5 Random Things I Did This Weekend

An in between weekend – that’s what this was. I’ve been home the last week after my Interbike and such trips the week before.  But come the end of the weekend it was back on a plane and across the Atlantic. Still, here’s what I was up to!

1) I found my Polar V800

Back last month while preparing my initial Polar Vantage series post, I was racking my brain trying to find my much older Polar V800. As you know I usually include comparison shots against a variety of watches, including predecessor units. Unfortunately, my Polar V800 has been in a missing state for a long-long time.

As far back as January I think actually. I had set it aside back in late December while packing for the move from Paris to Amsterdam (and also packing for three months in Australia). I was mostly expecting the Vantage series to come out in spring 2018, so I wanted to ensure that if I was choosing stuff down in Australia, that I’d have it with me.  Thus I set it aside.

Which in reality, was the worst possible thing for it – because somehow it got mixed up in the wrong crowd and it’s been missing ever since.  I’ve spent many hours looking for it (dedicated to looking for it). No luck.

Then this Friday night sure enough I found it. In exactly the place I’ve looked through 30 other times: The big bin of watches.

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I don’t really understand. I even went through that bin moving them almost individually to a secondary bin.  Somehow the ‘almost individually’ part is what did me in. Sigh.  Well, at least I’ve got him back.  He does look a bit rough though. Wrong crowd and all that I suspect.

2) Riding the loop

Saturday morning I headed out with one of our friends and new riding buddy for a loop around the Ringvaart. This is an approximately 60KM loop that’s to the south of Amsterdam. It follows a canal the entire way, so it’s not only scenic but also mostly protects you from crossing traffic/driveways/etc.. since there’s only a handful of such things butted up against the water.


It was a beautiful fall morning. Neither cold nor warm. Just sorta in between. If you were out for a walk you’d want a jacket, but riding or running was good in short-sleeve apparel as long as you had some intensity and didn’t stop (in which case the sweat would quickly feel chilly against your skin).

DCIM\100GOPRO\GOPR0314.JPG 2018-09-29 13.05.17

We took a slight detour on the way back and swung through the rowing basin. It was here a triathlon was underway. I had considered doing this triathlon, but ended up just having too much on my plan this past week (sandwiched in between two international trips). Looked like a great day for it, albeit perhaps a bit chilly coming out of the water on the bike.

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I was surprised by how many people were participating – looking like a great turnout.

3) Pancakes, Bikes, and Deer

Sunday for lunch it was pancake time.  So we rounded up all the littles and threw them into the cargo bike for the 15 or so minute pedal off into the woods.  Near the edge of the rowing basin in a restaurant that’s part pancake house and part petting zoo. With a side of lots of playgrounds.  They even have dedicated cargo bike parking:

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Yes folks, not just dedicated bike parking (because obviously, Netherlands, of course they have that). Sweet!

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Inside the restaurant they have these crazy pancake making machines.  And when I say pancakes, that’s what they call them, but for Americans I’d put these closer to a blend of an American pancake and a Crepe. Like what would happen if someone like myself that started as an American and then moved to France for a number of years and got distracted one day making pancakes.

2018-09-30 14.09.15 2018-09-30 13.29.23

Now while our plan was pancakes, the wait for orders was over 45 minutes.  So with two hungry creatures we diverted to sandwiches and apple pie. The pie was the best yet I’ve had in this country (and we’ve eaten a lot of apple pie here).

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Oh, and there were animals, in particular, deer. Oh deer:

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There were also peacocks and other creatures, but The Peanut has bad memories of peacocks in Singapore trying to acquire her food. So she wanted no part of those birds.

4) GoPro Livestreaming Tests

Both Saturday and Sunday I did testing of the GoPro Hero 7 Black and its ability to livestream to the interwebs.  In the case of Saturday I did it via Facebook to my personal page while I pedaled across town to the Apple Store to return an extra watch.  I had initially ordered the new Apple Watch Series 4 online, but that wasn’t slated to come for a while.  So The Girl went instead and just picked one up at the store (details on why and all that here).  Of course, by the time she had gotten home it then showed my other order as shipped.

