5 Random Things I Did This Weekend

Ok, this post would be slightly behind the curve, but it’s been a super busy last few days, especially yesterday. As one might expect, lots of ‘new stuff’ coming over the next few weeks. September is usually when you see lots of wearables, action camera, and drone announcements. So as such, busy times!

In any case, let’s get to it!

1) Power Pedal Photos

I actually kicked off the weekend with some early Friday evening photos and final data gathering tidbits on the Favero Assioma power meter pedal firmware update. While I had tested app things a couple weeks prior, I always like to try and get the latest screenshots or photos of the update process, just in case something changed.

What I like about these sorts of updates though is twofold. First, it actually worked. Quick and simple.  And second, there’s only so many photo angles of a pedal you can take. It’s not like a watch or other device with a screen which has many possible things to show. These pedals have simple status lights on them, and that’s it. So one or two shots and I’m good to go!

Of course, you can read that whole post from last week here.

2) The Parks Have Free Bike Shoes

Saturday evening we went to a local park just a kilometer or so away. A quick bike ride.  The Peanut got to play on the slides and in general run around like the crazy little toddler she is.  Oh, and play with Grandma. My parents have been in town the last week or so!

2018-09-01 18.36.05

However, on the side of the park they had a small library of sorts. Sort of waterproofed bookcases there. While we were there I’d see folks come and go, taking and dropping off books. Neat stuff.

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But when I took a peek in the library on the lower level something caught my eye:

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Virtually untouched Cannondale bike shoes.  No cleats even installed yet.

So many questions!

Who leaves bike shoes on a library rack?

Did they just not fit, or?

Was there an assumption that you’d return the shoes at some point?

And again, who leaves unused perfectly nice bike shoes in a library?

I didn’t check the size, so I don’t know if they’d fit or not – but I’d feel funny taking them anyways. Again, not a book.  On the flip-side, even in a library the Dutch want to add cycling elements. It’s all about the bike here.

3) Riding with My Dad

Sunday morning my Dad and I were greeted with a beautifully sunny morning.  So out onto the road bikes we went for a loop around the countryside. Couldn’t have picked a better morning for it!

2018-09-02 09.43.25 HDR

While it may have seemed a bit chilly at first, we had to ride all of about 2-3KM to realize we probably should have left the shell coats back home.  Oh well, they folded up easily enough into our back pockets.

From there it was just the usual serene countryside full of cows, canals, and cyclists.  Oh, and windmills of course. Can’t forget windmills.

2018-09-02 09.47.32 HDR 2018-09-02 10.13.39

I had plenty of tech on my bike, though I wasn’t super focused on most of it.  Still, always collecting data.  Be it new power meters or aero sensors, or wearables – any data is interesting data.

Oh, and funny tidbit: The night before my Dad and I went down to the DCR Studio to get the bikes all set up.  On the way back we saw fireworks on the lake for some reason. Sometimes just sticking people in the bucket is the most efficient way to get around town:

Processed with VSCO with av4 preset

Good times for sure!

4) Notio Konect Quickie:

Since some of you will likely ask after the previous bullet, I figured I’d cover it here. Not precisely on the weekend, but close enough for the moment.  Yup, I had the Notio Konect aerodynamic sensor on there.  They swung over last week and we got it all set up and out for a pile of test rides.

I don’t always publish such rides on Strava – usually because quick tests are often kinda repetitive and boring to upload to Strava. I think we did 3 or 4 sets, each doing double out and back on the rowing basin in most cases, plus a few oddball routes too:


The rowing basin (which is right next to the DCR Studio) is awesome for this type of testing as its a ‘clean’ bike path with no vehicle traffic and usually almost no bike traffic (especially mid-day).  On the flip-side though, from an aero standpoint having a more squared route with a bit more elevation gain would be slightly more valuable, as it helps to sort out some of the wind bits.  For more detailed testing I’ve got some country road options not far away that fit that bill.  But for quick setup validation type testing, this worked well.

