5 Random Things I Did This Weekend

Here’s a look at what I was up to this weekend, which includes a healthy dose of sports tech as well as a bit of fun with the family riding around!

1) So much unboxing

I can’t really even begin to explain how many new products and boxes are arriving over the past few days and into next week.  It’s between 2-4 deliveries per day.  It’s nuts.  Almost everything related to Eurobike or immediately thereafter.  All of which requires unboxing photos, installation photos, and then in some cases videos too.

And unfortunately, most of which I can’t show you. Though I can show both of these:

DSC_9499 DSC_9487

The one to the left is Omata, whereas the one to the right is Beeline.  Both are actually unique in their head unit capabilities.  Omata was announced/etc about a year ago and is a super-classy/classic looking head unit that has GPS within it (and a barometric altimeter).  Whereas Beeline is more of a simplistic navigation device that lets you set a waypoint on your phone, and then it simply shows you an arrow – allowing you to be more free-form your path.  It was perfect for our Sunday family bike ride across the park.  More on that in a minute.

And with all these new boxes arriving, for the first time ever, I’m actually using a gigantic Excel spreadsheet to track all the new products/posts set for just the next 2.5 weeks.  It currently sits at 27 rows.  And I’m not even listing things I don’t know about/have yet on there.  It’s bonkers.

2) A Quick Zwift

Friday afternoon/evening I was looking for a quick validation workout for some accuracy testing, most notably between the new Elite Direto trainer (production edition) that arrived, as well as between the Assioma pedals and the FSA PowerBox.  I wanted something with some variability in wattages, but that also showed off stability.

I found a workout on TrainerRoad, but then found out that TrainerRoad still isn’t working correctly with the Direto trainer (via iOS anyway, via FE-C would likely be fine). [Update: TrainerRoad is working on the updated app version, which incorporates support for the Direto, and more specifically the new Bluetooth Smart trainer control standard – it should be out soon.]


So I skipped my plan there and switched over to Zwift, where I found a functional workout (Jon’s Short Mix – 30 mins long):


I then proceeded to knock that out.  All went well.  And in fact, as part of that you’ll find the results in this unboxing and more video I just posted on the Assioma pedals.  The video covers unboxing, weight comparisons, installation, as well as accuracy analysis of not one – but two rides!  Boom!

Expect my full in-depth review of the Assioma pedals (along with other power meters) likely the week of Eurobike, give or take a few days.  In the meantime, here’s my preview post.  The FSA PowerBox will be on a similar timetable.  In case it wasn’t obvious, there’s going to be a crapton of power meter reviews all landing at almost the same time.  Many of them I’ve been working on quite a bit longer (months in some cases for some unannounced things).

3) Me and My Apple

Me and my iPhone had a bit of a rough weekend together.  And the only reason I bring it up is that it ended up taking a significant portion of my weekend to resolve.  All of it actually.  And admittedly, all of it was my fault.

It started off on Friday with me trying to update to the latest iOS Beta.  I primarily use the iOS 11 beta because it allows me to record my iPhone screen as a movie (something Android has allowed apps to do for years).  It’s great.  It’s how I did the DJI Spark videos.  And normally, updating to the latest beta goes without a hitch.

While my phone was low on battery, I plugged it in and let it do its update thing.  Unfortunately, in the middle of that, it somehow ran out of power and corrupted things.  That required a restore.  But not a normal restore – rather, one first to the non-beta, then update to beta, and then restore.  Oh…and my restore is 120GB from iCloud.  So that took all Friday because it doesn’t really take advantage of the full speed of your internet when doing so.

Fast forward to mid-day Saturday and we were out walking past the Louvre getting some pics when my phone took a flight.  That shattered the screen.  No biggie, the Apple Store was actually below my feet at the time (woot!.  So I dropped that off to get the screen swapped out (free with Apple Care – double woot!).  But that process still took 3+ hours, and left me with my phone reset yet again.

With my phone back and happy I begin restoring for the second day in a row.

