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Week in Review–September 2nd, 2018

The Week in Review is a collection of both all the goodness I’ve written during the past week around the internet, as well as a small pile of links I found interesting – generally endurance sports related. I’ve often wondered what to do with all of the coolness that people write, and while I share a lot of it on Twitter and Facebook, this is a better forum for sending it on to y’all. Most times these different streams don’t overlap, so be on the lookout at all these places for good stuff!

So with that, let’s get into the action!

DCRAINMAKER.com Posts in the Past Week:

Here’s all the goodness that ended up on the main page of DCRainmaker.com this past week:

Monday: 5 Random Things I Did This Weekend
Tuesday: First Look: Fitbit Charge 3 Activity Tracker with SpO2 Sensor & Sleep Disturbance Tracking
Thursday: Hands-on: Garmin Vivosmart 4, now with Pulse Ox and Body Battery
Friday: New Favero Assioma Firmware Adds Full Zwift Bluetooth Smart Compatibility, Additional Features

YouTube Videos I Made This Week:

Here’s what hit the tubes over on the You of Tube, definitely don’t forget to subscribe there to get notified of videos the second they hit!

(Even if you’re not into drones, I think you’ll like the opener to this video, at least if you’re into cinematic or cycling shots. Also, The Girl stars in it too!)

Stuff that I found interesting around the interwebs:

Here’s a not-so-small smattering of all the random things that I stumbled on while doing my civic duty to find the end of the Internet.

1) No helmets, no problem – How the Dutch created a casual biking culture: An awesome interview piece just published on more than just the lack of helmets in the Dutch cycling culture, but how the entire thing works in general. Super worthy read. I might even go as far as picking up the book (which just released on Wednesday).  Everything in the interview rings true from my limited time (5 months) here thus far. We love the cycling culture more and more each day.

2) Notio Connect Ambassador Program: The next few months tends to be when you start to see various ambassador program type things open up, and Notio is doing one for their aero sensor now. Fwiw, I just got my bike equipped this past week with one. So expect an in-depth review later in September.

3) No Google Smartwatch This Year: Seems like Google continues to work on something, but that’s been the case for a number of years. For now, they’ll keep focusing on 3rd party via Wear OS.

4) The most brutal Zwift computer setup imaginable: This cycling desk is set up such that if you stop pedaling, the power gets cut-out to your desktop and you have to wait for it to restart. Don’t…stop…pedaling.  Seriously, some fun DIY geekness here.

5) Polar adds ability to download all personal data from their servers: I suspect this is leftover GDPR compliance type items – but kinda cool to see it come to fruition nonetheless.

6) How the Gates Foundation encourages people not to drive to work: Pretty cool bit on all the things they do to try and get people to not drive to work. From bike repair services on-site, to $3 a day ‘bonus’ for not driving.

7) Five New Apple WatchOS 5 features: Cool stuff on the auto-detection alerts to automatically turn on GPS if outside running and you forget.

8) Ofo bikes being sued for $10 million in unpaid bike bills: And just imagine, that’s the company sitting there with a $10 million bill. Gotta wonder how many smaller companies are also being left holding an empty bag. That said, I disagree with the premise of a larger slowdown in bike sharing. I think the issue is simply too many companies trying to eat the same pie with services that cities/towns don’t find palatable (bikes strewn everywhere).

Sports Technology Software/Firmware Updates This Week:

Each week I quickly highlight some of the new firmware, app, software and website service updates that I see go out. If you’re a sports technology company and release an update – shoot me a quick note (just one-liners are perfect, or Tweet it at me is even better) and I’ll make mention of it here. If I don’t know about it, I won’t be able to post about it. Sound good?  Oh – and if you want to get a head start on things, this page is a great resource for watching Garmin and a few other firmware updates.

Favero Assioma Firmware Update: See my detailed post on it.

Garmin Descent MK1 Firmware Update: Quite frankly this is a massive firmware update with tons of features/changes. It’s as if the firmware team had constipation or something and relieved everything for 6 months at once here. Go forth and read the notes.

Garmin Edge 820 Firmware Update: Added Connect IQ 3.0 support, Physio TrueUp, and a pile of other features.

Garmin Edge 520 Plus Firmware Update: Same as Edge 820.

Garmin Edge 820 Explore Firmware Update: Mostly same as Edge 820.

Garmin Edge 1030/Bontrager Edge 1030 Firmware Update: A large pile of new features, but more importantly here is that, at least for this first firmware update, we’re seeing concurrent Bontrager updates at the same time. It’s something I was a bit worried about, but good to see here.

