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5 Random Things I Did This Weekend

The weather continues to get warmer here in Paris – and this weekend was quite nice. Here’s what I was up to!

1) A quick lunch run

I headed out Friday midday for a short lunch run.  It was part testing and part just fitting in a very brief run in an otherwise busy day.

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It was only about 25-30 minutes, as I just needed the time to get some photos of the Suunto Spartan interval mode while actually running.  Sure, I could have just taken them while standing there and they would have looked nicer, but in this case I thought it useful to show what it looked like mid-run.

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The side benefit of that being I got in a short interval workout.  Albeit really too short to have any meaningful impact from a fitness standpoint.  But at least I got the shots.

2) Finding a bread cutter

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We’ve been living in France almost five years now.  In fact, our first house-hunting trip here was 5 years ago this past weekend (remember this?!? Or the house hunting itself?).  And in these 5 years I’ve been hunting for this one item that has proved very difficult to find. An antique baguette cutter.

See the restaurant next door, that we visit on a near weekly basis, has this awesome old-school baguette cutter that I love.  It’s part antique, and part random cool kitchen gadget.  Many of you know I’m as much a kitchen gadget guy as a sports tech gadget guy (except automatic can openers, I think those are stupid).

In any case, I’ve been looking for this baguette contraption for years at various antique (brocante) markets that constantly pop up around the city.  This weekend there was a massive antique market across the river, so we took a wander on Saturday for the fun of it.  You could find just about anything there – including whatever the heck that plastic women is/was:

And astoundingly, I actually found the baguette cutter – early on in fact.  But it wasn’t a French one, rather instead from the Nordics.  I had been somewhat looking for an old-school French one, given our time here.

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It was also incredibly expensive, so I passed on it for now.  I’ll probably regret doing that down the road, but at least the quest continues.

3) Next up…Power2Max NG

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I started getting the Power2Max Next Generation (NG) all situated as my next power meter to test.  I’ll finally be down to just a single power meter left in the queue (this one).  Of course, I expect with products from FSA (the PowerBox), as well as likely others that have been recently announced soon on their way, it won’t stay a short queue for long.

Like most new power meters on the market, the NG is dual ANT+ & Bluetooth Smart.  I wrote about it last fall when it was announced.  And it started shipping this past winter, though I think they’re only somewhat recently getting caught-up in terms of order backlog.

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My plan will be around the first 5-10 days of June for an in-depth review.  I have some travel in between now and then that slows things a bit since I won’t likely be bringing my bike.

4) Riding the sun

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Speaking of riding – I headed out Sunday mid-afternoon for a short 75-80 minute ride.  Being Mother’s Day I didn’t want to stay away too long.  So I knocked out a brisk ride from the house to Longchamp where I did a few loops, and then back home.

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It had been a bit of a tumultuous day in terms of weather.  It was largely sunny, except when it decided to rain Florida-style, in which case it would drench everything in sight for a period of 5-8 minutes.  Just enough to show who’s boss, but not quite enough to keep you indoors the rest of the day.

Thankfully it didn’t hit while I was out riding.  And the ride was all good.  I wasn’t actually testing too much on this ride – just a few things, like the Polar M460 and Polar M430.  The M460 being the new bike computer, and the M430 being the new GPS watch.

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The M460 was also configured with Strava Live Segments as well, which seemed to work well enough though my specific route only had a handful of Segments on it…and most regrettably traffic got in the way of me putting down a stellar effort.  Win some, lose some.

5) Off to the Giro…for a day!

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Later on this evening I’ll grab a quick 90 minutes flight down to Florence (Italy, not South Carolina).  From there I’ll drive about 2 hours to the town of Foligno.

It’s here that on Tuesday morning the individual time trial will start.  It’ll then roam some 39.8km to the town of Montefalco, where it’ll end.  I’ve often tried to visit grand tours on time trial days, because it’s the best bang for the buck.  You get to watch one rider after another for the entire day.  It’s a sweet deal.

I didn’t apply for a Giro media pass, so we’ll see what type of access I manage to wrangle.  Maybe I’ll do a Giro bike tech round-up, maybe not.  But there will definitely be some sort of DCR Giro goodness.  Though, I’ve never had a media pass for the Tour de France in the past, and have done quite well for getting behind the scenes type photos.  If ya see me out and about on Tuesday – say Hi!

But I’m a bit tight on time this week, so once the time trial finishes up I’m going to be rushing back to Florence airport to catch the last flight of the night back home.

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40 Comments

  1. Ruben

    I was hoping for the story of being pulled over by the cops while swimming!

  2. Thomas

    That Raadvad bread cutter is actually Danish. You can get loads of them up here in DK for as little as 10 EUR. There’s a Danish website called DBA.dk. Try and search for Raadvad.

