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5 Random Things I Did This Weekend

It was a relatively quiet weekend here in Amsterdam – a bit of a calm before the storm of tons of travel, industry events, and plenty of other product related stuff. Here’s what we were up to!

1) Lunch inside a greenhouse

Friday afternoon The Girl and I loaded up the ‘van’ and headed about 30 minutes across town to a farm field containing a greenhouse:

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Really, this is how we get everywhere in Amsterdam. Of course she has her own bike as well, but if we’re running behind (as always), it’s usually a bit faster this way.

In any case, the restaurant (Restaurant De Kas) is a farm to table style place, except you sit in the farm: The greenhouse. In addition, they also have a farm a bit further out of town as well as farmland around the greenhouse.

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The inside is super bright and clean/modern, though you do get the occasional curious bumble-bee coming along to see what’s cooking (since some sections of the greenhouse doors were occasionally opened).

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As for the food itself, it was awesome. Here’s the menu:

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And here’s all the awesomeness:

See that one with the oyster? They had this little device that had a single slice of lemon in it and you squeezed it and it made a little pourable pile of lemon juice. I actually found it online, but it most certainly violates at least one Alton Brown rule, if not a bunch of other ones.

One of the first times since moving to Amsterdam we’ve felt we had food on-par with the Paris restaurant scene for a given price point ($30-$45 for a 3-4 course meal). The other was Ron’s Gastrobar, very close to where we live – but that’s quite a bit more expensive. I’d argue that while Ron’s has a single Michelin star, Restaurant De Kas was easily better (both in service and food, plus it’s cheaper). We still love going to Ron’s and the food is fantastic, but there can be only one winner.

2) Evening Trainer Ride

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I’ve been doing either single or double trainer rides most of the last week, on a variety of trainers as I wrap-up reviews set to publish over the next few weeks. In fact, for this ride I was getting a few final data points on the Wahoo KICKR CORE for a review you’ll see sometime today (airplane WiFi willing).

This was a relatively straightforward Zwift ride, but like most rides – I suppose not everything is always so straightforward.

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I was collecting data on not just the trainer, but also power meters. Specifically in this case the SRM EXAKT power meter, which I’ve finally got into a relatively happy state I think. That helps to get that review closer to publishing as well. The aero sensor was there from the ride the day before.

Not to mention I was also gathering data on a few different wearables too, specifically focused on their heart rate sensors.  Of course, trainer rides are the easiest things for optical HR sensors to do correctly, but it’s still important data nonetheless.

3) Got Apples?

As you might remember from the week prior, we went apple picking with the family. And now, we’ve got a crapton of apples to do something with. So it’s been apple central lately in terms of recipes. After putting The Peanut in charge of recipe selection, she got to work researching.

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And by ‘researching’, I mean ‘looking at all the pictures’. No actual decisions were made from her, as that would require far more choice stability than she’s usually capable of demonstrating.

Instead, The Girl got to work on putting together the pie. No matter how often we may use the mandolin, it still doesn’t mean I like watching anyone else do it.

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When all was said and done, here’s our apple pie. And by ‘our’, I’m of course referring to ‘hers’. My only involvement was consumption.

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Oh, also, there was this too:

Apple-chorizo risotto. Just cause.

4) Saturday Interval-ish Run

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Saturday afternoon I headed out for a bit of a run. Nothing too long or too fancy, about an hour. I was interested in how some wearables reacted to changes in pace (and thus intensity). But I didn’t really feel like doing a track workout. For some reason I like my track workouts on weekdays, and my weekend runs to have me going somewhere…anywhere.

So after a two-mile warm-up, I simply alternated intensity each mile.  One mile at about a 6:30/mile pace (so 4:02/KM), and then the next at about 7:15-7:30/mile (4:29-4:40/KM). I’m not sure what you call this type of workout precisely, it’s not really straight intervals (which usually have less recovery and are at a lower intensity), and it’s not quite fartlek style either – as that’s more random.

Either way, I did it – four watches included.

And it was nice.  More on the data soon. But here’s Strava in the meantime.

5) Weekend Sunset Ride and Drone

Sunday evening as the kids went to bed I escaped out into the countryside for a few hours. I mostly just wanted a simple and quiet ride, but I also needed a few shots for my upcoming DJI Mavic 2 In-Depth Review.  So off in search of quiet farmlands I went.

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The challenge with flying drones and living in Amsterdam is the vast swaths of territory I can’t fly in, mostly due to Amsterdam’s Schiphol airport (and the abnormally large no-fly zones extending out from them).  So the nearest point I can fly is about a 30-minute ride.  Not a huge deal, but does damper some things in terms of logistics.

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I ended up back at one of the windmills I’ve shot at in the past (including this video on the Mavic 2). While it’s a pretty windmill, it’s actually the surrounding paths/trails that are of more interest to me from a technical standpoint, as they’re great for testing follow-me tracking since virtually nobody is on them.

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After I was done, I headed on back home, getting back before it got dark out.

A perfect way to end the weekend!  Of course, after that, I had to write-up the Giveaway Extravaganza posts. Which, you’ll see the results for very very shortly (like in a few hours).

