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13 Tidbits from a Week in Park City

I’ve been in Park City (Utah) since Sunday night, having all assortment of meetings and (perhaps more importantly) getting in plenty of time running around the mountains.  And riding.  And bobsledding.  But, let’s not get ahead of ourselves.

I figure it’d be a fun Friday exercise to share a bunch of photos from the week with merely a small paragraph or two below each.

Somehow I got a gigantic hotel room

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The hotel upgrade room gods were apparently smiling on me, as my hotel room was about 2-3 times larger than that of our apartment.  Seriously.  It contained a Wolf range/oven, and a Sub-Zero fridge.  It had a living room with a far larger TV than mine, and more than ample room for my rental bike.  Oh, and a wine bar. Albeit minus the wine.

In related news, it’d take me about 36 minutes to find where all the light switches were to turn off the lights the first night.

Went for a 12-mile mountain trail run

DCIM\100GOPRO\GOPR7436.

I very much didn’t intend on going for a run this long.  I figured it’d be a few miles up, and a few miles back down again.  Somehow around 2 hours later I finished up.  I sort of had planned to run upwards towards the top of the mountain until I found snow.  But when I got to the top of the first trail, the snow required more trails.  Obviously, I had come this far – so I had to keep on going.

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I started early enough in the morning that it was beautifully peaceful and quiet up there.  I only saw two other people as I neared the base area again.

Got in a group gravel ride

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Later on that day after my run, I met up with a few folks from a local bike shop/fitter Mountain Velo and headed out for a gravel/dirt road ride.  Or basically a ride that you could do easily with a cross bike.  In my case I had rented a mountain bike for the first two days from a different place – so that’s what I used as my steed.

DCIM\100GOPRO\GOPR7477.

Thanks again to Dan for inviting me along.  No better way to spend the first evening of summer than a warm ride just prior to sunset.

Listened to lots of people talk

Given I had numerous meetings, it was largely listening to people talk and a bit of pitching ideas and new products.  Some interesting stuff coming down the pipeline, as always of course.  I don’t really have a picture of those meetings.  Sorry! Fear not – in due time!

Went for a mountain bike ride:

DCIM\100GOPRO\G0057583.

With my rental mountain bike I headed up early the next morning for some more trail wandering.  I had a rough plan, but was kinda just wandering a bit.  I know lots of folks like to do downhill mountain biking (and taking up the chairlift/gondola), but for me I actually probably prefer the uphill part over the downhill part.  In fact I think at times I was going faster uphill than downhill.

One of the disadvantages of living in a city is that my mountain bike skills only get utilized about twice per year.  Usually once at Interbike in Vegas, and once at the ANT+ Symposium in Alberta.  Neither of which really prepare me for the rather impressive drops/descents that were included in some of the downhill trails I stumbled down.

Mac & Cheese:

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I saw this store across the parking lot while looking for food one day.  Given the rest of the places on the sign were food establishments, I thought that ‘Simply Mac’ was as well.  I assumed it would be the awesomeness that is an eatery dedicated to ‘Mac & Cheese’ exclusively.

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Turns out I was wrong.  The store only sells Mac computer stuff.  As disappointing as someone cutting the cheese.

Road riding up to Guardsman Pass:

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On Tuesday evening I went back to a large local bike shop and swapped my mountain bike for a road bike.  I had brought more road bike stuff to use/test, so I definitely wanted to get some road riding in.

I did some Strava searching and found a sweet little route folks use right out of Park City that was pretty much 100% climbing to the top of the pass on relatively quiet roads.  I tagged on the few miles from my hotel to Main Street in Park City and I was good to go.  Ended up being an awesome ride to the top of the pass, where there was still a tiny bit of snow left.  Plus some pretty nice steeps near the summit.

DCIM\100GOPRO\GOPR7638.

I’ve been using Xert lately on my rides and analysis afterwards, trying it out with the Connect IQ app.  The only disadvantage being it doesn’t really account for fatigue from runs.

DCIM\100GOPRO\GOPR7615.

