5 Random Things I Did This Weekend (Final Australia Edition)

And just like that, it was time to say goodbye to Australia.  After being here a bit under three months, we were ready to begin our trek home.  How time has flown by! I can’t believe it’s been that long, and we’ve loved every minute of it!

Here’s a handful of the many things I did this weekend. It was crazy busy, albeit not in a touristy way. More in a ‘holy crap we have an entire house to pack up’ kinda way.

1) Packing up test gear

One of the reasons I was actually able to depart the DCR Cave for 3 months is that it wasn’t the fall (or at least, the Northern Hemisphere fall).  Why does that matter? Because that’s the major trainer season announcement/shipping time period.  And it’s during that time period that I need access to boatloads of trainers in a single spot for testing.

Those trainers on average weighing about 50 pounds, and hardly ideal to bring half a dozen or more on an airplane.

Still, despite my best attempts, I had four different trainers or trainer products under evaluation during my time in Australia.  Companies shipped them to me in Perth, and then at the end of which I’d ship them all back.

So a bit of time was spent over the entire weekend packing all of these back up again.

2018-03-23 13.32.43

And even more time was spent Monday morning dropping them all off again.  As well as various other products.  On the way to the airport, The Peanut and I made stops at:

1) Australia Post: Shipment back to PowerTap (broken wheelset replacements)
2) Daycare: Box of all toys we bought gifted to them
3) TNT Transport: Shipment back to Magene (trainers)
4) UPS: Shipment back to Stages (power meters)
5) FedEx: Shipments back to DJI and Skydio (drones)

The Girl wisely took a taxi to the airport while I made all the stops.  The Peanut was less than impressed with the entire situation.  In case you’re wondering, I also made an errand to drop-off a loaner Wahoo KICKR at a bike shop across town, and JetBlack actually picked up the trainer at the house.  Oh, and the KICKR CLIMB? That’s making the trek back to Europe with me, since I’m waiting for them to start shipping before releasing my final in-depth review.

Otherwise, all of the products sent back will have a review drop over the next week or two (or already had reviews post).  And yes, Shimano review is up next. Ensuring I had everything I could possibly ever need for half a dozen products somewhat skewered my week last week.  Though the amount of stuff I shot and wrote is actually impressive.

2) Perth Night Noodle Markets

Saturday evening after dropping off the Wahoo KICKR at a bike shop, we headed to pick up a triathlon suit for me.  Somehow in my packing plans for Australia, I forgot to do so.  But that worked out great – 2XU has an outlet store here, making it quite inexpensive.  Even better is the outlet store had most stuff 30% or more off for end of season.  Combine that with an effective 25% or so ‘international currency discount’, and basically we got it for pennies.

2018-03-24 16.30.57 2018-03-24 16.18.53

After that though we headed downtown to find dinner, and the Perth Night Noodle Markets were calling our name!

2018-03-24 18.39.48

This worked out mostly well…up until the point it started pouring out.  Which was then supplemented by both Peanuts having their own meltdowns.  It seems like once one goes, the other likes to do so as well. I think they are under the mistaken assumption it’s a team event. Sigh.

3) Racing the Fremantle Triathlon

Sunday morning I got up nice and early to race the Fremantle Triathlon. I selected it mainly because my ‘commute’ to it would be like 5 minutes by bike.  And while there were many other great triathlons in Western Australia this day, some of them were multiple hour drives.  Given all the packing and such we had to do, combined with the little ones – traveling all that way was deferred for the next few days of airplane flights.

Thus, the triathlon:

2018-03-25 09.00.27

Fear not, I’ll have my full race report up later this week. Good times for sure!

4) Fitbit Versa Review Photos

I spent a bit of time Sunday afternoon getting the majority of the shots I’ll need for my Fitbit Versa In-Depth Review.  Most of these shots were static shots that I’ll use outside of exercise bits within the review:


Whereas the various mid-run/bike/etc shots I’ve taken during those activities.  Albeit I tend to find that shots showing actual data fields during workouts rarely come out as well as I hope. It’s all a case of getting the perfect light (not too dark, but also not too bright, or things get washed out depending on the screen type).