Hope the week is going well, I’m just about to board a plane to San Francisco for a few days, and then onwards to Tahoe and Reno for Interbike. Woot!

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39 Comments

  1. RTellis

    That’s a mighty funny looking apple-chorizo risotto you got there.

  2. Gerard

    Hi Ray,

    I would love to try the apple-chorizo-risotto.
    Would you be able to share the recipe?

    Thanks

    Gerard

    • I’ll have to defer to The Girl for that one. Though the general gist of it is she takes a chorizo sausage and slices it up pretty fine, and then the same for the apples and then cooks those together and sets aside.

      After which she makes the risotto (in the same pot), and then puts it all together at the very end.

  3. mainframe

    4 watches included…did the Polar fall in the canal? 😉

    • At first I started balancing the watches on that bike seat. And then I remembered the last time I did something stupidly similiar and lost two watches back to back to Great Lakes.

      I actually used to maintain a list of such gear here: link to dcrainmaker.com

      It’s been a while. Since then I’ve killed a KICKR, some drones, and a few other things.

    • Frank Kintrup

      I thought the same thing when seeing only three watches in the picture 🙂

  4. Anne

    Recently we were in the same “too many apple from picking” predicament. We made this cake and it was delicious: link to seriouseats.com.

    That risotto looks awesome too!

  5. Nick K

    What happened to the fourth watch, Ray?

    I have only two explanations. Either it was a ghost of V800 still lost after the move, or at the last minute you remembered Vantage isn’t going to be unveiled until September 13th…

    Let the Fourth be with you!

  6. Richard

    Ray,
    Any tips for the best way to mount a flat screen to a tripod stand so I can up my game in relation to my Zwift setup?
    Thanks
    Rich

    • I researched this a while ago. At the time, Shane Miller (GP Llama) suggested getting this tripod stand: link to amazon.com

      Personally, I would find what worked for someone else and get everything they used, as opposed to trying to make something work with items you already have. Hence, I would just get that Elitech stand.

  7. Hubert

    I read gadget recommendation on your website, now you are catapulted my official restaurant reviewer!

  8. R

    any chance on sharing the risotto recipe….looks delicious

  9. Steve W

    not sure I’d trust that velopod data (unless you had the wahoo headwind really cranking :^)

  10. Domen

    You should wait with publishing this post for another couple hours or so, cause you know photos of Apple products might violate some of the NDA’s. 🙂 #AppleEvent

  11. Iris van Breda

    Based on your like of restaurant De Kas you might also like:

    Rijsel link to rijsel.com
    Jacobz link to jacobsz.amsterdam

    A personal favorite of when we lived in the neighbourhoud is Thuis aan de Amstel, it’s next to the bike route along the river Amstel.
    link to thuisaandeamstel.nl

  12. gingerneil

    I thought that first photo in (2) was showing a HUGE child seat on the back of the trainer! Certainly one way to get the peanuts involved! 🙂

  13. Russ Cork

    Ray – is that a rocker plate under the Kickr and Climb? What kind are you using or did you build it on your own? How does the Climb do wrt side to side stability on a rocker plate. Sorry if you have covered all this in another article…

  14. Tom

    I have that same slicer….it’s the best.

  15. Milt MacFarlane

    Ha don’t think the bone conduction on the Coros would be working to good Ray…got a Frontier recently haven’t taken it out for a ride yet

  16. Benedikt

    Why don’t she use a handle for the mandoline? I don’t know the English name, but google “Rentenalter Börner” or go to this link:

    link to boerner.de

    It really saves skin on fingers.

  17. Christine

    We use cut-resistant gloves with our mandolin: link to amazon.com

    Also a future welcome to San Francisco! What’s in store for you here? I’d recommend a run through the Marin Headlands if you’ve got a hankering for good scenery and ocean breezes: link to strava.com

  18. Mark

    Is the menu only in English or did you have to opt for it?

  19. Kelly

    That’d be a “wave tempo” run in my vocabulary
    Apple pie looks delish, one of the perks of being married to a pastry chef 🙂

  20. melyod57

    Hmmmm, slicing fruit and vegetables with a mandolin. I bought one because I wanted very thinly sliced cabbage for coleslaw. Being the klutz I am the first three times I used it I drew blood every time – it is very sharp – the last requiring a visit to A&E at the local hospital because I almost took the top off my finger. Needless to say it hasn’t been used a fourth time.

  21. Thien

    is there a story/history to all the windmills in Holland? are they functional, have a purpose?

  22. Tosin Akinmusuru

    Regarding drones, how long are your drones lasting you when you ride?

  23. Michael Robinson

    Where I live in London there is a community group with a solution to the “too many apples” problem – make cider.

    A cider press and suitable containers for fermentation are the only specialist equipment needed!

  24. Nuno Pinto

    Having recently moved from Belgium to The Hague, I find your posts about restaurants and other locations very helpful.
    Keep posting.
    Thank you.

  25. Dave M

    Ray, admit this just a backdoor brag that you’re faster even fully loaded then your wife is on her own bike!

  26. Rafael Castillo

    Ray,

    Is there any chance I could get a recipe for that amazing looking Apple Chorizo Risotto?

    Raf