As a side note, I was a bit disappointed with the bike shop in terms of the maintenance of the road bike.  Given it’s a multi-thousand dollar rather nice road bike that I’m spending $60 a day to rent (the cheapest option there is), it should at least be tuned up upon rental.  Front shifting was out of whack, and the back disc brakes were setup nowhere near as much braking power as the front (actually, they were pretty weak-ass as I found out descending).  I briefly mentioned it upon return, but got nothing more than a shrug.

Opened boxes of goodness:

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Instead of shipping stuff from my US forwarding box to Paris, I just shipped it to Salt Lake City.  Far cheaper that way, since I’ll pay nothing to take it on the plane compared to air shipping.

In addition, I also got a Gear Fit 2 I ordered, and a few other random non-sports tech items like additional portable hard drives (I go through 2-4TB portable USB drives like Halloween Snickers bars).

Watched little kids fly off big jumps

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The Utah Olympic Center is open to the public to wander around, and there’s often many things going on there.  One of which was kids flying off these huge aerial jumps into the even bigger pool.  The pool had a bubble system which would turn on right before someone jumped in to aerate the pool, providing both a more cushioned landing as well as better depth perception for height/location.

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You can also sign-up to take anywhere from 1-day classes to multi-day classes where they teach you the basics and let you go off the jumps, which is pretty cool.

Rode in a Bobsled.  Twice.

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At the Olympic center you can also ride a bobsled.  It’s a four-man sled, and you start from the top of the track, the same track used in the Olympics.  In fact, I watched the bobsled event at the 2002 Salt Lake City Olympics many years back, so it was neat being there again.

The driver of the sled is a professional, all being current athletes and/or retired athletes.  Whereas the other three people in the sled were average Joes like moi.  It takes about 57 seconds to complete a run, which is a bit under a mile long.  There are 15 turns, which reach up to 5g’s of force. Crazy pants.

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Here’s a video I shot during my first ride.  The forces were so strong the camera mount kept bending back towards the end (I shot multiple rides).  This was shot on a GoPro Hero4 Black.

I was planning on putting on the new 4K 360° action cam from 360Fly (fairly similar to the non-4K one I reviewed), but after feeling the forces and the incredible vibrations – I’m about 99.99% sure the unit would have snapped off.

Watched big kids fly off big jumps:

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Later on that night the ‘Flying Ace All-Stars’ were performing.  These are prospective, current, and former Olympians from various aerial focused disciplines (i.e. could also be mogul skiing) that put on a kick-ass night show.  Incredibly cool.

The emcee of the night is also a multi-Olympian and talked through many of the different tricks/jumps being done as well as a bit of background on each of the athletes.

As a fun activity, try and count how many people are in the air or on the ramps in the above photo.

Got a BOB:

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Yes, a running stroller.  The Clever Training folks were awesome enough to send it over to us as a bit of a baby shower gift.  Worked out perfect that I was in the states as opposed to shipping to Europe.  I know both The Girl and I are eager to run with it

And even better: The Girl didn’t have The Peanut while I was away.

Flew Back on Home:

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I’ve now just landed back in France at Charles de Gaulle Airport.  I was reminded on the airplane while reading the inflight magazine as to how crazy expensive wine is in the states.  I didn’t realize that a $20 bottle of wine is considered a budget option.  For us in France $3 is our budget option, and $7 is going all-out for the night.  You pull out a $20 bottle of wine and people will look at you all crazy.

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As such – good to be back home!  Have a great weekend all!

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58 Comments

  1. TR

    The bobsled ride looks fantastically awesome :) Were there any special instructions for not shifting the weight and leaning in the corners ?

  2. Dave Lusty

    Wine has to be cheap this side of the pond, it’s where us Europeans* get most of our calories…

    *well, as of today the Europeans and us Brits, sorry Europe apparently we’re dummer than we look

  3. Tim Grose

    Nice.

    BTW on Guide to “Power Meters” (plural) for running.
    I thought there was the only the Stryd. Have I missed anything or has the author future proofed his book! ???

  4. Stroller Runner

    Some things to consider re: stroller running. I’m years ahead of you so some of this won’t be relevant for a long time, but now that you have a stroller I will share things I learned through experience. Obviously, your mileage may vary.