In any event, you’ll see this review later this week, as I’m working through some issues with Fitbit that I want a few more days of workouts on. At this point it’s not so much a case of Fitbit finding a fix (they’ve found it a fix, it just won’t be here soon), rather, me deciding exactly how big a deal this is.  Thus, more soon.

5) Off to Singapore!

And with that, it was off to Singapore we went.  Of course, it wasn’t quite that simple as noted earlier. First were those five stops for package drop-offs.  Then it was getting all our crap to the airport and subsequently the front desk.  Don’t worry, it was only 150KG worth – 330lbs.  Eeks! Thank goodness for airline status!

Though, in order to stay below the limits, we had to throw away about 3KG worth of stuff.  So regrettably a few random tools got left behind at the airline desk. But then it was off to board the plane:

And with that – Singapore bound for a few days.

I’m not quite sure if I’ll be able to fit in any group rides or runs.  Both the littles are a bit under the weather, so the nights are kinda messy (day-time isn’t too bad), thus it’s tough to plan a 5AM workout if you’re up every hour.  Still, I’ll probably sneak an afternoon or evening run or ride in if given the chance.

And then, soon – back home by the weekend!  Looking forward to that…and some big things coming next week.

But for now – a pile of reviews are on the way till then.  After all, what I didn’t cover in this post that I did over the weekend includes:

A) Photographing all the Magene Gravat2 trainer goodness
B) Photographing all the JetBlack Whisper Drive 2 trainer pieces, plus writing post
C) Photographing Shimano Dura-Ace Power Meter review
D) Compiling half a dozen cycling data sets
E) Four trainer rides (yes, really) mixed in the weekend collecting test data
F) Unboxing three watches, photographs
G) Unboxing two power meters, photographs
H) 4 Hours of Kite Surfing (I drank so much sea water….)
I) Going to the park and beach four times with The Peanut. The best part!

I guess that explains where the weekend went. Huh.

Thanks for reading, and have a good week!


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    CLIMB release date? Still April or pushed again?

  2. Clark

    Would love to see a post on your kite surfing experience.

    • Alice

      So would I :)

    • Andrew

      Is there going to be a Strava kite surfing activity?

    • I actually don’t have a single photo from any of my kite surfing stuff.

      I even brought the Soloshot with me on Friday, but ended up focusing so much on trying to stay upright that just didn’t ever head back to shore and get it all setup.

      And funny enough, I totally forgot to turn on a recording activity until the very last 15 minutes of my 4 hours…at which point the wind immediately died out of nowhere. Sigh.

      Still, I drank enough seawater to be mistaken for a whale. I was getting the hang of things finally in the last 90 minutes or so. But with the strong winds I’d often put too much power on the kite during launch, and end up catapulting myself a solid 5-10 meters through the air sans-board and face-planting straight into the water. Would have made for great video though. :-/

  3. sal

    Unboxing 3 watches?
    now I’m curious…

    • David E.

      Here comes the Wahoo Rival. . .

    • Giles E

      Must be soon, while the secrecy period end May 22 or so, that would be a crazy release time as then we’re already in summer tri season in the Northern Hemisphere, surely they need an April release. That said, with a climb being way behind release schedule, it would surprise me if they’re spread a little thin and the Rival suffers too…..

  4. George

    When we can expect Stryd Live review ? :-)

    • Not till I get back (and get the treadmill moved to the new DCR Cave), realistically.

      Ultimately, I just didn’t want to spend time in beautiful Australia running indoors on an old treadmill. :)

  5. Mike Richie

    I do have to say – the photo of the Versa in your post looks much better than other shots I have seen, where it looks pretty cheap – like a bad knock-off of the Apple watch. Speaking of photos. I love The Girls shot of The Peanut riding the carry-on. She (and her sister) are going to be quite the world travelers. ;)

    • It feels cheap, especially in the context of an Apple Watch S1 at almost the same price.

      And the band mechanism in particular is pretty poor. I don’t get it, because the band mechanism on the Ionic is brilliantly done. I suspect the idea here is to conform to band standards…but in reality, it just doesn’t work all that cleanly.

    • Jamie

      I’ve been keeping my eye out for the Versa review. This detail about the band mechanism is somewhat disappointing following all the hyped reviews I’ve been reading.

      Definitely looking forward to the full review!

  6. Jesper N

    Enjoy Sentosa Island! I take it, the Peanuts earned a visit there….

