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5 Random Things I Did This Weekend

A reasonably productive weekend the last few days have been (well, except on the pizza oven list). Especially for some upcoming new products. Here’s what I was up to nonetheless!

1) Arts and crafts project:

A couple weeks ago the DCR Cave/Studio construction folks received something on some giant pallets. They were the double-wide pallets. I’m actually not sure what arrived on them, I just saw them up against the wall to be taken away after a workday was complete.

So I rescued them.

I had some other plans for them for the fall, but decided I’d put them to use a bit sooner (and hope that some other construction pallets will come in).  A quick trip to the nearby hardware store for a few cans of paint and I was having an arts and crafts Friday!

2018-08-10 17.12.49 2018-08-10 14.58.13

Actually, I started the first red coat of paint on Thursday afternoon, but then wrapped it all up with the black coat of paint on Friday evening.

This is what I ended up with:

Processed with VSCO with kp2 preset

It’s a good start. More work to be done.

2) Getting watches all updated

It’s been a while since I ran (or rode or swam) with the COROS Pace multisport GPS watch. I got the final version a while back, but late spring into early summer was jam-packed with both Suunto 9 and Garmin Fenix 5 Plus testing. Given I only had two wrists, time and wrists were dedicated to those two watches dueling it out.  Well, that and Eurobike stuffs.

Now though, August is nice and relaxed (sorta) and I wanted to get the COROS Pace all up to date, so I can get a review out the door on it.  Thus, back to putting more miles on it.

2018-08-11 15.06.53 2018-08-11 15.06.58 2018-08-11 15.16.49

They had some firmware updates since my last workouts with it, most notably in July bringing in ANT+ sensor support, adding .FIT/.TCX/.GPX/.KML support, and fixing some issues.  All good stuff – and you’ll remember I’ve been very clear on my position that without data export, I’d consider it an absolute no-go.  So it’s good to see those in it.

A quick glance however at the file in the DCR Analyzer though shows it’s not at all properly formatting any of the .FIT file data metrics (zero things enumerate). It does get some of the .TCX file export data files correct, but incorrectly plots the distance in imperial versus the standard meters as well as incorrectly plots elevation and cadence.

I still think the biggest challenge though for the COROS Pace is the same thing I’ve said since the beginning: The price.

At $299 it’s more than the well-respected Suunto Spartan Wrist HR Trainer at $279 (and often far less on sale), with plenty less features or platform/site than the Suunto has.  One can quibble about the barometric altimeter it has that the Spartan Trainer doesn’t – but elevation correction afterwards solves that for most people anyway.  Then that also ignores that Garmin’s older watches like the FR920XT are $229, and often sub-$200.  It doesn’t have optical HR, but it has everything else under the sun including app support.

The challenge COROS has here is that it doesn’t have the features, reputation, site, or platform to outclass Suunto and Garmin (or even Polar’s V800 – also at $299) at a higher price point. If we were talking $199 or even $229 or something – then that’s a much different discussion.

Still, plenty of things to chew on in the in-depth review sooner or later.

3) Out for a run

Saturday afternoon once the COROS Pace was marginally charged and firmware updated, I headed out for my run. I was aiming for roughly 90 minutes worth, which I figured would 11-12 miles depending on the winds.  For runs longer than an hour, I generally try and avoid the city center, since I find the stop-and-go nature (and dodging around city things) to be more tiring than the run itself. But this time I decided to split it up. I did the first 45 or so minutes in the city, and then the remainder in the countryside. It’s awesome how easily one can do that here.

I actually started for the first few kilometers in a long park, and then back onto city streets. I did have to make one stop at a canal crossing though. Without question the longest I’ve ever had to wait at one oddly enough:

DCIM\102GOPRO\GOPR7150.JPG

After that it was all the way across the center of the city to the other side, just barely skimming through the touristy areas.

Then from there I navigated myself to the river for a quick windmill shot:

DCIM\103GOPRO\GOPR7189.JPG

Then it was back on quiet cycle paths through farm fields and forests to home.  All in, somewhere between 18.26KM and 18.77KM, depending on which watch you believe.

4) Measuring in the construction zone

While construction continues on the new DCR space – I had some pretty important technical details to focus on: TV’s for the trainer setup. Yes, plural.

Obviously, you can’t just have a single TV when you have two side by side bikes, right? Cause how would two people be on Zwift with a mere one TV? Nope, pas possible!

So I headed over on Saturday to double-check some stats when the construction crew was done for the day. They’ve been there 7 days a week most of the time doing stuff, so finding little gaps to poke is always a bit tricky.  In fact, if you’re a DCR Supporter, you got a sneak peek at the upstairs construction portion in the form of a walk-through video The Girl and I shot last week (check your e-mail if you didn’t catch it!).