Garmin Fenix 5 Plus Series BETA Firmware Update: Minor fixes.

Garmin Vivosmart 4 Firmware Update: Fixed a crapton of things. For realz.

Hammerhead Karoo Firmware Update: Minor new features and additions, plus some bug fixes.

Suunto 9 Firmware Update: I believe this update came this week, saying improvements to GPS and HR. But there’s no date listed.

Thanks for reading!

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15 Comments

  1. Robert

    I need to make one of those sweatiest game setup and connect it to the PlayStation. No pedal no game.

  2. Remco Verdoold

    As a Dutch I see the world around is changing fast and significantly more dangerous as a cyclist. It started by the mistake by the government allowing 50cc (45km/h) scooters or mopets to be downgraded to 25km/h and the freedom of riding without helmet. In reality these were once sold as 25km/h and 99% is modified to go >45km/h again (without helmet). Now by law these ‘slow’ scooters must share the bike lane and here problem 1 begins. The speed difference is to big. Next problem is the increasing older age of the people in traffic, not everybody is equally fast in responding to mistakes, situations or other glitches (in the Matrix) as they used to be. But the biggest problem of them all was welcomed a few years ago. The smartphone! Many youngsters are way more focused on their screen rather than on the way (road). This will become a bigger problem in the future. Hence, I grew up cycling without a helmet but now almost always wear one. In city because of scooters and high density of traffic, and outside because my speed is well over 25km/h.

    • Yeah, that’s the one thing I simply don’t get: Allowing mopeds on bike paths.

      I keep asking locals if they eventually decide it’s ‘good’ or ‘fine’ or something. But everyone seems to indicate the same.

      I actually wouldn’t mind/care as much out on country roads. But on the separated bike lanes (red brick) in cities, the mopeds are always far faster and usually doing sketchy things during passing.

      As you noted – all of them are going well above 25KPH. Given I usually travel at exactly 25MPH when on the cargo bike (the max it will go with e-assist), I’m acutely familiar with that speed.

    • I agree with Remco: Scooters should not be on the cyclepath. You can’t ride two abreast at a leisurely pace anymore or cycle next to your child without a young scooterthug claxoning angrily at you to move out of their way.

      City of Amsterdam wanted the scooters to move to the road (where cars drive) by the beginning of this year but it won’t happen anytime soon due to the need for a law change.
      link to parool.nl

      Next problem will be the e-bikes, which, at 25 kph, are just a little too fast to blend in comfortably with the cyclists. Average cycling speed in Amsterdam is 14,4 Kph.

      Also, 25 kph can be a dangerous speed for the typical e-biker, who tends to be rather old. What people driving e-bikes do not realize is that, if you smash against the ground at 25 kph the force of the impact is FOUR times that compared to when your riding at 12,5 kph. That is just physics.

      Veilig Verkeer Nederland (Dutch Traffic Safety Board) sees the number of deaths among cyclist rise in the future due to electric bikes. In 2017 2/3 of the bike deaths were people older than 65 years.

      This number will increase, says a spokesperson of VVN:
      “The e-bike offers possibilities for people who can’t ride a normal bike anymore”.
      “Many old people decide to venture outside on an electric bike after their pension. They think they know the traffic rules and underestimate the dangers”.

    • Chris

      Fully agreed on the Mopeds impeding bicyclists. However, at least in America, there’s another reason we see a proliferation of mopeds in the bike lanes – DUI/DWI. Some of the operators of these vehicles had their licenses taken away because they have demonstrated that they can no longer operate a vehicle safely on public roads. So they get a moped, which as long as it’s 49 cc or less – they require no operator’s license. So they no longer can operate a car , but they can operate something that has two wheels and shares the lane with bicyclists riding bikes that weigh less than one moped wheel.

  3. Dave Lusty

    Isn’t is weird how the rest of the world looks at the Netherlands and wonders why their cycling is so successful rather than wondering why their own population is so terrified of going out on a bike? That was a great read, unfortunately I can’t see a way to improve the rest of the world. In the UK drivers don’t even register that it’s another human being on the bike, it’s just an obstacle to drive past as quickly as possible and often as close as possible if there’s no space. All to save 20 seconds on the journey. I imagine the US being a little better on this as the people seem more respectful, but I think the huge roads probably don’t help. Every time I go to Amsterdam it’s obvious that the system works well, although car drivers must be frustrated waiting for 200 bikes at a junction!