  7. Nick F

    If you’re looking for good cheap food you should check out Lau Pa Sat for satay. And if you’re looking for a crab replacement the barbecue sting ray at East Coast Seafood Park is excellent. And finally there’s Dinh Tai Fung for excellent dumplings.

    • Ok, Dinh Tai Fung was an excellent choice tonight for dumplings.

      I was hesitant at first after looking it up, given it’s a chain. But very solid. We ate the crap out of a lot of dumplings tonight!

    • Nick F

      Did you try the soup dumplings? Those things are crazy addictive. I think Dinh Tai Fung is Michelin starred at least.

  8. gingerneil

    Probably 100% wrong.. But starting to wonder if Paris is no longer ‘home’!?

    • Ryan

      I’m with you on this one…..maybe next week we’ll get a few House Hunters Australia posts :)

    • gingerneil

      My money is on London… or South Africa…

    • Nah, not London – too rainy and…well…rainy.

      Now Cape Town is appealing, but it was previously ruled out for the singular reason that it was too far for family to travel to – and that was pre-Peanuts.

      We’d likely have moved to Perth in a heartbeat years ago if it wasn’t for the distance to family piece. We did look at a few places there, but more out of curiosity.

    • Mike Robinson

      A quick google shows the following annual rainfall figures and Paris is rainier than London!

      London 109 days 557 mm
      Paris 111 days 637mm

      Paris is a bit hotter, however, with average temperatures over the year of 12.3 deg, C compared to London at 10.3 deg. C.

    • Hmm…somehow London always seems more miserable weather-wise. :-/

    • gingerneil

      Very non-committal there Ray… Guess we’ll have to wait and see. Spain maybe?

    • gingerneil

      Very non-committal there Ray… Guess we’ll have to wait and see. Spain maybe?

    • Roady

      You’ve been riding London on Zwift too much – it rains there more frequently than in reality! ;)

      I’m still impressed you get so much time to ride/run/swim. With our 6 month old I’m struggling to maintain even a small amount of fitness. 1 weekend club ride & 2 mid-week Zwift sessions is about the max I can get while working 5 days… To be fair I probably don’t have the energy for much more, even with a rockstar baby who sleeps 10-11 hours most nights!

    • gingerneil

      I’d credit 3 things to Ray being able to maintain his level of activity…
      1. The Girl and her seemingly epic ability to juggle Ray and the Peanuts, whilst also kicking off her own running again! Serious respect due there Mrs Maker!
      2. Having a job that doesn’t tie you down to working 9-5 and that you can mold your life around.
      3. Ray’s job largely *is* getting out and run/bike/swimming so he can test all the kit, write this blog and answer all our questions. So a 1 hour run for Ray is equiv to me being stuck in a windowless office in a meeting… grr.

  9. Slartiblartfast

    Didn’t hear about any plane crashes at Perth which must mean that Ray’s plane was able to get off the ground somehow.

  10. Phil S

    Hi Ray
    Can you recommend a well stocked bike shop in Perth/Fremantle. I can’t get hold of a pair of Vector 3s in the UK. I’ve been travelling round Australia for four weeks (via Singapore as it happens) and I’ve only found one bike shop that stocks them but they sell them immediately.
    I hope you enjoy Singapore. I had a pleasant run from Clarke’s Quay round Marina Bay and back again.
    Good scope for a bit of Openwater swimming at Sentosa.

    • Hmm, not sure on that one to be honest. I know that Vector 3 supplies are limited across the board (or rather, backordered), and that Australia in particular seems to be in short supply. I’m sorry!

  11. Patrick

    Three unboxings! If somebody were in the market for a running-swimming-somewhat stylish-Vivoactive type watch $300 or under, would you recommend they wait a month or two? My current Vivoactive battery has gotten too bad to even display the correct time and the Garmin offer of a “discounted” Vivoactive HR for $200 seems like a poor choice.

  12. Jim Cansler

    Your Peanut is so cute. Enjoy it while you can. Mine is 11 and I get the eyeroll every now and then but she still likes to sit next to me when we watch America’s Funniest Home Videos. :)

  13. MAGNUS

    Tomorrow is last day if sea otter so I’m guessing likely pushed back?