In this case though, I was mostly just trying to ensure that 2×40” TV’s actually fit and made sense in the area I had.  So I got the specs of the TV’s and then outlined them on the side of the wall (well, the under-wall) for a quick check (the yellow-taped outlines in the corner):

2018-08-11 14.17.58

And indeed I confirmed this would fit well enough. I couldn’t realistically go any bigger though, as it’d start encroaching on another space portion that I need for something else (primarily once you consider camera angles).  But this allows me to buy the two TV’s and then start using one of them in the meantime for other things in the studio until construction is done.

5) Riding around the airport

Sunday late afternoon, while the kiddos were off on a play date, I headed out for a loop around the airport.  One might think this would be a short affair – but the reality is that Amsterdam’s Schiphol airport is massive! And while there’s a tiny bit of extra mileage near the start to get to the airport, we’re only talking about 3-4 miles.  All-in, this ride was about 50KM! And that technically isn’t even the real perimeter, as I shortcut some sections where I could have gotten closer to the perimeter fence (and thus added a number of extra miles/kilometers, especially on the northeast side).

Nonetheless, it always seems like a fast ride to me, even though about half of it is into a headwind.  There’s only a couple of stoplights to worry about, with the vast majority on well protected/dedicated bike paths (which of course in the Netherlands are like high-speed expressways for bikes).

2018-08-12 17.35.44

The best part though is runway 18R/36L, which only has a tiny little canal between you and the planes – with no fence at all.  So I rode the length of the Polderbaan with nothing but air between me and landing aircraft.  Tons of people were out watching as well, plenty of families:

2018-08-12 17.51.46

Good to see others out enjoying it, especially since the beast of a runway cost an astounding 320 million euros!

Just prior to me joining the runway I missed a landing Boeing 777.  Instead, during the long stretch I was alongside the runway (the bike path only meets up for about half of the 12,467ft length), I got a few useless regional jets (blah, boring). But then at the very end I got a KLM 787, right before I turned away from the runway:

2018-08-12 17.55.36 HDR

It’s not quite the same in weight or size as a 777 (let alone an A380), but….it’s a heck of a lot better than regional jets. So, I’ll take it!

I was also testing some power meters on the ride. But more about that soon. In the meantime, here’s my main ride file.

With that – thanks for reading, and have a great week ahead!

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32 Comments

  1. Lars

    Curious if a 935plus will be on your other wrist soon. Currently all major stores seem to have no or very little amounts of the FR935 on stock and some even report a 3-4 weeks ordering time. I know there is NDAs etc but would you recommend to buy a 935 right now? 😉

    • Dave Lusty

      The 935 is a truly excellent watch, if you need one buy one. If there were a plus version in the works, it will cost more than the currently discounted 935 anyway. Summer is quickly running out in the northern hemisphere too, and with Garmin’s typical stock constraints at launch you’d be looking at Christmas before you got one probably! If it exists.

  2. Chris

    All in all Ray, it sounds like a nice week. I’m envious of that pristine cycling path. If I tried to take a shot over the handlebars of my ‘nice’ cycling path, it looks akin to one of those “don’t text and drive” commercials with a blurry car coming right at you. Good for the reflexes, bad for the blood pressure. Hey, being that you’re a fellow USAT member – I didn’t know if you know Jim Hix, but he passed this week while competing in the USA Triathalon. link to tulsaworld.com

    • Haha…yeah, more than a decade of taking photos while riding helps. 🙂 That and Lightroom…

      I didn’t know him, but it wasn’t a good week for triathletes – both on and off the course. 🙁 Sorry to hear of his passing.

    • Chris

      I think it’s also a lot to do with the roads. Any road ride from my house has to include a stop at the one mile mark to tighten up my headset and handlebar bolts lest I end up with my handlebars pointed at a 45 degree angle from my front wheel (which I must admit gets some interesting looks from oncoming vehicles) You don’t know how good you have it friend.

      It has been a pretty rough week for triathletes at large with the Michigan current issue, Hix’ passing, and the myriad of other issues; but Ryf crushed the 70.3 record with a 3:57:55 (!!!) which is great for the sport (if not a little humbling as most of us wouldn’t mind having Oly’s with that time!) and then there was the toddler Tour De France in Boulder, so maybe Peanut 1 can start following in dad’s footsteps a little earlier than expected.

      link to triathlete.com

  3. Mark

    More arts & crafts to do 😀 :
    I made a comment about sound traps on youtube last week. They are really easy to make. Take some Rockwool boards and build a frame around it – usually 1x wood, 2x if you want thicker panels. Wrap it in an acoustically transparent fabric. Here Guilford of Maine is often used, but I don’t know if it’s cheap and available in Europe: link to guilfordofmaine.com
    You can pick cool colours or silk screen on some DCR branding. Cut down the echos.

    link to acousticsfreq.com

    • Yeah, that’s definitely on my list – though not so much for the downstairs portion likely (where the red pallets are). It’s simply too massive (sorta like a small aircraft hanger) to do anything meaningful on.