  4. Ivana

    Another brilliant book about cycling in Amsterdam (through history) is “In the City of Bikes: The Story of the Amsterdam Cyclist” by Pete Jordan (an American obsessed with cycling who moved to Amsterdam and now has a bike repair shop). On top of focussing on cycling, it’s a wonderful look at the city throughout history (including the occupation in WW2) and frankly just a super fun read. Highly recommended!

  5. Keenan

    With all the hype of the smart watches, smart gear, smart home, and all these smart products,
    Do you think these smart products actually the one sticking to our body (watches, smartband, etc) have a bad effect to our body especially related to Radiation transmitted by the devices, as these products just been invented less than a decade i believe further researches are needed. Just like cigs back in 70s everyone thinks its safe and healthy , until few years back people realised its not that good for our body .

    What do you think ?

    • Chris

      They knew as early back as the 1930s that cigarettes were unhealthy. The issue was that research at the time was limited to local papers filed in scientific journals that weren’t reported to the general population (in part because the tobacco companies were funding the newspaper companies (in some cases they own them outright.) You can verify this by simply doing a search on Google Scholar on the subject.

      Regarding smart devices, there are numerous studies done over the past 50 years regarding RF absorbency by humans to develop thresholds for RF the devices that we use. Also available on Google Scholar if you’re interested.

  6. Kareltje

    I tried the Polar export/Download your data. Although it is quite fast and nicely organised, Polar exports your data in JSON format, which is not an easy readable format by any other program. But then again, even the POLAR TCX files are not readable by Garmin anyway, because of the little consumer unfriendly squabble they have going on?

    You first have to convert JSON to XML, which works with the online JSON to XLM converter, and then XML to a TCX/FIT file format. TCXtools doesn’t accept those large XML files, so gotta try something else. Anyone have an idea?

  7. Chris K

    Hey Ray.
    I’ve been looking around and it seems like the original Edge 520 isn’t getting the same updates as the plus / 820 / 1030 now, do you agree? There’s a short forum post on it but no official line. So I’m looking at selling my 520 and trading up. But I do not know what to! The 520 plus looks okay, except I like the look of the FirstBeat metrics. So I looked at the 820, but that came out one year after the 520 (2016) so presumable I’ll have to upgrade again next year? I don’t really want to do that. And honestly the 1030 looks like overkill to me, and I’m not too keen on that price point. I’m pretty garmin-embedded now with vector pedals so don’t really want to jump ship. Really stumped.
    I asked a question about the FR35 the other day (if it’s going to get a hardware upgrade), and between this and that post, and looking to trade in my iPhone it got me thinking that Apple does a much better job of managing consumer expectations. I generally buy a new phone every two years, and in that time I know the phone will work well and remain supported, the battery might decline a bit and the phone might slow down but otherwise it’s pretty solid. And I know in September apple will do the big reveal and I’ll get a new phone by the end of the year / whenever the stock arrives. With Garmin though I just don’t really know how long they’ll support a unit, when it will be replaced or anything. I waited quite some time for a new Swim. Honestly if I was a bit more confident about support lifetimes it would make the buying decision much easier. Would be interested in your thoughts?
    Thanks as always,
    Chris

    • Dave

      What issues are you having with the 520 that a lack of updates is motivation to sell it?

    • Chris K

      I’m not having issues but I do make use of some connect iq apps and am concerned that these will not be updated or even supported in the long term, if connect IQ 3 is not coming to the 520. I expect that developers of CIQ apps will be focusing on 3.0 for their apps at this point. I’d be very surprised if any new apps came to the 520. Xert has done some interesting stuff on this platform for instance. Maybe it’s a bit of FOMO but there’s also a clear risk of issues in the future if Garmin have ceased support.

  8. David Tucker

    I do think it would be very difficult, in general, to fully get to the type of infrastructure they have in the Netherlands across the entire United States. Also, while I am a huge proponent for better infrastructure, and more importantly, laws and enforcement that go after drivers before cyclists (crazy that it’s not the case to me) there are some places where it may never make sense to see the change. Floridians rarely live anywhere near where they work. There’s just not a lot of very concentrated communities down there. Suburbia lovers delight 😉

    I’ve seen such a difference here in New Orleans which has really made a commitment to bike safety. I very rarely need to get in my car during the week and can safely ride almost anywhere I need or want to go whether it’s downtown to a Saints game, out to City Park for Jazzfest or just errands. Aside from bike lanes, cars just don’t travel fast here so if I’m riding through the neighborhoods to where I’m going, I just have no fear of a car coming down the road over 20 – 25 mph.

    I think some cities will just always be farther along than others until we actually have automated cars.

  9. Robin

    Will you update at some point your views/observations on the Garmin 520 Plus?