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5 Random Things I Did This Weekend

Here’s what we were up to on this extended weekend edition of the 5 Random Things!

1) Off to Canada we go!

We started off the weekend with a mere 8 hour flight to Toronto…followed by a four hour layover…and then backtracking another 3.5 hours to Newfoundland (home of The Girl).  There’s little that sucks more in aviation than overflying your destination only to spend 6 more hours flying to get back to where you were to begin with.  Plus the complimentary four hours in Toronto (actually…turned into 6 hours after delays).

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But The Peanut was a happy camper on the flight, so all was good.

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On our first trip with her last summer back to Canada we simply had her as a lap baby.  Which is logical, since in theory that’s free (or close to it).  Except it’s not free at all on Air Canada when traveling internationally.  In fact, you end up paying almost just as much as a full adult fare, due to the breakdown of taxes and fuel surcharges.  In many cases, the difference in fare is a mere $20-$40!   Thus we’ve now transitioned to buying her a seat when travelling on Air Canada, since that gives us far more room for basically the same cost.

Of course – this isn’t the case on other airlines.  For example, when we flew United Airlines back in April to the US, her lap-child fare was only 10% of the accompanying adult fare – which isn’t too bad.  So we’d keep her as a lap baby then.

Oh, and best of all? Toronto has a Tim Hortons. Obviously, Timbits were in order.  But I don’t seem to have incriminating evidence of that.  So instead, here’s a pic at Swiss Chalet at the airport instead.

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The Peanut approves.

Also, Lucy approves:

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They’ve got a fancy new outdoor (and empty) dog park.  Apparently two of them actually.

2) A Cold Windy Run

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Saturday I headed out for a short 5K run.  The only problem?  I didn’t exactly bring cold-weather running stuff.  I had brought some colder weather cycling stuff, but the forecast had it being a bit warmer than it turned out to be these first few days.  The remainder of the time here looks better.

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So…it was cold, just a single degree above freezing.

Very…very cool. But I did see a rabbit though.

Mostly the wind was the worst though, which of course is always the case for Newfoundland.

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Still, I’ll take it.  A brisk 5K run is better than no run at all.

Oh, and in case you were wondering.  Watches of record for this run were the Suunto Wrist HR, Polar M430, and the Fenix 3.  I forgot to charge the Fenix 5 battery.  Camera was the GoPro Hero5 Black.  Oh, and there was a Fitbit Alta HR in my pocket gathering steps.

3) Beer and BBQ

Sunday we had a bit of a BBQ at the house.  Though oddly, I only have a photo of the beer.  Not sure what happened there.

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And yes, that’s actually snow in place of ice.  Just in case you thought it was warm here.

4) A Slightly Warmer Run

I headed out Sunday for a slightly warmer run.  The sun had poked its head out for a bit during the afternoon, though I mostly missed that and by the time I was running it was somewhat overcast again.  At least the wind had died down and it was more than 1°.  I mean, like a whopping 3-4°.  Woot!

I did the compact dirt/gravel trails for a bit before doing some actual trail running trails.  I saw my rabbit friends again.  Unfortunately, the more single-track trails were…wet.  As in, completely underneath a water feature.  I had to divert a little bit around this whole situation through some trees:

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Here’s a short 360° video of that (water included free of charge), merely because some folks wanted to see how well it handled stabilization in running situations.

(Remember to switch to 4K in YouTube, else it’ll likely look sucky)

After the trail I stopped briefly by some snow:

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And then it was time to hit the road for the couple mile journey back to where I started.  Not too shabby for a quick run.

Devices of record for this run was the Suunto Wrist HR, Polar M430, and Fenix 5.  Camera was the Garmin VIRB 360.  And again, a Fitbit Alta HR in the Spibelt. There was also a GoPro Hero5 Black in my Spibelt too, but I didn’t end up using it on this run and just cropped the photos from the 360 cam.

5) Getting the bike all ready to roll

Like most cyclists, I’ve got older bikes that have been semi-retired.  And like any good retired thing, it goes off to the retirement home.  In this case, my two eldest bikes are at both my parents’ house and my in-laws’ house.  Albeit on complete opposite sides of the continent.  It’d be difficult to get much further apart.

In this case my very first road bike is up here in Newfoundland.  It hangs out in the Moose Shack much of the year.

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So I went in and grabbed it and brought it to the garage to fill the tires with air and clean up a few things.  This included finally removing this super-old bike computer mount that’s been there forever.