      Most filming/etc will happen upstairs (where the TV’s are going). For now, the downstairs portion is mostly just me toying around until construction is complete upstairs.

    • Andre

      Quick, cheap and effective option is to spray damping material on that metal ceiling. Works well to reduce the echo, downside is that it makes the ceiling of your cave look like a 70’s pizzeria: link to youtube.com
      Also you will need permission of your landlord.

  4. Chris

    Any update on the actually selling the Thing?

    • No, that’s a long way off from what i gather.

      They had two units that they sent over to Eurobike. This is the backup one that wasn’t on the show floor. They asked if I wanted to provide feedback on it longer term. Obviously it’s a beast compared to the eventual production ones in terms of materials/design, but, it’s fun to stick a CLIMB on. 🙂

    • Chris

      That’s exactly what I’m interested in doing. I have a basic rocker plate that I made already. I’m buying the Kickr Core and Climb as soon as the Core is available. I’m planning on making a big rocker, but if it was being released anytime soon I would have saved myself the hassle, especially since I’m sure they can do a better job than me.

  5. Andrea

    The pizza oven is trending. Hope you can get your hands on it eventually.

    Off topic: any chance the extravaganza giveaway will be back?

  6. Patrick R

    have you been to the Aalsmeer Flower Auction? it’s close to the airport and would be a fun outing. that building is massive

  7. Tyler

    My first memory on flying into Schipol many years ago, were those trees (and indeed, many similar trees around the country) planted incredibly uniformly, and manicured to the point of being nearly identical.

    Several other places around the Netherlands, there were trees ‘trained’ for specific purposes – a canopy, narrow and nearly 2-dimensional along busy Rotterdam streets, etc.

    It felt like their was a Dutch person care-taking every single tree in the country.
    Clearly they value every inch of their land.

  8. Eric

    When you releasing the kickr climb review? I thought I read somewhere in the comments last week it was going to be out last week.

    • Tomorrow morning. Timezone depending on how efficient I am at grabbing the last photos in the morning.

    • Eric

      Appreciate it. Have a slightly older snap that I love and might have to upgrade to the newer snap to get the climb. I love the convenience of wheel on and am a huge a Wahoo fan and live in Atlanta.

  9. That’ll be why it takes me almost as long to taxi at Schiphol as it does to fly there from London! Nice airport though.

  10. Chris

    Hi Ray

    As someone who is also in the middle of putting 2 TVs side by side in a pain cave, what height did you put the bottom of the TV at ?

    Was it the same height as handlebar height ?

    Looking for some guidance as always….
    Thanks

    • It was a touch bit higher than handlebar height, mostly because I’m a touch bit taller.

    • leon newliston

      a guy on zwift riders put numerous versions of zwift on one tv and computer. He just used a number of different ANT+ receivers and a couple of graphics cards. Get a 60 inch screen or project onto wall then you can split screen or add more to it when necessary.

  11. Jack

    How about a shoot out between mid priced tri watches, could include 735, suunto trainer, coros pace, Amazfit Stratos….

  12. Doug

    Looks like you, The Girl & peanuts got out of town in time!

    link to bbc.co.uk

    “One particular urinal, which has been placed near Notre Dame cathedral and overlooks passing tourist boats, has been singled out for criticism.”

    • Yikes. I’m not sure what to think of that. On one hand, peeing in the streets is a very real issue (we constantly had men walk up and pee on the side of our building/windows at night when they thought we weren’t there). It’s an accepted norm.

  13. Patrick Utrecht

    Looks like a good weekend.

    By the way, looks like you “saved” not only those pallets but also around 50€ a piece, since that tends to be the deposit on those things. But I prefer the way you use them now and they sure look a lot prettier.

  14. Pete J

    Thanks for the post and update on Coros. For someone wanting a altimeter of some sort and considering the Suunto Spartan Ultra is on sale right now for $370 would it be silly to not go for the Spartan vs the Coros pace? Thanks for your advise.

  15. Daren Austin

    No fast bike routes, but LHR does see some interesting landings. From my Fly 12.

    link to facebook.com

  16. M3V8

    I wonder how the proximity compares to Gravelly Point in DC:

    link to youtube.com

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