5 Random Things I Did This Weekend

We’re back home in Paris! Our floors are all finished and first thing up was unboxing and installing some new gadgets that have just started shipping.  Let’s dive right into it!

1) Got WatTeam PowerBeat all installed


The first order of business (that actually started Wednesday night) was getting the WatTeam PowerBeat production unit all installed on the bike.  This power meter retails for $499, including both left and right pods (dual measurement).


The installation process takes 24 hours for the glue to settle, so by time that occurred it was late Thursday night.  I outlined much of that process in my post from this past summer.


I did a brief test on the trainer at that point to validate things were in the right ballpark, and then set out in earnest on Friday for my first ride with it around the park a bit.

2016-03-11 17.48.56

I’d ride again twice more on Saturday doing errands before a longer ride on Sunday (well, it was supposed to be longer anyway).

So far so good.  Installation was straightforward for the most part, and the components all seem pretty good quality (minus the two tiny stickers, but an extra dot of glue solved that).  More on the units over the coming weeks.  Looking to wrap up a review by end of the month, since I don’t have too much in the way between now and then.  So lots of riding it is!

(That’s also the timeframe for the SRAM RED eTAP In-Depth Review you see on the bike as well)

2) Went out for a sunny run

Saturday mid-day I headed out for about a 10-mile run.  The weather app on my phone shows sun for the next 10 days, and this weekend certainly didn’t disappoint.  While some might find it a bit chilly for t-shirt and shorts, it was perfectly fine for me.


My route was just along the river, out and back, with nothing too complicated.  It’s still early enough that navigating around tourists isn’t too bad.  And honestly, the tourist volume is still (unfortunately) very low here since the attacks.

The city keeps and occasionally releases stats on how bad tourism has been down since then, but my more simplified tracking system is actually just the line in front of Notre Dame.  Many days recently there simply is no line.  No matter what time of year it is, there’s virtually always a line during regular daylight hours.  Obviously, summer is always busier than winter – but we’ve been here four winters now, so I know the patterns well.

I actually ended the run passing Notre Dame, which on Saturday was a bit busier due to locals being out and about.


Overall, a nice cruiser of a Z2 long run.  Or, as long as I felt like running anyway.

3) Rode my bike and got screwed

I headed out Sunday for what should have been a beautiful ride out into the countryside for a few hours.  And, it was.  I made my way out of the city and passed by Versailles.  All happily in the sun.



And then as I was cycling past the u-pick farms that The Girl and I often visit, something bad happened.  A mere 30-40 seconds after this photo:


I got screwed.  Quite literally.  While I didn’t realize it at the time, a screw got lodged right into my rear wheel, giving me an insta-flat.  Regrettably, I forgot to swap my spare kit to this bike before heading out, so I had to ride another 2ish miles past some farmlands to get to the nearest train station.

It was there that I took a look at my bike I realized it wasn’t just a usual flat tire:

2016-03-13 15.02.06

No, it was far worse.  Once home, I actually pulled out a Philips head screw driver to unscrew the over 2cm long screw from the carbon wheels:


Lovely little thing:



The wheel itself has a nice puncture wound in it, as one would expect.  Will have to ring up PowerTap in the morning to figure that out.  The wheel itself is made by Enve, but was purchased from PowerTap with the PT hub in it.  So will sift through whatever their repair policies are.


Ironically, I bought two new tires on Saturday afternoon during a trip to a bike shop.  I hadn’t had time to put them on yet, but just wanted to swap out since the traction was getting pretty low on my current ones.  Glad I didn’t, otherwise would have just added to the bill!

4) Rode two trains

While riding my bike was my goal, I ended up having to ride the train back.  In theory, I would have taken four different trains, but even those plans were cut short.  So two trains it was.

Now I had a minor issue at the train station in that it wouldn’t accept my credit card to buy a ticket.  Seriously, things were not going my way.  Ironically, a triathlete pulled up behind me with plans to get on the same train (it was the last station on the line).  After watching me fail three times with the card and no reason from the machine, he offered to pickup my few euro ticket (we both only had cards, and his card worked).


Huge thanks to the guy from the triathlon team UASG (Union Athlétique Société Générale) for helping me out!

We did have to wait another 30 minutes for the train to depart, and then it was another 30-45 minutes into the city.  Then I had to get across the city with my broke-ass bike (the ‘kind’ lady wouldn’t let me go down to the RER-A platform with my bike, despite being allowed to).  All in, it took me basically 2 hours to get home.

5) Crepes, Ramen, and Éclairs

What? You thought you’d get away without some food? Ha! Of course not.