Just after midnight I went to unlock my phone…and the code doesn’t work.  Seriously.  The same code I’ve been using for a while, simply doesn’t work anymore.  After a lot of wrangling and getting my device disabled for many hours, the only fix was to actually reset the whole darn thing again.

So that process starts…again.

It’s still finishing restoring, as of Monday afternoon.  Sigh…

At least I’ll give Apple credit here in that despite all of these things requiring a bunch of steps to fix, everything except the screen replacement was 100% self-service.

4) Sunday Ride With the Family

With the weather getting quite a bit nicer on Sunday we headed out for a ride through the Bois de Vincennes, which is the gigantic park on the eastern edge of Paris.  Our friend’s place that we’re chillaxing in for a few weeks also has a bike with a child seat on it, so we plopped The Peanut into that and headed on out.

2017-08-13 12.44.46

I’ve run through this park countless times, as well as have ridden my road/tri bikes around it and doing loops within it, but it’s quite different when just rambling along slowly.  The park seems so much bigger, so much more vast.  You’re not thinking about which turn to make next, or the most efficient way to get around, but rather…just enjoying the scenery.

Well, at least enjoying it when you aren’t sleeping anyway:


We liked this child seat (Hamax Siesta) our friends have far more than the one on our rental bike in the Netherlands.  Much more support for the little one.  She even has arm rests!

2017-08-13 13.43.23-1

The Girl also did some aero riding on the Velib with the closed streets.  On Sunday’s they close down some of the streets in the park so that cyclists and pedestrians can enjoy them.


I was also playing around with Beeline, and this was really the perfect scenario for it.  I placed some dots (waypoints) on the other side of the park and we could have used it to navigate. I use ‘could have’, because I made the mistake of de-pairing it at the start of the ride and then didn’t realize that in order to re-pair it you have to remove it from the BT control panel.  So I didn’t get it working again till later.  But then it was all good.

2017-08-13 12.05.05 2017-08-13 12.40.27

Normally I might have been a little less sure about when I’d use such a device, but this was a million times better than any fancy Garmin Edge or Wahoo unit would have been.  We could wander as we wanted, and the arrow simply would keep us apprised of the general direction of where our destination was.  Perfect!


It’ll also show speed, time, and battery status for both your phone and the unit, if you want.  More on this next week or so.

5) Cycling out to the fields

After concluding my ride with The Girl and The Peanut, I turned back around and headed out on a solo ride to the east of Paris.  Well, actually, I tried to.

First though, I found that I had dumbfoundedly managed to catch a Di2 cable inside the quick release skewer (when I swapped a wheel), effectively severing it.  That put an end to any rear-cassette shifting.  So I spent about an hour riding to the studio, tearing it apart, and then trying to find extra cables in the Cave that didn’t exist.  In the end I simply removed the ANT transmitter from the system to remove the subsequent broken cable and resume shifting.  I should have done that up front.  And then I found out that my PowerTap G3 hub’s battery had died.  So I returned again to swap that battery out.

After then…finally…I set out on my ride.


I rode east for a ways, following suggestions from a DCR reader last weekend.


It worked out well, though I should have gone longer than I did, but with all the time losses I was burning into Peanut dinner time.


And while I generally shy away from doing off-road on my triathlon/TT bike, it wasn’t too bad.


All in all a pretty solid ride, with boatloads of test data gathered across more than half a dozen devices.

Oh, and when all was said and done…I ordered a new Di2 cable.

With that –have a great week ahead everyone!


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  1. gingerneil

    Have you visited parkrun there yet!? Apparently it’s quite tourist heavy, but definitely worth calling in if you’re ever in Paris on a Saturday morning and fancy a free, timed, 5k run.

  2. Matthew B.

    Any wearables being unboxed? Or mostly just PMs and such?

  3. Eli

    Runscribe Plus being unboxed?