  3. Janne

    When are planning to publish Polar M430 review? Sales are starting on this month and I’m eager to see your comments about the device

  4. Ken

    Nice rack! I mean the antlers, what were you thinking? Shoulda bought if for the Cave; it’s a cable & HRM strap hanger/organizer. Yeah, yeah, that’s it, a cable & strap holder.

  5. Stanislav Sokolov

    Hello Ray,

    Do you have any plans to review mio pai? Seems like an interesting approach to tracking but doubt that the optical heart rate would live up to the promise.

    • I had planned to. Though, it’s largely fell off my radar. Honestly nobody has asked about it since the winter. And in turn, I haven’t thought about it once until you mentioned it today. :(

    • Stanislav Sokolov

      Seems like Mio failed with the marketing aspect of it, don’t know anyone who bought it or tried it…Seems like fitbit can stay safe for a while.

  6. Circe

    Welcome to Italy!! Enjoy your (short) stay in the beatyful Umbria!!

  7. Ben

    So how much was the guy asking for the cutter? How many power meters worth of cash?

  8. Hi Ray! Do you think you’ll try to get a media pass for this year Tour de France?

  9. Brian

    Ha, I always enjoy when you mention Florence (SC), since that’s only about 60 miles from where I live here in the Palmetto State.

    • Nice. I spent some time there for work about 15 years ago.

      Funny story actually, my first trip in was coming from another trip overseas. I had taken the Concorde (one of the last flights) from London to JFK…and then rushed to make a connection on a small prop plane with like 8 seats on it going slower than a VW bus. Most solid reality check ever.

    • Brian

      Ha ha, that sounds like Florence.

  10. Jonas S.

    Are you coming to Düsseldorf for the Tour prologue then? ;)

  11. Stefan

    Hi Ray, can you please say two or three Words to this:
    link to cyclingweekly.com
    Is it serious?

  12. Swim N Bike Ken

    Ray,

    Maybe I missed it, but it looks to me, you are definitely on a training program for a (yet to determine) event?

    Just wondering where you will test yourself.

    Cheers,

    Ken (Hong Kong)

    • Just some short distance stuff. I’ve got the Paris Olympic Distance tri this summer (early July). And I’m also signed up for the Versailles Sprint Tri this weekend, though not sure I’ll be able to make that (The Girl is out of town and I have The Peanut).

  13. Max

    Hi Ray, while you are here in my little slice of Italy (Umbria) consider eating some proper food. I may suggest you “torta al testo” (also called “crescia” or “ciaccia”) stuffed with ham, and a glass of Sagrantino di Montefalco.
    Cheers

    • I wish I had more time to eat. Eat anything actually. Was such a whirlwind trip, that my food intake consisted entirely of one slice of pizza (that wasn’t very good), and four arancini balls (that were very good).

      Wasn’t a good day for nutrition. But I did take 34GB of photos!

  14. DLinLV

    Ray, I have wondered this for years now, and its time to ask: In all the riding tests you have done, have you ever had a device fall off the bike and crash on the road/trail?
    Just seems the law of averages might catch up. I had a Garmin mount snap on my tri bike a few years back and the safety cord saved it (Edge 1k) from the drop to asphalt at 20 MPH.
    Just wondering if you had a similar tale.
    Have fun, ride safe.

    • Yup, a few actually.

      A) I had one mount snap in off on a 360 camera a year or two ago (can’t remember off-hand which camera it was), due to cobbles. Camera went rolling down the hill.
      B) I had a prototype machined aluminum mount snap in half, sending both a GoPro and an Edge 520 flying across the cobbles.
      C) A long while ago I had a Spot tracker fall off my bike at speed descending. Hit rather hard, but still survived. This was jury-rigged to my bike, so not really their fault.
      D) I dropped a GoPro Karma Grip (gimbal system with Hero5 Black) this winter too, at about 20-25MPH onto the pavement. Seemed mostly fine for a few months.

      And I feel like I’m missing something else. Oh, I had a crank arm snap off too once.

      All that said, I’ve never broken a bike computer or action cam…surprisingly.

  15. Allan Tan

    If you do go for a Raadvad bread cutter, here’s what they cost in Denmark: link to dba.dk

  16. Tommy

    Hi Ray.
    Well the breadcutter you found is from the Danish Companys “Raadvad”. The company is still around today. But in the private market they go for around 150 kr or 20 Euros.

    link to dba.dk

    So if you come to Denmark sometime, then look up some of the antique markets. Then you may be lucky and pick one up that is in a good condition.

    • Awesome – thanks Tommy and Allan!

      Definitely some good deals in there. Far better than the prices I was looking at, and some are in really good condition too!

  17. Lesley Bye

    Hi,

    I have Garmin Vivoactive HR and garmin foot pod. In addition to running I like to train using Insanity max 30 workouts and the like. The calorie count shown on the vivoactive hr for activities such as Insanity max 30 seems significantly lower than I would expect. Can you advise on the best settings to use to create an an app suitable for the type of activity is cardi based on running default etc. Thank you.