generally speaking if I’m just out for a ride (with no intent to shoot product photos), I use my little red point and shoot.

      If I’m shooting products as part of a ride, I mostly use the GoPro Hero4 Silver with the 3-way pole. All of the shots on this journey were shot with that (save for ones standing still at the gas station on my phone).

      With the pole, I set it on photo-timelapse mode for .5s. Then I just stick it out there and slowly get a bunch of different angles, basically at 2-photos per second. The nice part is the GoPro screen allows me to just super-quick check them after the fact just to ensure I didn’t totally miss the shot.

      Thus far I’ve never dropped a camera (or really anything to my memory)!

  15. Lee Sutton

    How was the climb on the 70.3 route? I’m doing the bike leg as part of a relay team. I’ve done steeper but never something that long!

    • It was reasonably painful. Not horrible by itself, but would have delivered a solid ladle of suck had I also swam a mile and then had to run a half-marathon. 🙂

  16. Anonymous Coward

    It’s amazing that in 2015 there still isn’t a single universal app that pings you on flight info board changes for a given flight. Most carrier apps seem only to concern themselves with actual schedule changes (“Flight ZZ999 delayed to 03:45”), but don’t update you on boarding status (“ZZ999 gate change to F88”; “pre-boarding”; “boarding”; “final call.”)

  17. Marty

    Are you wearing an optical HRM in the photos? I’m looking to buy one and would like to know what you are using and if you recommend it. Thanks.

  18. Craig

    Max cadence of 254?!?!

  19. Chmouel

    nice beard ray!

  20. Artur

    The water level in Seine seems to be pretty high.

  21. Steven Van Wagner

    Good timing on the flight, I’ve never understood the desire people have to board a plane first. Do you have a seat preference, window or aisle?

    • Definitely window.

      The only advantage to boarding first is where you have luggage and there isn’t much luggage space. Also, sometimes if I have work to do that I’m trying to squeeze out before the flight takes off I’ll get on quickly so I can get back to work (with WiFi via portable hotspot), versus burning time stuck on a jetway waiting for people to board.

    • Allyn Crowe

      I do window on the larger planes (that you usually are on), but for the small local stuff (RJ’s, etc) I go Aisle because the window seats lose space the the bulkhead curve 😉

  22. fritz

    DC I love Mallorca….did my first ride there last year and it’s great….enjoy your posts and refer to your website when I look for new tech…great work buddy…

  23. Reg

    You must be reaching the point where the GPS and camera equipment weighs as much as the bike 🙂

  24. Jenn

    Mallorca is my happy place. Your routes brought back great memories…thanks!