5 Random Things I Did This Weekend

With our second weekend in the Fremantle/Perth area, we’re getting into the swing of things on how to properly take advantage of the area.  Though, I’ll give you a hint: It involves staying near the beach.

1) Swim Lessons Time

Friday afternoon I took The Peanut to her first swim lesson.  She’s been in the pool countless times, but this would be the first semi-structured lesson.

I didn’t take the camera to the actual lesson, which I took part in holding her.  It was a group lesson at the rec center with a bunch of other kids.  First off though, the rec center is stunningly beautiful (for a city-run facility or otherwise).  It has a 50m outdoor pool, a 25m sorta-indoor pool (the side walls open up), a huge kids pool area, and then a separate ‘program pool’, which is where the kids’ lessons were.  Not to mention huge lawns to hang out on and picnic areas, a café, and swing sets.  The Peanut loves swing sets.  We’d actually go back again this weekend for a few hours.

DCIM\100GOPRO\GOPR2570.JPG DCIM\100GOPRO\GOPR2584.JPG 2018-02-02 12.15.57

As for the swim lessons, The Peanut was highly skeptical.  I’m not sure she was skeptical so much of the water, but rather, the entire situation.  The entire lesson was done in song, so 35 minutes of the parents singing along with the instructor to various kids songs.  I should note, when I say ‘various’, I mean ‘Australian’.  Because quite frankly I have no idea WTF they were singing about.  And neither did The Peanut.  I just hummed along trying not to look too out of place.  And The Peanut would follow whatever the other kids did as well, so she wouldn’t look too out of place.

Nonetheless we got through it together, as a team.  Crazy-ass songs about kangaroos, crocodiles and Vegemite be damned.

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Oh, here’s when we went again this weekend with P2 (Peanut #2).  She loved the water:

2018-02-05 15.59.47 2018-02-05 16.00.44

She didn’t have to succumb to any songs about Vegemite, which is probably why she’s so happy.

2) Going to Prison!

I headed off Saturday late morning for about a 10KM run.  In reality, I was already heading out the door far too late in the day for any type of run given the heat and humidity (and direct sun).  But alas, time to just double-down and get er’ done.

I plotted out a quick route using the same app as I always do, except, I didn’t bother to transfer it to my watch. I just memorized the name/locale of the street to turn on, and then did it from memory.  Given the majority of the route is just running along the water, it’s kinda hard to screw up.


I decided my turn-around point would be the old Fremantle Prison, which I’d do a bit of a loop around.  Don’t worry, it’s a tourist/historical attraction now.


Regrettably, turns out running around the Prison involves a small hill.  Really more like a speedbump, but put into context of the pancake flat course, it’s like Mt. Everest.



After the run, I cooled down for a few minutes at the beach, because…why not?  It should be considered required finishing material anytime that option is available.


Yup, definitely likin’ this type of run ending.

3) Getting the shot

(Warning: Camera/video geekery ahead)

Every once in a while the stars align and both little ones are sleeping at once.  So I took that opportunity to get some shots I needed done for tomorrow’s post on the AirHub.  In this case, I set up a 3-axis automated slider rig, which allows me to automate certain camera shots – namely used for b-roll within the accompanying video.  In short, there’s a slider that allows the main camera movement (sliding).  That’s done via the Syrp Genie.  Thankfully, I bought that when it was a Kickstarter project many moons ago.  Woot!

2018-02-02 16.24.59

Then there’s two Genie Mini’s.  One rotates the camera up and down (it’s mounted sideways).  I got that this past year when I realized I could use it for product rotation type stuff (stand-alone on a table).  Like a record player, you can put a plate atop it and it goes around and around.  And then finally, the second Genie Mini is used for the last axis – which rotates side to side.