We got it settled in on both my triathlon/TT bike as well as my road bike.  You can set up multiple bike profiles and configure it accordingly.


The data is then displayed via Garmin Connect IQ data fields, so any compatible Garmin Connect IQ device will show it.  In this case, I was just using an Edge device to capture the data.  Of which I have zero photos of (but you can see it in this video I published this summer).

But the higher resolution data is also recorded on the Konect unit itself, which then downloads via mobile phone app and is uploaded to the cloud.  Behind the scenes they merge that data with your Garmin Connect file (which automatically syncs to them), and then you can pull it all via Golden Cheetah. It’s super clean and slick. These screenshots are from my road bike, since the laps were a little cleaner that time – so don’t mind the higher CdA values there than a triathlon bike.  Also note, there’s a crap-ton of tabs with tons more data.

Screen Shot 2018-09-05 at 8.15.30 PM Screen Shot 2018-09-05 at 8.16.37 PM

Fun tidbit: If you have Strava Segments set up on your Garmin, those are automatically recorded to the file and you can see the stats on a per segment basis. That’s super handy if you go and create your on Strava segments for where you plan to test, so you can repeat the exact same sections each time. Heck, the Garmin will even count-down to the section, and during the section.

I’ll be planning an in-depth review in about 4 weeks or so, just after Interbike as I get more rides with it. There will be some rides that I focus on aero stuff, and other rides where I’m just simply capturing data to flush out any nuances.  For example, I rode almost 3 hours home yesterday from some meetings.  In that case, I was on a road bike wearing a backpack filled with drones and cameras, along with running shoes hanging off the side.  Nothing aero about that.  But, you can learn a ton about how the unit functions, and how it reacts across different surfaces like some dirt and gravel sections, or just different pavement types.

Screen Shot 2018-09-05 at 8.16.13 PM

Oh, and did I mention that one can pull in tire pressure data soon from the Quarq TyreWiz, as well as already seeing the effects of lost wattage with cross-chaining by using gear shifting data (Shimano Di2, SRAM eTAP, etc..)?

Anyways, more to come.

5) Off to Pick Apples

No, not the watches, but real-life apples.

After finishing up one ride, it was time to begin another. We packed up everyone onto bikes and headed out across town.  Because we don’t have an endless supply of ‘around town’ bikes, we ended up plopping The Girl into the cargo bike alongside the kiddos. The dog didn’t make the cut.

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My parents went on both The Girl and my regular around town bikes.  All worked well enough.

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It was only about 5mi/8km each direction – so hardly very far. Took about 30 minutes with stop and go city riding. Once we arrived you walk through an area where you can buy various local products, as well as a café of sorts and an outdoor fire pit where you could roast what looked like bread on a stick. That part wasn’t super clear, but it did look kinda good.

2018-09-02 14.10.57 2018-09-02 14.13.24 HDR

The farm was a u-pick farm, where you go off and pick whatever fruits and vegetables you want.  This time of year, it was all about apples.  There were also various berry bushes, but there didn’t seem to be much left on them.  Oh, and you could ‘pick’ eggs. They had little hen houses around and the plethora of chickens that were around the farm would just come into their little house and lay an egg. Then it’d roll down and you could grab it.

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But there weren’t any eggs in the trap door at any of the houses we saw.  So Apples it was.

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We didn’t pick a ton of apples – just a solid re-usable cloth bag full of them. I believe it was 8kg or so of apples.  It was more for fun than anything else.  The Girl is planning on making pies with them.  And I plan on eating said pies.

After which we ate some apple pie they had there, because…why not?  Also, we were fueling properly for the long 30-minute ride home:

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At which point, the weekend was done!

With that – thanks for reading, and have a great remainder of your week.


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  1. Benedikt

    most favorite sentence:
    “And I plan on eating said pies.”