    As an infant, when sleep patterns are unpredictable, you can run with baby pretty much at any time without repercussions. As the child ages, interest in being in the stroller will vary based on kid’s temperament, level of experience being in the stroller, scenery, and other factors. What I have found, continuing to run my five and six year old in a double Bob, is that the best time for me and for them is around their established bedtime. They’re tired enough not to be fussy even when it’s still hot, I can throw blankets over them when it’s not, and they’re almost always asleep between mile one and two. To help the process I play lullabies over a Bluetooth speaker hanging on the handle until they’re asleep, and then switch to either baseball games or my own music. When I get home, I carry each one to bed and even if they wake up briefly, they’re asleep again within minutes. And in the meantime, I got my 30-90 minute run for the day. At this point, they try to insist on stroller runs for bedtime even on nights I planned not to run, so this system can be a double-edged sword.

    As far as tech while running is concerned – I use a 920XT with quick release and have a mount on my Bob. This way I don’t have to twist my wrist to see my HR zone, pace, distance, time, or whatever metric I’m using for that run. A consequence of this is it will log the distances and heart rate no problem, but it doesn’t register any of your steps. Which is fine for me, because I wish Garmin gave the option of separating running steps from walking ones so run days didn’t throw off the averages. Also, I added a ‘Stroller Run’ profile on my watch (and in SportTracks) so that it’s easier to compare and analyze run metrics without the disparity of paces and HR efforts mucking up the stats (needless to say, as the kids get bigger my stroller runs get slower even as my non-stroller runs get faster from the increased leg strength).

    I used to wear the Basis B1 and then Peak as my daily tracker, which I loved except for the rash the strap gives me, but running with a stroller tended to confuse it. Portions of the run during which I pushed the stroller two-handed, or with the hand on which I wore the Basis, tended to get logged as cycling time because it detected the elevated heart rate with a relatively static wrist position. Since I typically switch hands as I run, a 75 minute run might get logged on the Basis as an epic multi-sport brick workout alternating between a bunch of rides and runs. Not a big deal since I was recording with a Garmin for analysis purposes, but for anyone who relies on a device auto-detecting activities, it could be frustrating.

    Best of luck to you. I hope your kid takes to riding the way my have. It proved critical to the sanity of the marriage when my partner and I lived together, and is even more essential now that we live apart and I have the kids on my own during the week.

    • Mark

      Naturally YMMV. I did not use a Bob, but a much cheaper $100-150 jogger. I forget which company, but a big one that’s not nearly as nice as the BOB. My daughter didn’t fit after 2 years old, she was just too big (99th percentile giant).

      Bike trailers didn’t last much longer, but that was also due to sunbathing rattlesnakes…

    • Mark

      I never used the running stroller, but I did use a Burley bicycle trailer 30 years ago. Had twins and it worked great. One great feature was that it was completely enclosed with a screen. They had good visibility, fresh air, and their toys were captive. A friend had an open trailer and I had to ride behind him picking up the toys the kid would throw out. Fun times.

  5. Lee

    You are going to love stroller running! And yes, as the previous poster said, a Bluetooth speaker in definitely welcomed. My kids would fight in the double all the time until I put in the speaker with their favorite music.

  6. jcbenten

    Re: Gigantic Hotel Room

    That is what fame gets you….

  7. Robert

    Thanks for sharing, the whole trip to Utah looks like a good times.

  8. Gabe

    It looks like you were staying at the time share – The Canyons.

    i would say $10 is the budget wine here in california. Plenty of good options there.

  9. Wendy

    If you ever come to Houston, Jus Mac is what you are looking for regarding mac-n-cheese options.

  10. Richard

    I want your life! ;-)

  11. Tyler

    Stroller running was one of my favorite experiences as a dad.
    My kids all enjoyed it, and I ran with all of them until they were around 5, most of the time in a double-wide non-Bob.
    The Bob’s are a little more spacious and can fit the kids more comfortably as they get bigger. And the sunshade they have built in accommodates more variety of sun conditions.
    Keeping the kids cool can be a challenge. I put ice packs between the back liner and the insertable stiffening cushion, at times.

