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5 Random Things I Did This Weekend

Another busy weekend in the city, albeit supposedly the first day of spring – it was definitely still holding back a bit on the warm weather front.  I think it’s fair to say that weather came last weekend instead.

1) Product shots and such

The Girl was working on all assortment of cake orders for the weekend, so I was in turn working on product shots of upcoming review products for the next two weeks.  In this case both the Wahoo ELEMNT, but also the new Wahoo Speed sensor (magnetless).  I had duplicates of the units, so I was doing some additional unboxing stuff, despite having already been using them.

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I also got a nifty new tripod head, that allows much cleaner video bits and such.  You’ll see the resultant of that likely as part of my Wahoo ELEMNT In-Depth review (set for the last week of March).  The slider I already had, along with the rarely used Syrp Genie, albeit I got mine on Kickstarter years ago.  My camera is the much older Canon 7D, though I’ve pre-ordered the new Nikon 500 DX, just waiting for that later in April.

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But more on that later.

2) Cake photos & cake testing

You think the only thing I test around here is sport gadgets? Oh how wrong you be.  Nope, I’m responsible for cake testing.  Or basically, cake scrap eating.  It’s a favorite of mine.

But I have to pay my way in order to get such scraps.  In that it’s my job to take photos of the cakes for various Bertie’s CupCakery social media goodness (i.e. Instagram), as well as also the cake gallery.  So, I went about doing that.

We had arranged pickups of the cakes at the Cake Studio for two timeslots – noon and 4PM.  This gave us a few hours in between to head out for crepes, walking around the city, and enjoying all that Saturday in mid-March has to offer.

Not too shabby an afternoon!

3) Makin’ some pasta (and pizza)!

Later that night we made fresh pasta, though, the night before we made pizza.  We made pizza at the Studio in one of the baking ovens.  We just toss a cheap pizza stone in there and it’s magic.

We add to that a bunch of ingredients from the grocery store and go to town!  We generally just use pre-made pizza dough from the store because it’s cheap and quick.

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Of course, my favorite part is the bicycle pizza cutter The Girl gave me for Christmas.  It works surprisingly well, though, I don’t know if you ate pizza every week if it’d hold up.  But when used sparingly, all is well.

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For Saturday night, I made fresh pasta and meatballs at home.  Nothing too fancy, just simple fettuccine.

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The meatballs I did a blend of beef, veal, and some prosciutto as well.  Because…everything is better with prosciutto.

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Nom!

4) Earth Hour

As many know, Saturday night was earth hour from 8:30PM till 9:30PM, when many monuments around the city turn off their exterior lights to save energy.  Given Notre Dame is across the street, we’re pretty aware of their light patterns.

It used to be just a couple years ago when we first moved in that someone manually turned off all the lights (exterior).  We know this because we’d watch as the lights would shut off in a different pattern each time, and a non-precise time.  Sometimes a light-switch would be forgotten on a section.

However, over the last year it’s turned to being an automated system.  Now the lights shut off at precisely midnight (in the winter), to the second.  All at once.

So, last night at 8:30PM the lights went off.  No surprise there.

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However, what was funny is that after coming back on a bit later, they then stayed on till 1AM – an hour longer than normal.  Then shut off shortly after.

I thought that perhaps this was a permanent adjustment in schedule, since they do stay on later as summer hits, since it’s light out till 11PM here.

Yet on Sunday night – they shut back off at precisely 12AM.  Said differently: Earth Hour – you missed the point.

5) Paris Super Sprint

Finally, on Sunday I competed in the Paris Super Sprint indoor triathlon.

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But, more on that either later today or tomorrow morning in a proper race report.  Puke and all.

With that – thanks for reading!

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51 Comments

  1. Ismo

    The original Pizza Bike by Park Tools:
    link to parktool.com

  2. Michael Swann

    If you were having pizza more often, you would probably want one of these:

    link to parktool.com

    It would go nicely with your Park Tools bottle opener. Then you could have bike themed beer and pizza nights (or afternoons with the Spring Classics).

  3. David

    My wife and daughter got me a bike pizza cutter for Christmas – I think it rocks! Glad to see others feel the same.

  4. John

    Weird that the new Wahoo Speed sensor specs a front wheel mount, which would negate use with many trainers. Any chance you can test this on a rear wheel?

    • Sébastien Gagné

      Maybe it has something to do with the signal strength ? They say “Up to 10 feet”, but maybe if you add a bike and a rider between the connection isn’t strong enough ?

      What I’m wondering : Is there a max or min speed for accurate values ?

    • Ryan

      Interestingly if you read the instructions on wahoo’s site for installation, it says either wheel.

      Slide the rubber shim-strap into the back (the hooked) side of the mount so that the three prongs of the strap fit snugly up against the top two hooks of the housing. The Wahoo RPM SPEED is now ready to fit to the hub of either wheel as per your preference.