Our first notable food of the weekend was at David and Lillian’s place.  Most notable being the éclairs she made.

2016-03-12 22.48.51

They looked a wee bit more uniform than the ones I made back this summer with my parents at Le Cordon Bleu.  Hers were more normal looking, while mine kinda looked like oversized Costco hot dogs.  Oh how I miss Costco hot dogs.  Supposedly our first Costco is set to open in the Paris suburbs here shortly, though, it’s unclear if they will have the normal $1.50 Costco hotdog and a fountain drink deal.  For those that are not familiar with this concept, I’m sorry.

In any case, Sunday night The Girl and I went up to our favorite ramen spot for dinner.  It was awesome as always.  Can’t beat ramen on a cold and windy night.

2016-03-13 20.40.03

We then walked the few miles back to the house from there, passing various museums, monuments and small art galleries on the way.  Of course, being Sunday night – everything was closed.  Though, the statues were still open for business.

2016-03-13 21.16.54

And the crêperies were still open too, and that’s what matters.  So obviously, we got a Nutella-Banana crepe, because…well…why not?

2016-03-13 21.56.57

We used to eat a lot of these crepes the first summer we moved over.  More than we should probably admit to.  However, neither of us has had one in many months – so it seems like it was definitely time.

With that, time to wrap up the weekend and get on with the week ahead!

Thanks for reading all!

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  1. Zan

    Have you had a chance to try out the RPM2 insole power meters? They seem very promising but I’ve got some questions and was wondering if you had answers to any of them.

    What time frame are they targeting for them to broadcast power in ANT+?

    Their website quoted a durability of 2 years. How many miles would this be?

    How much water resistivity?

    Will it also broadcast cadence in ANT+/BLE? Broadcast L/R balance?

    • I’m waiting for them to arrive. Early February they said it would be 2-3 weeks, then when I asked the last few days of February they said 3 weeks. So hopefully in another 7-10 days.

      The units they’re working to send me do have power broadcast in ANT+. I don’t know beyond that the operational details or how well they work.

  2. Lukasz

    Dunno about France, but in Switzerland you could have the cost for the wheel repair reimbursed by the mandatory “house” insurance.. perhaps worth to check it!

  3. Andreas

    Sorry for your puncture.
    I dud not find the ramen place on the provided link, could you point out name or link?

    • Hi Andreas! Here’s the Ramen Noodle resto info, it’s a do not miss in my mind! We always order the dinner “Menu A2”, and that included the dumplings, chicken and rice bowl, and most importantly the ramen!!! Enjoy:

      Kadoya (Japanese Noodles)
      Location: Near Palais-Royal (just north of Louvre)
      Address: 28 rue Sainte-Anne, Paris 75001
      Phone: +33 (0)
      Web: link to kadoya.fr
      Notables: Go here for awesome hand-made Japanese noodles. It’s also a very quick and very cheap dinner at $12-$14 per person for the set-menu. We get the ‘menu’ option that includes a small appetizer of dumplings and then the noodles (soup). No need for a reservation (not even sure if they take them), but you might wait a couple minutes (5-10) for a seat with a bigger party. Fastest service you’ll find in Paris. Note: We take almost every out of town guest here if they’re staying with us for a week, and virtually everyone has said it’s their favorite place we’ve taken them.

    • Andreas

      Thanks! Very helpful.

  4. Tim

    Just a random question,
    When I open your website on a page such as this, only the uppermost image loads immediately, all the rest “turn on” as you scroll to them. Problem is there is usually an annoying delay before the image loads. Sometimes i could read the caption 3 times before it loads kinda delay.
    Using Win 10 On latest Gen Lenovo Yoga 2, 16 mbit/s connection.

    Not super important but kinda annoying :-/

    • Hmm, very odd. Haven’t heard of that before. Which browser?

    • BartW

      I have the same “problem” for some time now.
      Both with Firefox on Android (5.0) and Windows.
      I haven’t examinded if this is site related of browser related however.

    • Stepan

      Same stange behavior here. Seems something changed recently. IE 11.

    • Tim K

      I’m noticing this too. On Chrome and IE, but not so much on my Apple devices

    • David

      I’m seeing this on Chrome and Safari (apple iPad). Has been happening for a while – again, not the world’s biggest issue but one of those small day to day annoyances.

    • m9inger

      Same same for me…I use Firefox…but the wait is always worth it!

    • DC Runner

      FYI I have the same issue – the photos load as I scroll rather than all at once. It’s fine as long as I have a good connection. Using Chrome on OS X.

