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5 Random Things I Did This Weekend

Mid-last week we loaded up the family and jetted across the pond for a couple week visit to both of our families.  In this case, they were both conveniently currently located in Florida, making the jaunt between them far less painful than usual (as previously they were separated by a more complex and longer series of flights than crossing the Atlantic itself).  So as always, here’s a blend of sports tech and not from this past weekend on the eastern coast of Florida.

1) A very wet run

Friday late afternoon The Peanut had declined to take any naps, alongside opting-in to wake up at 2AM that morning. As a result, we needed her to fall asleep even if for a brief bit so that dinner wouldn’t become a food fight, and ultimately paving the way to a successful bedtime.  Our solution? A short 5K run in the stroller.

Usually does the trick every time.

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And sure enough, with 8 minutes of running, she was out. This despite the pouring rain (fear not, warm rain, it’s Florida after all).

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Of course, being Florida, it’s also sunny a mere 20 minutes later too. That’s just the way this state rolls.

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Albeit, the GoPro didn’t get the memo on the sun coming out – so raindrops still adorned the lens.  Overall, a nice little pre-dinner run.  And best of all? The Peanut then stayed asleep for another 90 minutes or so. #ParentalWinning

2) Assembling the bike with new parts

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Since I’m in Florida a couple weeks, I took my bike with me. This allows me to test various things, especially important as we ramp up to Eurobike less than a month away.

As part of those testing efforts, I actually switched my crankset over to a Stages LR (Shimano Ultegra edition).  The reason for this is that it gives me more flexibility with a variety of other power meters that are Shimano-friendly.  Normally I run a Quarq DZero in the crankset position.  Since I ordered the Stages in the US, I actually packed up my bike without any crankset on it for the trip across the pond.

Thus I spent a few minutes getting it installed.

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[DCR Reader Test: Exactly how many power meters are pictured in the above photo (or, implied within the box)? Power meter names required.]

And then I spent more than a few minutes cleaning my bike.  My Dad had all sorts of cleaning products in the garage, and turns out some of those made my bike super shiny. Perhaps I’ll consider doing this more often.  In particular, I used a combination of the below. I’m sure others work just as well, these were just available and functional.

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Not only did my Dad have all sorts of tools, he also had a chain cleaning tool and various cassette brushes.  Atop that, even the above-seen Park Tools bike stand! Heck, I don’t even have a bike stand.

(No, really, I don’t actually have a bike stand. With 20+ trainers handy, those generally work just perfect for me working on my bike.)

After that was done I tossed on a set of different pedals as well. Just to round things out.

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And then a few different head units and I was ready to roll.

3) So much food

Longtime DCR readers know that anytime my Dad is involved in meal prep, there’s bound to be good food. Excellent food. And above all: A ton of food.

With each night effectively the culmination of a day’s worth of cooking, the last 4 days have sent everyone to bed well stuffed.  As a small preview of that, just from Friday and Saturday night, we’ve got home-made pizzas (including the dough), which were done on the grill.  But lest you think it’s just gas under that pizza stone, there’s also woodchips on the left side, making it a much more smoke-filled venue (albeit, including the patio).

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The next night there was ribs which slow-cooked on the grill and smoker for half the day.  My Dad is seen here spreading some of the mop on them at regular intervals. Of course he made that too.

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And while lacking photos (how?!?), the previous night included a fresh hand-made tagliatelle and bolognese pasta, complete with pancetta from the FLOUR+WATER book (interestingly, Williams Sonoma published the specific recipe here). While I’m currently under a ban (from The Girl) from purchasing further cookbooks for our home, if I could purchase one, this one would be it. Without question the best pasta-specific book I’ve seen in a long time. Thankfully, current said ban does not include any prohibitions regarding writing down the recipes.  Also, it’s unclear if the ban would include me ‘borrowing’ said book from my Dad and then backfilling his book. Hmm…

4) A Space Cadet of Sorts

Sunday morning I finished up prepping the bike and headed out for a ride along the coast.  It seemed like the safest of my available roads in the area, especially since a chunk of it was National Park with only one entrance in, thus limiting traffic considerably (especially early in the morning).  I parked about 6mi/10KM away from the entrance and then rode towards the park.

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The park was great, not a single car passed me till my turn around point.  Just empty roads near the beach.

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At some point during the ride I came across a white line pointed across the road. This marked the start of the unbelievably massive Kennedy Space Center property, home to NASA and other rocketry entities.

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Here’s the Strava link for those interested on exactly where I was. Oh, and good (albeit boring) news: No spacecraft launched during my ride.

5) Just hanging out with family

Above all, we spent the weekend just hanging out with family. Having the grandparents around for Peanut #1 and Peanut #2 is great, and the kids love hanging out in the pool.  Or, when it was pouring out (a common occurrence), then playing indoors.

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Thus, we did a lot of that. Chasing after the doggie (fear not, Lucy made the trip!), splashing in the pool, and just lounging around.

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Oh, and the nice warm weather of Florida is handy too!

Got a busy week ahead – so stay tuned to the Twitters (and here of course) for sure!