    Running advice: I found it easiest to run fully to the LH side (and at full arm extension, behind) of the stoller, controlling it with my right hand only, and really just resting my palm on the top bar, with a couple of fingers barely touching the brake lever, which I’d just for torque, when turning.
    Adding a mountain bike style brake lever extension can help give more surface area to grip/accommodate more hand positions.

    Enjoy this special time of your life!

  12. Tyler

    Being in the middle of the US, it’s very hard to find a drinkable wine under $15, and I’m not of particularly discerning tastes. Supply/demand/shipping costs/liquor monopoly in my state.

  13. Jay

    Did you stay at the Canyons resort while you were in Utah?

  14. morey

    “… The store only sells Mac computer stuff. As disappointing as someone cutting the cheese.”

    really? oy vey. This is what happens when The Girl doesn’t get a chance to proof read your posts.

    :)

  15. Tosin

    Ditto to all the stroller comments. My son usually runs with me around his nap time.

    Also alternating handgrip on the flats every mile or so, and 2 hands for climbs, bridges.

    If your child is above the 90th percentile, they may have head room issues by the time they are three years old.

  16. Moshe Cattan

    DC can you do some info about xert

    • Thanks man
      My friend and I are pretty hooked onto the ibike Newton, as u know its a very cheap option for a PM considering u can get a second hand one off eBay for $200.
      He uses it with their app so he has GPS data for strava, I though stream it to my garmin unit etc…
      You haven’t done a real review on the newton, we were wondering when ur going to do that.
      Cheers

    • I don’t plan a review of the Newton.

      While I have one, I just find it weird. It’s a poor bike computer, thought the underlying wind tech is the same as the PowerPod, so for not much more you can get the PowerPod and it’s a much smaller package and a bit cleaner on the bars.

      That said, if you want to know about the accuracy of that tech, check out my PowerPod review: link to dcrainmaker.com

    • Brian

      +1 on that. I’ve imported data into xert, but I haven’t figured out what it’s telling me.

  17. Jeremy

    Looks like you were in my neck of the woods! Your a weekend late of Ragnar. Looks like you had fun though. The mountain biking is top notch there. Good to see you back having fun in the US of A.

  18. Josh Parks

    +1 for running with the Bob. I had twins in the ironman version and it was great – save when the kid or kids woke up and I was five miles from home…

    Also I have a ton of experience in Park City w various rental companies both bike and ski. Pretty much my experience – though when I snapped my chain and field fixed it by banging the pin in against the chain stay (AL mountain bike way off road) I was pretty stoked they didn’t care or didn’t notice the difference. That’s not to say your bike shouldn’t have been in better condition.

    And bravo for your ending wine rub it in…it can be difficult to find quality wind (outside of California) for less than $20. So I drink far less than I might. But less wine is good for my climbing.

  19. Granger

    Any chance a review of that Camile R100 will be out soon?

  20. Jason

    I Love my BOB stroller. It has served my kids well for years of naps. It was the only stroller we had for a long time before getting an umbrella stroller that we gave up on. We found that BOB sells an “Infant Car Seat Adapter” that you can bolt on that will let you lock in most infant car seats. With this, we used the bob as our every day stroller as we didn’t want to own two.

    Plusses:
    It folds up nicely and we never have trouble checking it at the end of the jetway / jet bridge when we fly.
    It has just enough room in the foot-well for our 2nd kid to sit there when he’s tired of walking while our youngest sits in the main seat.
    very solid construction
    wheels go on and off very easily
    faux-sheepskin seat cover is warm
    rain cover works great
    Great for easy to moderate trail runs as well

    Minuses:
    The valves are shorter than they should be and hard to use (on our 2010 model anyway)
    Odd size replacement tubes.
    front wheel lock / trim screw hard to keep adjusted.

    I never bothered to put a handbrake on the stroller but I do wear the long wrist strap that loops around the brake bar by the back wheels when I jog.

    I look forward to reading about your experience with it.

  21. Hubert

    Bobsled is insane!
    I wonder if the stabilizer of a Sony camera would give better images

    • Indeed it might of a bit. Though it was interesting, I actually chatted with the guys about cams, and they specifically noted the Sony camera mount didn’t survive a single run. One of 3-4 action cams that they’ve broken over the last few years. The forces are really pretty incredible, especially the vibrations.