  4. Jonas S.

    Formatting for “5)” is a little off. ;)

  5. Brad

    We used a Topeak baby seat for our 2 kids and it worked out very well. Some things to recommend it:
    – Seat has a suspension if the bike doesn’t.
    – Lap bar to for little hands to hold onto. Doubles as a head rest for sleeping riders….
    – Adjustable height foot rests / straps to keep little toes out of spokes.
    – Quick release: Super easy to take off the seat when solo riding. Press a button and pull out a slide to take the seat off the rack.

    Ours survived many miles of riding, and was a favorite place for my daughter to nap.

  6. Man, that’s a horrible run of bad luck. I do love the peanut pictures, though. :)

  7. Gonzalo


    Have you seen: Speedo connects with Garmin for enhanced swimming?

  8. Daniel

    Uhh, seems like a Murphys Law Weekend…!
    But you got it fixed! Thumbs up!

  9. DS

    On the broken cable: You should have done a Rigoberto Uran and manually pushed the rear deraileur into the biggest gear, then just grind out a stage win. For my money, that was the best ride of the Tour.

  10. DarrenH

    Sounds like Santa is coming early Ray, although you have to send the gifts back. I am assuming with Garmin 520s on sale a 530/830 is imminent. I am hoping for a slimmer form factor Wahoo Elemnt 2.0 to close out my Santa list. Thoughts?

  11. Adam W

    Sounds like a fun/frustrating weekend with peanuts and apples.

    Did you notice that the link for your new Di2 cable has DCR in it…


    They just knew!

  12. Michael Swann

    I just changed from a 16 GB iPhone SE to a 128 GB iPhone SE and had issues. I backed up my old iPhone using iTunes, but iTunes wouldn’t let me apply the backup from the old phone to the new one. The reason: the two iPhones had different firmware versions. Once I updated the new iPhone to be the same as the old one it all went quite quickly. Updating the new iPhone took some time. Was that the issue you had?

    I also had password issues with the backup, but it sorted itself out in the end.

    • Roughly on the firmware. When you corrupt an iPhone, it basically takes it to a small boot loader of sorts that then pulls down the current production firmware. So once that’s done, then you’ve gotta update to the beta firmware (in my case), and then after that you’ve gotta restore your original phone. Each of these steps taking varying amounts of time depending on tidal patterns/etc…

      It also didn’t help that the iPhone will attempt twice to fix the corruption issues before it moves on, so that takes a long time before it decides it’s failed on that and lets you move onto the three-step tango above.

      Again, not complaining per se, as it all worked out and didn’t require me to send a phone back or anything. I just wish it gave me the option to restore the beta firmware, since it knows my phone is registered as such.

    • Robert Courteau

      iTunes password-protected backup is normally the best backup/restore way – it’s fast, and it keeps most apps settings including login info; but, as you stated, there is the dreaded “firmware must be the same” thingy… if you’re moving from one phone to another it’s not so bad, you can plan ahead; but if something dies on you you’re in trouble, particularly if you’re not diligent about keeping iOS up-to-date. Trying to bring a new, replacement phone to an old iOS to restore your data is not exactly user-friendly… So the best course of action is to do both a password-protected iTunes backup, and a regular iCloud one.

  13. HmZ

    Lots of PMs – should I bite the bullet on the power2max sale (type S with crank and chainrings from $550-$600)? Presumably some sharply priced units to be announced at Eurobike and/or the bi-annual 20% off at CleverTraining to come in November….

  14. Benjamin Pettett

    Hey Ray,

    I have the same child seat for my hybrid bike, it’s great how it reclines and takes some of the bumps out with its design. Have plenty of pics of my 2 daughters asleep in it too, such as the one attached. :-) My kids are 4 years apart and the seat has lasted well and still going strong with the younger 2 year old. Highly recommend!


  15. Peter

    thanks for the assioma video. Was waiting for your thoughts on this new version.
    2 questions:
    -is there anything changed in the dimensions of the pods to prevent damage of the pod when clicking out of your pedals? read somewhere that this could be solved by installing the grey cleats?
    -when the cleats are worn, do you need special cleats from favero or can you just by the look keo pedals? You said in your video they are not 100% the same…

    • A) The pods are indeed slightly smaller. Additionally, they’ve removed the battery door now (since they use contact charging), so that also removes potential ingress issues.