Now, in the realm of 3-axis slider/camera control systems, this is kinda the least streamlined option.  If I had to do it all over again I’d probably consider the Edelkrone setup.  Syrp themselves has a new system they just announced (Genie II) that makes it a bit cleaner and includes keyframing, but with the Edelkrone system there’s object tracking – which would make my setup time super quick.  Whereas with the Syrp system it takes a bit more time to set up the shot since I’ve gotta figure out all the angles manually.  So you end up doing a bunch of throw-away test movements/shots.  Still, I think individually I love each component (slider, rotation, etc…).  It’s just that as a whole (3-axis)…there’s probably better options, albeit, they seem to cost a fair more. :-/

Of course, on the flip side, with the older three-component Syrp solution I can use the various parts individually as I do…thus, making them more versatile.

In any case, you generally see me use these sorts of shots in videos where I’ve got time to set them up and do them (and am motivated to make something look pretty).  Whereas when I get products in at the last second, this goes out the window.

4) Riding along the Coast

2018-02-04 22.02.33

Sunday at lunch, as soon as The Peanut went down for her nap, I escaped the house for a ride (don’t worry, The Girl was still home).  I had about a 50K route planned, along the beaches heading northbound.  I’d ridden some variants of this over the last week, but simply decided to extend it a bit further and make it a bit more direct.

The route is really stunning – with endless white sand beaches butting against perfectly turquoise waters.

2018-02-04 13.19.47

And the road conditions are pretty good too.  There are some bike paths along the way, which I popped in and out of occasionally when it made sense (read: wasn’t full of people out for a casual Sunday stroll).

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All in I wrapped up in just under 2 hours, including a few minutes spent getting some photos and such along the way.  You can hit up the Strava link here.  That specific file is from a Hammerhead Karoo unit, which is also how I did the routing for this particular ride.

2018-02-04 13.01.11

Oh, and to round out the gear I was shooting with the GoPro Fusion camera, and had 2xEdge 520’s, 1xEdge 1030, 1xFR645, and 1xFR935 along.  Power-meter wise I was using the Stages LR, alongside Vector 3 via BLE to the Karoo, and a TICKR X.  There was probably something else I am forgetting.

5) Beach Picnic Time!

We finished up the weekend by heading up to Cottesloe Beach to have a picnic dinner at sunset.  Also, to give The Peanut some more beach time.  She loves the beach.  Or at least, she loves the sand at the beach.  She’s largely pretty suspicious of the whole ocean water thing, which is fair I suppose given the creatures that live nearby.

Still, we had a good time.  And she seemed to enjoy getting tossed into the air.

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And then afterwards at sunset, she opted out of watching the sunset to instead explore walking up and down a path.  Just because.

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I don’t have any pictures of our picnic, because we were busy trying to fight off the seagulls.

With that – thanks for reading – and hope everyone has a good week ahead!


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    Hmmm…now you got me looking at airhubs site and they have this airhub pro for like 975$ USD…getting tempting, look forward to your review and whether the speed based resistance works as well.

    I really need something for my wife and I to ride

  2. Paul S

    Ray, I noticed in that Hammerhead Strava link it claimed 2000 ft of climbing with an almost pan flat profile. Is the Hammerhead over counting or is it just all of the little bumps adding up?

    • The other four other units had me between 288m and 328m of ascent (total). But I don’t have the final number handy for the Hammerhead. If Strava doesn’t have it in the database (and I don’t think it does yet), then Strava will override it as having unknown elevation data, giving it GPS elevation data instead, which can be iffy.

  3. Where’s the swimming pool? I’m heading to Perth in March and keen to follow in your footsteps…

    Have you been out to Rottnest Island while you’re in Perth?

  4. Nemo

    Glad to hear you all are enjoying your time down under. We have seen news of flooding in Paris- is your place OK?

  5. Jesper N

    Whenever I see pictures of your (growded) cockpit, I wonder if you ever miss the flat piece of the handlebar? Where the two 520 are. I know I would bit time.
    If you do, may I suggest you add 2 more barfly or K-edge holders. One mounted on the right side of the stem, pointing forward and the other to the left of the current one, but pointing backward. Or if you fancy, make both new ones point backward (not sure there is room, unless you move blip a bit)…

    • Unless I’m climbing a bunch, I tend not to use that chunk of handlebar to much honestly. Though, with the Blips, the Edge 520’s are a bit further over to the edges than I’d normally have them.

  6. Gerald

    Huh, your whole webpage does look completely compressed on my iPhone since this morning…

  7. larry brown

    You can see the love.