    • marius

      the bob run filmed with the virb xe with telemetry data would have been very interesting.

    • Yeah, unfortunately I didn’t take one with me on the trip. :(

      What I saw though from the FR735XT in terms of GPS was that it just didn’t update fast enough for the tracks curves. However, the VIRB XE’s accelerometer/g-forces would indeed definitely have been cool to see!

    • Kevin

      You can overlay telemetry on gopro video if you use the garmin VIRB edit. Instructions here

      link to youtube.com

    • Yeah, I thought about doing it, but since the data I captured from the FR735XT was pretty useless on the bobsled track, it would have kinda been a ‘crap-in, crap-out’ type exercise. :(

    • kevin

      Ray,

      My comment was more for Marius who suggested a VIRB was necessary. I was pretty sure you knew. Don’t ask me why. Just a guess.

  22. Tom

    Love hearing about your sporting adventures on holiday!

    Just something you might want to clarify – the bike shop providing the substandard road bike – was that the same as the one that invited you mountain biking (the Mountain Velo folk)?

    • No, different bike shop. Sorry, I thought I had noted that in the text, but maybe it wasn’t clear.

      I rented bikes from White Pines Touring, which is where I usually rent bikes from.

  23. Remco Verdoold

    We have a mountain buggy terrain as running stroller (also as normal stroller). I liked the big wheels for running, but the locked front wheel sometimes has a tiny offset to the right or left. I think depending on air pressure or the screw that holds the wheel locked. I dislike the constant steering to the right!
    Big pros are, the stroller carries your water with long runs and is comfy for our sun.
    Big disadvantage is the size in the back of the car.
    I do recommend to run with fingerless bike gloves. I tend to switch hands from time to time and need both with steering a bigger turn due to the locked front wheel.

    Question Ray: So I run with my fenix 3 with HRM-run and footpod. The fenix is on my left wrist, which is also my prefered wrist while buggy running. The steps counted during the run are displayed in the post run analysis, also L/R is usually around 50/50%. So the watch compensates for my left hand not making a normal running gestured/movement (there is no swing as usual). BUT, does the background steps-per-day compensate for that too and use the footpod or hrm-run data at that moment?

  24. Andy

    I see you have the revolution. At your running speed you really should get them Ironman for 2 reasons. First it’s much safer than the revolution because of the fixed wheel. The flexible wheel is nice for post-run strolling but if you hit a pothole at high speed thinking it’s nice to be able to turn easily you could flip the whole thing. So you have to lock it in place facing forward but than it’s no different than the Revolution and in fact worse which is reason 2. The fixed wheel can be minutely adjusted for straight tracking which at high speed is critical!! If you’re running sub-18 5k you need to be able to let it roll and not keep adjusting it’s direction every 20 feet. A bonus reason is that the Ironman is much lighter! Again, at high speed you want lighter. For fast running that you 2 might want to do, I cannot recommend the Ironman more. Ironman is for hardcore running, Revolution is nice but a compromise for post-run flexibility and for less hardcore running. And note that the Itonman is much easier to turn than the Revolution with a locked front wheel. I had a double Ironman BOB at fast speeds and tried Revolution in comparison and it was night and day. No question, you need Ironman for safety and speed.

    • Stroller runner

      I disagree completely. I initially used the Ironman (and a different fixed-wheel jogger) and found it useful only on long straight tracks – for urban and running running on roads and sidewalks, the maneuverability of the rotating front wheel completely outperforms fixed front wheels.

      The only time I fix the front wheel now is climbing the stairs at the front of the house, to provide stability as the front wheel catches higher steps as I ascend.

    • Hmm, isn’t one of the main appeals of the Revolution Pro (the one I have) that you can lock the wheel if you want? Thus, it swings both ways in terms of how the two units work?

    • Stroller Runner

      Yes, on the Revolution you can lock the front wheel. But running with the front wheel locked on the Revolution is not the same as running with the Ironman, on which the wheel cannot turn at all.

      One of the biggest differences has to do with turning. With a rotating front wheel, turns are straightforward – the stroller goes where you push it, with the wheel rotating based on your physical guidance. With a fixed front wheel, turning often involves pushing down on the handlebar to raise the front wheel slightly as you change the vector of force applied to turn the stroller.