      B) It’s really going to depend honestly on your specific cleats and how worn they are. In general I’d recommend using theirs, but you can certainly try out yours first and see if they work. You’ll know within just a few minutes. Simply do a quick sprint or two. Easy to test. Note, these are the same cleats that the PowerTap P1 uses.

    • Peter

      Ok Thanks!

  16. JensF

    quick questions – looks like you’re wearing the FR935 for the TT ride, any more details on the HR reading issue when on cobbles/off road – I have some massive difference between the strap and 935 reads going downhill (roadbike on paved roads) seems like the 935 cant settle down and is well above the strap data (+20-50bpms) ?

    • JensF

      example – consistently same result on all downhill segments

    • Eli

      How tight is the watch on your wrist? Where is it on your wrist (distance above wrist bone as it needs to be kept away from bony parts of the wrist) Try it on the inside of your wrist instead of the outside?

      Some of these tips may help:
      link to help.fitbit.com

      Good info on issues with optical heart rate here: link to valencell.com

    • JensF

      Thanks Eli

      Good article on Valencell !

      My question was specific to some error reading seen in bike riding where the conditions seem to play in more than the standard issues with OHRM..

      anyway not a big problem for me as I do not use the watch for biking (and have not had any issues while running)

  17. Ed Wolph

    Thank you for the pictures of Peanut asleep in the bike seat. I was just getting depressed by all the news and FaceBook posts about Charlottesville. Her picture made me smile and brightened m day.

  18. strava

    Hi DC,

    I did your ride “Go East They Said” this afternoon. Some pleasant roads in the countryside with in an extra-ball in the woods. Many roundabouts for trajectory practice ;op.
    Though, the D4 is quite horrible from La Queue en Brie to Chennièvres, didn’t you agree (see pic)?
    In heavy trafic conditions, I fear my time travel exceeds my survival expectancy.

    Thanx for the ride and everything

    • Haha, I didn’t actually mind the D4 portion, as almost all of it had a cycling lane save for where that little snippet is to the right.

      It was after crossing the Marne that kinda sucked for a bit. I was trying to avoid dealing with the riverside path, as it’s usually full of meandering people and kids and dogs and cows and goats and everything.

      The woods was nicer than I expected.

      I think with some tweaking it could be a solid 2hr route. Though I gotta figure out that first portion and last portions and make them nicer. And same goes for some of the routes through neighborhoods. I was using Strava heat maps to figure things out, but in some cases it ended up being more local commuters than road riders.

    • strava

      A suggestion to avoid the lethal D4 and the crowdy “bords de Marne” : see pic
      I praticed many times this course.
      Don’t expect here a bucolic road of course, a lot off crossroads and so one. Anyway, you’ll be pleased to cross the “so chic” La Varenne. It follows a climb (1 km at 6% grade) located “rue du pont” (red potato on pic).

    • strava

      sorry for the potato, here it is…I hope

    • Very nice, I’ll give it a whirl next time!

  19. Rick

    Ray, when are you planning to compete in triathlon? I read all you race reviews, they are so interesting.

  20. Goncalo

    I loved the Beeline concept. I usually have troubles with navigation when exploring a city (especially those that you don’t know) by bike. Of course you have phone, watches and so on, but that is always a mess. Looking forward to know if it works well :)

  21. Tosin M. Akinmusuru

    Hey, I have the Thule Ride Along? bike seat. Looks exactly like yours. Reclines, a little bounce, 48.5 lb weight limit. My kids like it a lot. Well, not at the same time.

  22. Ed Druitt

    Check out the wee-ride bike seat. It sits in front of you, you have to splay you knees a little (only a problem if you are riding the tour de france with a kids seat) but the kids love it because they are up front and the balance of the bike is so much better that the rear mounted ones.

  23. dick

    Just get a Galaxy. Problem solved.