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As well as then installing my pedals (P1).

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Along the way I decided to re-do the bar tape a bit.  I didn’t have new bar tape, but just re-wrapped the existing stuff.  Oh, and then I installed three bike computers: Stages Dash, Polar M460, and an Edge 520.  I normally would use an Edge 820, but I couldn’t find it at the last second when I was packing.  Shrug, I know all the roads around here pretty well.

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And with that, I’m ready to head out for a ride:

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Have a great week ahead all!

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47 Comments

  1. Nemo

    Always great to see some pics from NFLD. Is that running trail outside St John’s or around the bay where The Girl’s family lives? It looks to be very well maintained (minus the water and mud on the single track bit of course).

    • It’s at Voisey’s Brook: link to goo.gl

      They’ve created a boatload of trails that opened about 2-3 years ago. Really nice for running around. You can do about 3-5KM per loop without repeating with a bit of creativity. That single-track bit isn’t technically part of the network, but a spur off to another road I can sometimes use in summer.

    • emily in pdx

      I always love your posts! Since you are running trails – have you done any posts comparing accuracy of various watches on forested runs? I’m kind of stuck in Garmin world so would love to know if Fenix 5s has exact accuracy as Fenix 5 and 5x… seems like sensor on 5s is smaller since the whole watch is smaller. or am I actually better off just using my super old but perfectly functional 620 with a footpod for better accuracy??

      Also… totally unrelated but meant to ask, can The Girl please do a few more baby/ running mama – gear posts?

    • I’ve done some here and there as it happens to fit into whatever review timeline I’m working on. But I don’t have access to super-dense forests most of the time (in Paris) – like you might find in mountain areas. Still, sometimes it just happens to work out. With Newfoundland, the trees are mostly pretty short due to the harsh weather, so not too difficult for GPS.

      And check on The Girl! She does talk a fair bit about it within the DCR Newsletter too!

  2. Nick

    Keith’s Light!

  3. Michael

    Funny, I also had the same vintage Fuji roubaix as my first road bike. It’s also sitting in my parents’ garage…

  4. Jimbo

    No mention of the iceberg?
    Does Lucy travel in the cabin?
    Any problems going to different countries?

    • I figured I’d save the iceberg for later. Plus, happened a bit later on Monday.

      Yup, Lucy travels in the cabin in a bag below the seat. Zero issues. We do declare her on customs and stuff coming into various countries, and as long as we don’t try and bring her to Australia – we’re all good!

  5. Tim Grose

    Pointing up saddle ?

  6. Mike S.

    Ha! You can’t swing a dead cat without hitting 4 or 5 Tim Horton’s in TO.

    I sure miss Timmys. No real equivalent here in So Cal.

    • Mike S.

      Also, Alexander Keith’s “India Pale Ale” is an IPA in name only. Tastes nothing like a real IPA. I hope you got to sample some *proper* IPAs in San Diego.

  7. Jeff

    In my experience, I’d leave a set of pedals, and maybe an old pair of shoes. I’ve gotten home too many times only to discover that I forget either the pedals or shoes. And it’s a long way to the nearest bike shop :-(

    • Yeah, I have both pedals/helmet/shoes here. But I like taking in the P1 and my shoes if possible. I had plenty of room this time in my suitcase. So tossed them in.

  8. Tobias Laengle

    That flight via Toronto is really demoralizing, we always try to go through LHR since we’ve had kids… Have you tried running on the East Coast Trail at all? Cobbler Path (trailhead here: link to goo.gl) is beautiful and no snow left, or Picco’s Ridge (up from Portugal Cove here: link to goo.gl) – that one is harder, more technical, steep (200m climb), but amazing views of Conception Bay and Bell Island, about 2km in. Anyway enjoy the time in NL!

    • Yeah, the LHR option is so much better. A million times better (which is a rare thing to say about LHR).

      Unfortunately, we can’t take Lucy (the dog) via that route due to stupid LHR/British Airways rules.

      Thanks for the routes – I might give them a whirl over the next week!

    • Jamie

      I just sent you a note about going via LHR as well…surely some air carrier can accommodate you from CDG or ORY to LHR besides BA, and if not what about the Eurostar. If booked in advance I’m guessing it can’t be much worse? I did it once from Brussels with 3 kids under 6 and rode the underground from I think it was St. Pancras to LHR on the tube and survived to joke about it now!