  5. Anton

    John +1. It doesn’t make sense just to have the sensor to only work on the front hub. Surely it doesn’t know what hub it’s on and therefore is universal?

    • dr_lha

      If I were to take a wild guess, they’re speccing it on the front hub so it’s closest to where most bike computers are mounted. I’d be surprised if it doesn’t work fine on the rear hub also.

  6. Sebastian

    Hey Ray – another Pizza comment from my side (as expected, the most important topic, huh?) :)

    Try putting the cheese below all the stuff you put on top of the tomato sauce. I don’t know where I heard this but if you have a look on how the Italian experts do it, it’s always tomato sauce -> cheese -> whatever you want.

    Give it a try! ;)

  7. Bartus

    Euh, Earth Hour is not about saving money…DC Rainmaker – you missed the point

  8. I’m waiting for Stage dual sided to be released so the single sided cranks can be the budget option.

    Any update of their release schedule?

    • Given they haven’t technically announced it, I suspect it’ll be some time before we’d see them available (since they seem to be struggling a bit getting carbon out the door and are likely focused on that).

  9. Bob

    I know this is a bike site, primarily, and that’s why I come here. But , you should think about reviewing some other random tech things you deal with. Your tripod mount comes to mind. Not that I am interested in the mount, but I imagine there are some tech things or other things that you deal with on a day to day basis that others may like some insight about. Your reviews seem fair an unbiased, thus, I think there is some value in your opinion on other things.

    But don’t get away from the sport tech!

    • bikeman

      “you should think about reviewing some other random tech things you deal with.”

      A summary of your thoughts on the handling of the Nikon 500 would be appreciated. If I were to return to the world of mirrors, the 500 would be on top of my list. Congrats on the purchase.

  10. Praneeth

    What happened to the giveaway that was conducted a month or two back ?

  11. Jesper N

    Hi Ray, I know this is not DPreveiw.com, but I’m very curious as to why you’d switch from EOS to Nikon?
    People tend to be very loyal to the brand they have, mainly because of the money they have invested in “glass”, but some also for almost religious reasons.
    No doubt the 500DX is nice, but so is the new 7D…

    • For me, it’s frustration with Canon and the connected aspects (or lack thereof). So things like getting images to my mobile device quickly are becoming more and more important. And in that simple respect Canon totally misses the boat.

      Additionally, and perhaps more importantly is the 4K video footage ability. While the 500 DX is semi-limited in the crop on the 4K aspect, that isn’t a show-stopper for me given the zoomed aspect of much of my shots anyway. Meanwhile, Canon…???

      For me I use my DSLR as both photo and video camera, and while some only want a photo camera, I prefer a non-singular purpose thing.

      I’ll likely be selling off the majority of my Canon lenses once the unit arrives. And it is a big shift. Obviously I wish Canon had done something to fill that gap – but just not seeing it anytime soon.

    • John

      People are “loyal” to the glass they’ve accumulated. (Ask me how I know.)

    • Andy C S

      …and there are several products by Canon addressing those same requirements being announced “now” that wouldn’t require changing systems. But to each its own.

      For people interested in what’s available shortly and in the coming months, I’d suggest following Canon Rumors . com. Or at least browsing it before jumping the gun.

    • Oh, I definitely follow CR (in my feed), but even then the spec leaks haven’t even gotten close on the 5DM4 to be anywhere near release. And even then, we haven’t seen any mention of 4K coverage or sync to mobile/wifi natively.

  12. Robert

    Cake testing job, now there is one I could handle very easily.

    Thanks for sharing.

  13. Wendy

    Puke and all….uh oh

  14. ekutter

    I have that exact same pizza cutter. At least until this past week when I was biting into my pizza and almost chipped a tooth on something hard. One of the grommets from the wheels had broken off and was in my pizza. I no longer thought it was so cool so it ended up in the trash.

    • Gabe

      yup – read the reviews.. falls apart.

      looks cute though

    • Ken

      Well, if you took your ‘bike’ into LBS for routine maint, along with some pizza for them the mechanics to “test ride” it then maybe you wouldn’t have that issue. ;-)

    • Actually, the Amazon reviews (41 for one model, 43 for another), look surprisingly good. Better than I thought they’d be.

      I’d agree if you use it every week, and press really hard, it’s likely to break. But if used sparingly and more as a fun decorative piece, it’ll last a while.

    • ekutter

      Actually, this was only the 4th or 5th time we used it. And I’m only 145 lbs, so probably well below the weight limit, although it wasn’t marked on it. It is a fun idea, but you might want to check the wheels after each use, before pizza consumption.

    • You must have a higher W/KG than the rating specifies. ;)

  15. Georg

    So hungry now!