    • Me too – I haven’t checked it out but my first thought is that it is your CDN not working very well… It was really bad on the weekend, images wouldn’t load at all on some pages. But today it fairly ok, just s short delay.

    • Tim


    • This is not an error oa a bug, but actually a feature. It is called “lazy loading”.
      The idea is that, since the pictures outside the viewport do not load, the initial pageload is much faster.
      Also, you’l save on bandwidth if you decide not to scroll to the bottom of the page.

      That being said, the pictures on this site are indeed loading just a bit too slow (even on ultrafast broadband), leaving you with a big white space where the picture will go.

    • Michael H.

      My issue is weird, new iPad and good connection, trying to login is wonky, trying to select password box, and it keeps going to Nutella crepe photo 😉 tasty but that isn’t my password, though I’m thinking of changing to it.
      Finally after several attempts, I can paste in (from a password keeper app) but it takes a lot of attempts.
      I know, sounds weird

    • Maxim

      Is there any way to turn that lazy loading off? I thought it was my specific problem…

    • giorgitd

      I thought it was wonky slow local internet – but I experience the same. I’m on a Chromebook..no Win xx or iOS yy…

    • Thanks all. I checked with the web hosting folks and they did indeed enable Lazy Loading for mobile clients, so that it’s in theory a better experience there. That means that it basically loads images as you get to that point.

      That said, there’s some upcoming shifts planned for the CDN, which should improve the load times a bit more.

  5. Jonny

    Hi Ray,

    You mentioned the reduced tourist levels again – How do you think the Paris marathon will be this year? This is my first time running it and I fear the crowds will be a lot thinner on the ground than previous years.

    More importantly, what’s your favourite post-marathon spot to pig out in Paris? My only requirement is volume…

    • It’s hard to say. I don’t know/remember when the cutoff was for new entrants (when they sold out), and if it was before or after the attacks.

      That said, a hefty majority of people travelling to the marathon are more likely to be from Europe than the US. It’s the tourists outside Europe that have dropped of the most (because the US media makes them seem like it’s super dangerous here). The Europeans mostly realize it’s not really any different than before and just as safe.

      Hmm…food spots. Depends, what type of food are you looking for? Italian, steak, etc…? There’s a steak place that’s well known (somewhat touristy) but does give unlimited steak. You don’t get any choices there, so you get what they serve (you can specify doneness though). It’s Le Relais de l’Entrecôte.

    • Michael Robinson

      I went to Paris for the France v Ireland 6 Nations rugby game in Stade de France last month and unsurprisingly there was very tight security. There were bag checks and frisks for everyone between the RER station and the ground and within the ground itself. It looked like they had closed off a number of stadium entrances to make security easier so there were very long line-ups to get in and I ended up missing the first 10 minutes of the game (which was so poor that I wouldn’t have minded missing the whole thing 😉 )

      Like airport security, it it an unfortunately fact of life that events with big crowds will have increased security and that means more time queueing and allowing more time to get to the event.

  6. Fabrice

    Hi Ray!

    Too Bad for the flat… BTW It sounds to me that the stripes on the tyre goes the wrong way (ie from back to the top) it’s supposed to be the opposite to evacuate the water outside the tyre and not inside :-)

  7. Adam

    Is that a new S-Works Tarmac? It looks ace, I am very jealous.

    • Alfredo

      Ray please talk about the Tarmac! My favorite bike and I’m saving my pennies for a Pro or S-Works version.

    • I love the bike, except one minor thing, which would actually keep me from buying the bike: The seatpost.

      Specifically the @#$@# seatpost screw. Said @#$@#$ seatpost screw is probably the dumbest @#$@# thing I’ve ever seen on a bike. It’s almost seemingly designed to fall down into the frame anytime you remove the seatpost. It technically has this rubber band (yes, really) that’s thinner than a piece of dental floss to hold it in place, but that breaks easily, and then falls down into your frame. You then play this game of trying to get the @#$@## seatpost screw out of the frame from wherever it wandered to, by holding the bike upside-down above your head and shaking it. Except then you have a 1 in 3 change it goes down the right tube. Perhaps instead it goes back towards the chainstay, or maybe up towards the handlebars. You don’t know. It just goes. Then more shaking.

      I’d likely buy the bike, if it wasn’t for that. But that tiny little piece would keep me from ever buying one. It’s probably the first time in cycling components I’ve legitimately been ticked off about the design of something.

    • Scott E

      Okay, well, if it ticks you off I hope the mothership in California is listening enough to find a remedy. I’ve lost a few parts down the Pro bottom bracket slot working Di2 issue. Sure hope they fall out at some point :-/

    • Bart D

      Is that a Di2 only frame (i.e. no cable holes in the down tube)? I would like to know how to get one, only available in the US? In my local Specialized bicycle shop they keep telling me there are no Di2 only s-works frames available (except for disk brakes, which I don’t want).