  2. Slartiblartfast

    What we want to see now is a picture of The Girl riding the cargo bike with Ray in the front, especially if there is any room left over for Lucy and any peanuts.

    • Haha…she’s gotta work up to ‘unlock’ that game level. First we start with static cargo…like hauling trainers. :) Then she can move up to awkward heavy cargo, like stacked pallets. Then finally, me. :)

  3. Jeff Tignor

    Love the picture of your dad in the cargo bike! And the girl with the two kids! Please say you did both without e-assist!

    Next… aero sensor on the cargo bike. You know, for science.

    • Most times I use e-assist, but there’s plenty of times I don’t. For example, on that ride with them, in order to just keep things equalized a bit, sometimes I just turn off the engine and pedal.

      The ‘hardest’ part is really just getting from 0 to anything (speed-wise). Once you’ve gotten past about 2KPH, it doesn’t much matter anymore and momentum carries you pretty easily.

      As for the aero sensor, both myself and one of the Notio guys were talking about that…mostly at the point I stuffed him in the cargo bike to get him to coffee one day. Definitely game for it.

      But first, the wind tunnel next week. :)

  4. Adam

    You knew someone was going to mention the Girl’s non-matching socks, didn’t you.

  5. Swim N Bike

    Love it: “It’s all about the bike here.”

  6. Giles Roadnight


    “as well as my rode bike”

  7. Tyler

    That library in the park looks to be part of the same phenomenon that has swept the states, called ‘Little Libraries’.
    Some are grass roots; some are part of this movement: link to en.wikipedia.org

    Couple of hundred of them in my town, with residents, businesses, and the city all active in building and placing them.
    Have not seen shoes in them before, but have seen some used as food donation sites for the homeless.

  8. Karim

    Hey DC, my wife and I are flying to paris tonight couple questions:
    1. Have you ever biked to Versaille – I am a very avid rider but my wife less so but super active — is it possible in 1 day leaving time to tour the chateaux? Route?
    2. Bike rental suggestions in paris?
    3. Any good restaurnt recommendations and coffee shops in Paris (I think there are a few cycling/coffee hybrids?)?
    4. Finally any bike rental recommendations in Avignon–I am planning on riding Ventoux and was looking for a good spot to rent a road bike (this would be solo without my wife!).

    Thanks!! Love your blog.

    • Hi Karim-

      1) Yup, riding to Versailles was one of my favorite routes. Did it most weeks. On a road bike it’d take roughly an hour or so depending on where in the city you departed (me, next to Notre Dame). On a cruiser style bike, I’d budget more like 90 minutes to get there, and a bit less to get back (it’s mostly uphill the way there). The best route is to simply follow the Paris-Versailles Running race. It’s what I always do. You can find that map easily online. Starts at Eiffel Tower and ends at Versailles.

      2) Bike rentals: Yup, listed here: link to dcrainmaker.com

      3) Restaurants: Yup, per the link from Sam. :)

      4) Not sure on Avignon unfortunately. However, I’d bet if you go with Paris Bike Co for rentals, the guy running it (Sam, a different Sam from above), is awesome and would definitely know of some options there. I’d strongly recommend him/them for rentals in Paris.

      Enjoy the trip!

  9. Scott F Kreitz

    with regard to the comment about wearables, have you heard anything about Whoop? I was interested, but truth be told, I’ve held off because I can’t find anything on your page where you talk about them. Also, I joined their FB user group, and seems like it’s nothing but user problems with this device. It’s a lot cheaper now, and could offer some nice insights to training. Maybe the newest WatchOS will contemplate some of these…

  10. Toby

    Hi Ray! We live in Germany, so not too far from you. One thing we have had a hard time finding here are self-pick apple farms. Being from the NE US, this is a family autumn tradition. Would you recommend the place you went? Would you share the name? This would be a few hour drive for us, but we are willing to drive for the right experience for us and our young kids.