      Anyway thanks for sharing your weekend with us.

    • Mike Robinson

      There are also seasonal direct flights (May to October) between London Gatwick and Dublin to St John’s.

    • Nemo

      Yes, thanks for those extra trail suggestions!

    • Yeah, the new Westjet option is great eastbound, as you can make a really nice connection to Paris in good time. Westbound though the flight unfortunately leaves too early in the morning, so you have to stay the night in Dublin. Shame it wasn’t just 30-45 minutes later. I suspect next summer we’ll see them realize that.

      Gatwick is interesting. Up until a few months back there were zero Gatwick-Paris flights. Do you had to do the Heathrow/Gatwick shuffle (always sucks). But Vueling added a boatload of flights over the summer/fall. Vueling is owned by Iberia, who is in turn owned by British Airways. So you can make connections in a logical manner.

    • Mike Robinson

      Yeah, I think Eurostar has basically killed off the market flying London-Paris for city centre to city centre travel but there is still a market for flight connections.

      I hope Vueling don’t use the BA IT systems otherwise you would be vulnerable to “power surges” in their data centres ;) .

    • Indeed, city center to city center – definitely Eurostar.

      However, I have found that if I have meetings outside of London, generally LHR works better. Just easier than dealing with getting back out of the city.

  9. Godunow

    When do you think you would be able to post full M430 review? Not buying one before I read it :)

  10. So are the in-laws accustomed to their internet connection being swamped with 4K video uploads when you’re in town??? :-)

  11. Charlotte

    Looking forward to your M430 review :D

  12. Dan

    Can’t wait to hear more about the Dash. Any initial thoughts?

    • Overall I think they’re doing cool stuff. I think they’re probably after a more limited market right now with it. Basically, I think they keep with those that like an SRM PC8, except the Dash has more features and costs half as much.

      On the flipside, the ease of use is more complex than a Garmin/Wahoo unit. It takes more getting used to how it works and the customization pieces. Not hard, just not dumb-simple – if that makes sense.

      I think if you like tinkering and are more techy – it’s a cool product to go along for the ride on now. But in some ways I think it’s kinda like the ELEMNT a year ago – it’s gonna need about 8-10 more months of people hammering on it (real people, lots of them) for it to find its finesse. Sorta like how Wahoo did between the ELEMNT and the BOLT. Now both products are awesome, but at launch the original ELEMNT sometimes rubbed early adopters the wrong way.

    • Dan

      The Dash has been removed from the Clever Training site? 🤔

    • It’s a temporary thing, it’ll be back in June 6th. Apparently some miscommunications.

    • Dan

      Still not there…

    • Dan

      Ordered, thanks!

  13. Don

    Are you still working on a New Balance RunIQ review?

    • No, not at this point. I killed the previous one somehow and have been too lazy to get another one (they’ve offered, just low on the totem pole).

      Even if Android Wear 2.0 fixes all of the numerous software issues I saw with it (there were tons), it won’t fix one key thing: The optical HR sensor. It’s simply a crappy sensor they bought from Intel, who acquired it from the Basis units. So it’s great for 24×7…except the RunIQ doesn’t do 24×7, it only does workout HR. And that sensor is horrible for workout HR. :-/

      (Something I found in the weeks I had it before I killed it)

  14. Circe

    Hi Ray, what do you think about new Favero powermeter Assioma? Seems very good device!

    • If it’s accurate, it’ll do very well. I’m optimistic they’ll get that right. I’m less optimistic they’ll get production volumes right. They really struggled with that for…well…ever. Which means it may be a long time until people start seeing units in any volumes out there.

      Still, great specs for the money! They’re working to get me a review unit in shortly.

  15. Kris H

    your daughter is very cute!

  16. Dave

    Great. Hope to see a comparison between warm and cold weather performance of the m430 optical heart rate sensor.

  17. David

    Have you tried Newfy Screech Rhum? It is my favorite, but my Candadian friends think I’m nuts!

  18. Hi Ray; do you plan to post a Versailles tri race report? Thanks!

  19. Rob Huntley

    Dude,

    That beer (Keith’s) is the finest ever made and if I were allowed any gluten in my life, I’d have a fridge full of it. Enjoy!

    • Mike S.

      Keith’s India Pale Ale isn’t the worst beer I’ve ever had, but it’s definitely not an IPA. False advertising in my opinion.