  8. JD

    The Karoo GPS route looks very tidy when you zoom in to view the detail in both directions.
    Your roundabout lines are clearly shown along with one time you apparently wavered off course to take a picture of the beach or was that a pee break? ;-)
    This is inline with Hammerhead’s blog post claiming superior accuracy although your route appears free of trees, buildings, and overhead obstructions that would affect GPS sampling.
    As far as the elevation difference, is altitude working properly on the Karoo with latest firmware update?
    I thought it was mentioned by a Caracal user that altitude was not enabled yet.
    The elevation figure is double what your other GPS units recorded. If figure was Strava generated they do mention problems estimating elevation gain especially along coast lines —
    link to support.strava.com
    On the other hand a 15 ft gain every quarter mile for 35 miles would be a 2100 ft elevation change.
    Speaking of odd stats, what’s up with HR on the Strava segments? Is that another plugged value?

    • Yeah, various photo brakes, but indeed, the track is quite good.

      With elevation, since it’s not a listed unit in Strava’s platform yet*, it’ll automatically override elevation data with mapping data instead of the actual barometric data. Thus, what you see on Strava isn’t real.

      As for HR, that’s definitely some odd bug. It just flat-lined the TICKR X for like 90% of the ride. No idea why, first time I’ve seen that. Also some power meter zero-value issues too, also on my to-do list to send to them this morning.

      *This is known by whether or not it shows the name of the device on the activity via website, for the Karoo, it doesn’t.

  9. Rodney T

    So Peanut #1 wasn’t a happy little vegemite?
    as bright as bright can be?
    she didn’t enjoy her vegemite for breakfast lunch and tea?
    Mum wasn’t saying she’s getting stronger every week?
    Because she didn’t love her vegemite, she didn’t adore her vegemite, it didn’t put a rose in her cheek?

    Yeah… in hindsight… it is a bit of a strange song! Glad you are enjoying our neck of the woods. I’ve been keeping an eye out for you so I can awkwardly wave and say hi or something :)

  10. Mike

    It will be a good week! Bought myself a Mavic Pro thanks in no small part to your review of it! Should be arriving tomorrow, and I just can’t wait to give it a try!

    Australia looks amazing! It’s snowed 6 inches today at my place, so I’m definitely jealous right now!

  11. maurice

    your homepage appears white on my android phone and windows desktop computer

  12. Michiel

    Hi Ray,
    FYI: your Week-in-review and this post do appear on your home page, but not in your blog. Normally, these are synchronized.

    Love the posts though!

  13. Christian

    Glad you’re enjoying Perth!

  14. Mike

    Saw the big splash about the Amazfit Bip… I know you haven’t reviewed Huami products before, but this one seemed to check a whole lot of boxes. 30 day battery, HR monitor, GPS, SP68, $99? Seems too good to be true, and I trust you as the person to tell me that! Any chance of you reviewing?

    • I received it on Thursday at my US forwarding box (both Amazfit units), and then I shipped everything out on Friday to Australia. In theory it’ll arrive Wednesday, but I’ve found things are rarely on time here from a shipping perspective. They seem to operate on a variant of Island Time.

    • Mike

      Awesome! Love to hear about your experience on it. Reads well on paper but very curious for you to put it through the paces. Love your work!

    • Eduardo Vega

      Hi did you did a review on the Amazfit Bip ?

  15. Mike B.

    Ah the rough life you live, Ray…

    Seeing it in one of your pictures, any initial thoughts on the Shimano powermeter? I’ve been following development of it for years and looking to finally pull the trigger on it, a Pioneer, or a Stages before the start of the spring outdoor riding season.

  16. Michael.

    Glad you enjoyed your time in Perth. It’s a great place to live, bring up a young family like yours, swim, and train for triathlon. Pretty good places to ride for visiting cyclists too. PS. love the blog and YouTube videos.

  17. Nick G

    Great to see your enjoying Perth’s cycling
    Your very welcome to join us at 6.30 am Saturday for our Garlands Group ride
    We have 6/7 groups and you’d be made to feel very welcome