      The Ironman, and other fixed-wheel strollers, the stroller is designed with a longer wheel-base and a center of gravity aligned to improve that style of turning. The Revolution is not designed that way. Its shorter wheel-base and more-even weight distribution make tipping it for turns less easy – it takes more downward force on the handlebar than the Ironman does, which is more challenging when you’re running at speed and not immediately on top of the handlebar. In other words, it is considerably easier to turn using the Ironman than the Revolution with its wheel fixed. But, as I wrote earlier, I have found that for urban running, and even on congested mixed-use paths, the maneuverability of a rotating front wheel is MUCH better than the fixed wheel. Even at the expense of the weight penalty of the hardware for the rotating wheel.

      The other big difference between a naturally fixed front wheel like on the Ironman and a Revolution with its front wheel fixed is that the Revolution may not track as true a straight line. There’s a jawn for tweaking the left/right balance, which the Ironman doesn’t need since its version of straight is built-in and immutable. Still, since I don’t run in places where I can reasonably expect to be going straight for longer than a couple of blocks (and even then I’m dodging pedestrians, avoiding garbage cans awaiting collection, making sharp turns at corners to catch curb-cuts, et cetera), the rotating front wheel has been essential.

  25. Em

    Honestly, the wine may be cheap but you’re paying much much more for other things and getting less. The cost of living there versus here (obviously depending on where in the US) is probably way more overall.

    • Generally speaking in Europe we pay more for things than in the states (at almost every level, except TV/Internet/Phone service and in France, hospital bills). Though not usually outsized. In most ways we find our cost of living equivalent to in Washington DC (to Paris).

      However wine is really a huge oddity in my mind. In Europe wine is very heavily regulated in terms of every aspect of growing and cultivating – all of which increase costs. Also, workers are generally very well paid here compared to agricultural works in the states. Which is why it’s odd to me the huge difference in price between US and Europe wines. In reality, it should be the opposite.

    • Anonymous Coward

      Labour/regulations has little to do with the US/FR wine price difference. The market will bear what the market will bear, and few $25 US bottles would be able to fetch 20 € in FR, yet many 7 € FR bottles could be sold for $20 in US. Different consumers with divergent value expectations.

  26. Joshua McLaughlin

    If you ever make it to Cleveland or Columbus, Ohio, look up Melt Bar and Grilled. They have a sandwich called the Mighty Macaroni / Creamy homemade macaroni & cheese battered and deep fried, layered with cheddar cheese sauce & your favorite Melted cheese. It’s insane. Just be ready to go run or bike for a day or two to burn the carbs.

    link to meltbarandgrilled.com

  27. Scott Simmons

    Next time you are in Houston, stop into Jus’ Mac. It is the gourmet mac-n-cheese mecca you seek.

  28. Mauricio del Castillo

    Which GARMIN are you wearing the day you ride the bobsled?

    • Molly G

      It is the 735xt. Ray, how did you get a bobsled activity type on there? Clearly there is no built in option for that.

    • Molly G

      I found the option to give a custom name to a new activity. So it is possible. Part of the custom activity setup.

  29. David

    Hi Ray, curious what camera you used to take the night jumping/pool shot. Hovering over the photo, it appears that the photo is labeled as a DSC , which I think is a Sony format.

    I think you used a Sony a6300 at Sea Otter earlier this year, did you buy one? I’m trying to decide on a new travel camera (e.g. Nikon D5500 vs. Sony a6300) myself.

    • For the night pool shot they were on the new Nikon D500 DX. :) All hand-held.

      I did rent a Sony A6300 at Sea Otter, but never quite ended up purchasing one. Still tempted…

    • David

      Cool, thanks Ray! The Nikon D500 is a really nice camera. Hope you are recovering from the Extravaganza. It was a lot of fun

  30. Patrick

    Ray – You left out the best part of the pool,on August 20th they are opening it to the general public to go down as a slip and slide! link to utaholympiclegacy.org You, the girl and Peanut going back, er, I mean conducting high-impact wet-suit and action-cam testing?