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28 Comments

  1. Joel

    I’ll have a stab at the picture challenge:
    – Stages LR Power Meter Ultegra R8000
    – SRM EXACT Power Meter Pedals
    – Garmin Vector 3 Pedals
    – Powertap Powermeter P1 Pedals
    – Favero Assioma Pedals (I think I can just make the shape of the pedal front and metal plate shape in the baggy)
    – Also looks like a magnet (Quarq) on the frame near the bottom bracket but no sign of a PM
    What do I win? 😉

  2. John

    Srm Exakt
    Stages LR
    Powertap p1
    Garmin vector 3

    I’m guessing on the P1; it’s hard to see in the baggie. You could also have an Assioma hiding in there.

  3. Laurence M Basell

    Love the baby running. We had a daughter 7 weeks ago – any recommendations for running prams – and what age did you start running with bub?

    • They recommend no earlier than 6 months, mainly for head control reasons. That’s roughly about when we started.

    • Oh, and the specific running stroller we normally use is the BOB, LOVE IT! But we didn’t take it with us on this trip. Instead, just used half of our regular double-kid one. All of our details here on everything we use: link to dcrainmaker.com

      (Slightly due for another update)

    • Tyler

      We had a 1st generation BOB stroller (the off-road one with shocks) that we’ve passed down between sibling parents, that’s now been through 10 different kids over 17 years, and it’s still going strong.
      Used it for trail runs, road speed work, lots of daily running, and just plain old grocery store outings.
      Also had a BabyJogger double-stroller that was run hard when we had 2 little ones.

      Go for a fixed-front wheel variety over the ones that can be unlocked. They are more stable at speed, and 1 less part to wear out.
      The BOBs hold value well – buy one used, use it through all of your kids, and you’ll be able to sell it for the same price you bought it for.
      The multi-adjustable top to always keep the baby shaded, but with a breeze blowing over them is very helpful.

    • Laurence M Basell

      Thanks so much! Love the site – and the updates.

  4. Frank

    “we ramp up to Eurobike less than a week away” -> month?

  5. keith

    In no. 2 “Since I ordered the Stages in the, I actually……”

  6. Daniel Fleischer

    Try not to fix the carbon frame too hard in the bike repair stand.
    This could lead to damages… Better fix it at the (alu) seatpost…

    And: enjoy Florida!

  7. Okrunner

    My sister is visiting our cousin in Titusville and I was already jealous. Now I’m pissed.

  8. Okrunner

    P.S. Dixie Crossroads in Titusville. Great seafood. You won’t regret it.

  9. Jacob Roth

    Welcome to the Space Coast. Hope you guys have fun in the area. I don’t know what side of town you’re at, but we highly recommend Cocoa Village for a good park for the Peanut and some decent food. Love to let the little ones hang out or hit up a workout. Have fun and hopefully the weather gets a little better as the rains seem to be letting up, though that’ll just let the heat in.

  10. Milt MacFarlane

    One word Ray to outmart THE current embargo “KINDLE”
    our home, if I could purchase one, this one would be it. Without question the best pasta-specific book I’ve seen in a long time. Thankfully, current said ban does not include any prohibitions regarding writing down the recipes.

  11. Wyatt

    Happy to see that Lucy got to come with the fam on this trip! 😀

  12. Jaques

    Can I meet your Dad? More importantly… eat his cooking? ?!?!? Just can’t get that kind of cooking in Japan.

  13. Juan Antonio Iglesias Riveiro

    Are you going to evaluate SRM PC 8 with the Exakt powermeter?

  14. Jesper N

    I see you’re riding with the Coros Linx helmet. You still happy with it??? The sound in particular.

    I bought one in the KS campaign too, but was so disappointed with the sounds quality, that I only used it once. The sounds seems the same no matter if the rubber pad on the “speaker” is touching or not. So basically it works a poor speaker, hanging in the straps.
    I ask, because I notice there is plenty of air between the transducer and cheekbone in your picture. So it must be in “speaker mode” there too??

    • Yup, I use it every ride.

      However, I very rarely actually ride with music on it these days. At this point, I mostly just like it because it’s orange and highly visible.

  15. Su-Chong Lim

    Hey, Ray, reading your bike cleaning and assembling travails prods me to say: you should really seriously consider switching to molten paraffin wax dipping for your chain lubricating needs (with the usual installation of a Master Link first, of course).

    Benefits 1) 3rd Lowest Drive Train Friction Loss available in the Universe (just behind Squirt, and a little more behind Molten Speed Wax which is a special magic blend of paraffin wax, Teflon and Molybdenum). 2) Absolute maintenance free routine between re-waxing every 600km — sure, everyone is supposed to clean the chain after every ride, and re-lubricate, but how many real people actually follow through? — I literally don’t touch the chain for 600k, unless it rains, in which case I re-dip in molten wax 3) Super clean chain and drive-train. You can handle the chain with your bare hands and the chain is clean. You can scuff the chain on your leg, pants legs or the car upholstery and no ugly grease comes off. Likewise travel disassembly and packing is a dream.

    The only reasonable barrier to doing this is that it sounds implausible that it would work. But 15 years ago Power Meters were from Outer Space. And Inertia, I guess. But for you, with the energy and confidence to try a million things that I can only dream of even contemplating before saying, uh, I guess not… I moved to Hot Paraffin Wax for all my chain needs, and using Molten Speed Wax for my Race Day Chain 3 years ago and never looked back since. It’s great! Not to mention that my chains and gears seem to last forever.

  16. Su-Chong Lim

    Oh, for objective supportive data, Friction Facts Chain Lubricant Reports in Velo News March, 2013 and February, 2014, or ordered directly from Friction Facts.