    • While I may be blind, I’ve looked long and hard and have not found any other holes beyond just the brake cable hole (singular).

      I’ll shoot the SRAM guys back a note and see if I can get a specific model number. Note that Di2 does require cabling through, so this wouldn’t work for that. SRAM eTAP does not require cabling.

    • Bart D

      Thanks for the reply, keep me posted! The Di2 cable could be guided through the brake cable hole..

  8. kermit262

    Hey Ray, I checked out your “nice cruiser of a Z2 long run” on Strava. I use HR zones as part of my training, and according to Garmin Zone 2 is the pre-aerobic zone. Did you actually run a 7:17 pace in this zone? That’s amazing.

    • Yup. I don’t know off-hand if my Strava zones match my actual running zones (I mostly ignore Strava zones), but my actual Z2 HR zone is Roughly 150-161bpm (for running).

  9. Scott Gregory

    Fully enjoyed the story and photos that chronicled your unfortunate mishap and subsequent train ride home. It reminded me that it’s always good to carry cold hard cash, even though we live in the days of cellphones and credit cards. BTW, can you buy a train ticket with Apple Pay?

    • No luck with Apple Pay on trains. It’s also generally somewhat rare in Paris. While there are a number of NFC readers here in various stores, it’s common that they won’t work.

  10. Josh

    Is that a 920 tri bundle variant watch on your wrist for the sunny run?

  11. Mark

    That ramen looks good…
    Funny enough, last time I had some good ramen was a cold and windy night in December in NYC. Definitely good comfort food

  12. Robert

    Flats suck, I had 2 yesterday that needless to say cut my ride short. But I can say at least mine didn’t puncture my wheel. Hopefully they have a good solution/fix for you.

    The eclairs look delicious!

    Thanks for sharing.

  13. Ryan


    Just saw Wahoo released their new RPM Cadence and Speed Sensors. Any chance you have been using them as you work on your ELEMNT review?

    • Nigel Pond

      Is the cadence sensor new? (I know the speed sensor is as it’s new to their website). There’s nothing there to indicate that the cadence sensor is a new version. Thanks.

    • It’s just the speed sensor that’s new. I’ve got a few enroute that should show up in a day or two, so I’ll likely put up something quick on my initial thoughts by week’s end, and then wrap in deeper thoughts on my in-depth review of the ELEMNT (due at end of month).

    • Nigel

      OK thanks. I have the cadence sensor and my experience with it attached to a shoe (per the instructions) for spinning has been disappointing. Drop outs all over the place. They sent me a replacement but that’s just as bad if not worse.

    • Weird. What’s your head device?

      I haven’t seen any dropouts with the RPM’s, and I use them often (mostly with Garmin head units, but also WASP and other things).

    • Nigel

      I’m using an Edge 1000 (with latest firmware). Here’s an example:

      link to connect.garmin.com

      And, yes, they are drop outs, not me taking a breather!

    • Any chance you have Bluetooth enabled/on, on the Edge?

      Usually you see dual drops of both HR and Cadence when that happens, but I have seen oddities otherwise.

    • Nigel

      Yea I have BT enabled. I’ll disable it for tomorrow’s class, see if that helps. Thanks.

    • Nigel

      Well would you Adam and Eve it (=believe in Cockney rhyming slang), a tweak to the position of the sensor on my show made all the difference. Nothing unusual, except when we had to evacuate the Y because the fire alarm went off…

  14. Josh Martin

    Ray, when did you get the Tarmac? Very awesome bike! I only recall seeing Giant and Cervelo in previous posts.

    • It’s a trial/demo bike that SRAM brought over that had eTAP on it. So unfortunately, it’ll go back eventually.

  15. K.

    Quite a life Sir, quite a life…Enjoy! 😉

  16. Alan

    I am supporting this campaign for a flat fixer
    link to indiegogo.com\
    But they are way behind schedule and I am not endorsing this. Yet to try. I have no other financial interest in it.

    . Not sure anything would help the monster screw you got.
    That almost makes me think someone drilled that purposefully into your wheel!

    • Bob

      Neat product, but tubeless clincher with some stans or orange seal will do what that does now. If you haven’t road tubeless clinchers, you are missing out. The ride is awesome and not worrying about a flat is awesome.

      I carry a tube, a plug, a co2, and sometimes hutchinson fast seal. I have never needed any of it. Tubeless with stans/orange seal, is rock solid.