  16. Ray I have my finger on the trigger to buy the elemnt. Cant wait for the review.

    • Picko

      I’d strongly advise you to hang fire on the Elemnt. Made the mistake of not waiting for Ray’s review and I’m returning mine. Had WiFi connection problems from day one (software issue in both Android and iOS apps, poor support from Wahoo) and the route navigation aspects are poor – map fixed at North up, no turn-by-turn or course point warnings. Can easily be fixed in time and some of the features are good (LEDs especially) but I’ll stick to my more capable old edge 705 until this product is properly ready. Interested to read Ray’s thoughts.

    • Yup, it’s not a perfect unit yet. But they are iterating incredibly quickly, major update last week, another tomorrow, and so on.

      I think that some of the ‘I hate my Garmin’ crowd want it to be great, merely as a reason to not have to have a Garmin. And for a portion of that crowd, they’ll be happy.

      If you look at features, no, the ELEMNT doesn’t have as many as any current Garmin Edge device. That’s a straight fact. However, it does make up for it in having unique features that Garmin doesn’t have, or does poorly. For example, WiFi routes from Strava works well for Wahoo, whereas Garmin routing relies on GC.

      Of course, one would validly argue that it’s just moving the egg somewhere else. So instead of a Garmin problem, it’s now a Strava problem. Either way – both require you to create the route elsewhere and not in a Garmin/Wahoo app.

      There will be a pretty big list of pros and cons. I think for those that are willing to leave with some incomplete features temporarily, the ELEMNT may be the right option. For others that want something that’s reasonably rock-solid today, the Edge 520 is probably better (or other older Garmin Edge unit).

      There will no doubt be some that have had some terrible experience with any product (Garmin, Wahoo, etc…) – so I don’t think I’d be able to change their mind either way. For them, it may be a case of ‘the grass must be greener’, even if the grass is just a different shade of green.

  17. scott

    Very anxious for the Wahoo Elemnt review. I’ve been using a Garmin Edge 810 for a couple of years now, primarily for the live tracking functionality. (commuting home during rush hour makes the wife nervous) FAR too many disconnects, dropped connections, and complete failures to connect via bluetooth to be at all dependable. Seriously, I can eventually have my phone connected and sitting in my pocket, all of 2.5 ft from the Edge and it will still randomly disconnect for no reason.

    At this point I’d LOVE to completely scrap Garmin and their garbage firmware, but need a reliable alternative first.

  18. Scott Buchanan

    Ray, any chances of a ‘thoughts on the D500’ post when it arrives?

    • Yup, I think I’ll do something. Maybe not a full post, but just a super-extended section in a 5 Random Things post. Or perhaps I’ll do an updated “My Photography Gear” post.

  19. Goran

    The Earth hour is not a very smart initiative. Electric energy can not be stored in significant quantities so the production has to equal demand every hour. If everyone would turn-off and then turn-on their domestic loads at the same time it would a very stressfull event for the grid and could lead to blackout.
    If you want to help the planet, reduce your electric energy consumption. All of us can do that on daily basis, and not when so-called environmentalists urge you to

  20. mkpaa

    Did you have a chance to test Wahoo Element RPM as Polar V800 speed sensor?

    • Not yet, but it’s on my list first thing in the morning to test. Doing a suite of tests with a bunch of BLE devices: V800, V650, V450, Ambit3, and a few apps.

    • mkpaa

      Great! I assume that was M450, btw. :)
      For what I remember there was no automatic start option in V800 when it detects a movement?

  21. Steve Watson

    Hi Ray – I keep watching the weekly “random things” hoping for a review/first look at the Lezyne GPS units. Any chance? Thanks!

  22. Matt Evans

    Ray, for what it’s worth, while I’m a Nikon fan they lag the Canon models for video and even the D500 looks unconvincing for video standalone. If you are looking to upgrade mainly for video (and I suspect your 7D is still as good as you will ever need for stills for your business), you might be better off looking at something like a Blackmagic Pocket (and with an adaptor you will still be able to use Canon lenses).

    Just my £0.02

    • Matt Evans

      Or Panasonic GH4 with a Metabones Canon to MFT Speed Booster, which would give you stills and high quality 4K in one unit but allow you to keep Canon lenses

    • Yeah, I’m still waiting to see a bit on how video comes out there (500 DX) in early reviews. I’m likely late enough in the queue that I’ll probably have a few weeks. If not, I can always return on Amazon while I decide.

      The connectivity piece is huge though, and seems far cleaner.

      Another interesting cam I’ve been eyeing is the new Sony 6300. Things are looking pretty good from what I’ve seen in terms of footage (minus rolling shutter issues, but that rarely impacts the type of shooting I do).

  23. Richard

    2) Cake photos & cake testing
    3) Makin’ some pasta (and pizza)!

    Its a hard life huh! :-)

    Love the pizza cutter, have the same in yellow myself and it adds a child like joy to pizzas!