    • Bob

      ” Not sure anything would help the monster screw you got.”
      This particular screw is a drywall screw. To be screwed through drywall into a metal (albeit thin) frame without pre-drilling. So it is extra sharp/pointy and heat-treated to make it harder.

    • I really wish someone had a super high-speed camera along the side of the road with a macro-view of what happened during that puncture. As in – what angle was the screw at? How exactly did it manage to get that exact puncture. Would be fascinating high-speed footage.

    • Michael Swann

      It was probably lying down on the road somewhere and you hit it with your front wheel, which flicked it up only to be caught in your back wheel. Similar to what happens when you run over debris with your car – the back wheel seems to get the puncture. Sometimes you get unlucky and get punctures in both tyres on the same side of the car. Happened to me once.

      Just a matter of (bad) timing I’d say.

    • Juro

      Reminds of me getting “nailed” instead of “screwed” on a ride… I was also wondering about how the hell did that get in.

      link to igcdn-photos-e-a.akamaihd.net

    • Alex

      I guess something like that happened
      link to prntscr.com

  17. S. Smith

    ENVE’s offer on crash (vs. warranty) damage is 50% of MSRP. Having just done that with my rim, I think you’re looking at ~$600 USD before labor. ENVE recommends that the wheel be rebuilt at either an top tier ENVE dealer, at ENVE, or at the local distributor because ENVE’s high spoke tension is not something they feel an average wheel builder is going to get right the first time. Hopefully Powertap is tied into that same repair network and you get a new rim ASAP.

  18. Nigel

    Just a comment à propos of punctures and related matters while it’s still fresh in my mind. I recently went tubeless (HED Belgium rims and Schwalbe One tires) and I must admit I am impressed. The wheels are definitely lighter and stiffer, but the difference in rolling resistance compared to my old tubed Conti Gatorskins is night and day. I know I’m fitter at this stage of the season than I was last year and I’m sure there’s some psychology at play too, but I’m really liking my new wheels (Chris King R45 hubs, ceramic bearings)!

  19. morey

    Why does your Marathon de Paris shirt say “Finisher” instead of “Finisseur”?

    • Nigel Scott

      Morey – i guess this is due to the influence of globalization on the French language. There are a few running terms from english used in French: ‘ le running’, there’s a magazine called ‘Jogging international’ , and you can do ‘sprints’ as well, as in ‘je vais sprinter’ But rest assured – interval training remains ‘faire du fractionnée’, so it’s not like the whole running terminology has been anglicized.

  20. Parris

    I saw that you have the sram red crankset on the bike that you installed the watteam powerbeat. Is the powerbeat carbon cranks compatible already?


  21. Oscar

    Hi Ray, you may or may not have addressed this in a post or comment, but can I ask out of curiosity, how is your French now after four odd years there? I’ve been learning a bit on my own, and definitely don’t get the same amount of immersion as you do, and I thought it would be interesting to hear your thoughts on learning, etc.

    • It depends on the topic. For some things I’m quite good, others not so good. I’m pretty good at reading just fine, and can usually write stuff. But speaking is still tough for me, mostly because with my previous job I never spoke French (ever), nor went into the local office other than to collect my mail. So I wasn’t really forced out of my comfort zone.

      My day to day usage of French at the grocery/etc is easy, so it’s a bit different than someone grilling me on my thoughts of politics or what-not.

  22. Josef Ch.

    Hi man,
    damn luck with that puncture. I hope they can fix it for you for free. Anyway, I noticed you use Zipp and Enve wheels. Can you see any difference? Any issues with hubs?

    • The Zipp wheels are loaners on a bike, whereas the Enve’s are mine. I don’t notice too much of a difference.

  23. Charlie Anderson

    Was in Paris for a few days with the family. Very nice weather from the 12-17th.

    Any idea on the red scarves covering the eye’s of the statues around town?

    • Indeed, been awesome weather lately!

      We actually weren’t sure either, we arrived towards the end of the week, so not sure if perhaps it was something tied into a protest, or just associated with Paris Fashion Week.

  24. Jim Cheesman

    As an alternative to Costco hot dogs – have you got an Ikea near you? It’s hell on earth on a busy weekend, but the meatballs are great, and the 1€ hot dogs are just as cheap and cheerful as you’d expect.

    • True, we usually partake in the Ikea hotdogs. Though, they don’t quite have the same heft as Costco ones. Still, worthwhile when in the area. :)

  25. You got screwed, I got nailed. A little electrical tape over the hole in the rim is all the repair it needed. Thanks for the service you provide!!

  26. No worse for the hole.