Funny tidbit: Despite being completely unopened and sealed in plastic, they still had to open it up and check everything was there. Apparently policy, as they’ve had customers return sealed boxes only to find sand or rocks inside of them.

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Note that I would have loved to livestream to my DC Rainmaker Facebook page instead (you do follow that, right?), but the GoPro app doesn’t support that yet (it’s a minor programming option they haven’t implemented for whatever reason).  Geek note: Technically you can create a RTMP stream and use it on a Facebook page, but the logistics of doing that solo are nearly impossible since someone has to be at their computer and trigger your session live, after that person has then given you the RTMP server/key. Sorta a mess for spur of the moment stuff.

Anyway, the regular GoPro session on Facebook worked just fine and dandy.  More on that in a second.

Next, on Sunday afternoon I went ahead and did a test with YouTube instead – this time to my YouTube page (you subscribe there as well, right?).  In that case, there were piles of you that joined in over the course of the 7-8 minute long session.   Setting it up with YouTube isn’t hard, but isn’t as clean as Facebook. Again, something I’m sure GoPro will add/change/whatever to make it nice. Right now you have to channel your inner geek.  If you want to watch that stream, you can do so here.

The point of all this though was to put together a YouTube video on how GoPro livestreaming works with the Hero 7 Black. That you’ll find below:

Within it, I cover setup/configuration of both Facebook and YouTube, as well as sample footage from both. Both are kinda fun clips to watch, though I’m slightly more partial to the ride with The Peanut.

5) Off to Canada!

And with that, I’m off to Canada to freeze my ass off. The stated temperatures are cold. At least for what was September and is now the first day of October. Nuttin’ good is going to come of these temps.  Except I suppose pretty pictures – so that is a positive.  But here’s the current weather alert for my destination:


The trip isn’t off to a strong start though this morning, as Amsterdam airport’s Terminal 3 lost power for all the important stuff, most notably baggage. So they’re having to move all baggage around by hand on carts:

2018-10-01 09.42.10 2018-10-01 09.42.04

Somehow related to that, it took me almost 80 minutes in the security line this morning. Kinda crazy.  Luckily for some bizarre reason I actually got to the airport a bit earlier than normal.  But now we’re sitting here at the gate waiting for bags. At last check they were still missing 170 bags. Thankfully, according to the United app my bag is actually onboard now (it wasn’t for a long while).  No worries, I’ve got like a 4-hour connection anyway.

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The Girl was also at the airport as well with the kiddos and dog, also headed to Canada, albeit a very different part. Ironically enough her gate was just across the hall from mine. The Peanut got to watch my plane go out.


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When daddy’s plane is parked next to our plane, we go wave ?? #ByeByeDaddy #UpUpAndAway!!!!! ✈️ @dcrainmaker

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

[Oh, quick DCR Kit Update: We’ve added in details on the sock sizing as well as adding a shipping option to India. I know some folks had asked for that – so go forth and get em before the ordering period closes next week!]


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  1. Marco

    I think the loop you did is called the ringvaart. The way you typed it, sounds rather German ;)
    Oh and I guess you had pancakes for lunch, not launch?

    Good luck in Banff, nice area if you forget about the train horns all night long haha.

    • Grr…I somehow managed to bungle the spelling of that after I triple checked on Wikipedia. Go figure.

      Luckily, my hotel in Banff is up away from the town itself on the hillside. I don’t remember any train horns last year. But then again, maybe I was too busy running around to notice.

    • Marco

      Stayed in Banff on a campground (Tunnel Mountain) in June for 2 nights. Campground is also on a hill outside the village. But during the night it felt if the train was going to hit our RV haha. But apart from that, it was one of the best holidays ever!

    • John B

      Having lived in Calgary we visited and rode in and around Banff many times. I don’t recalling even seeing a train let alone hearing any horns. But I am not about to say Marco is incorrect. Banff is a lovely part of the world.

  2. Frank

    Appeltaart <3

  3. Daniele

    I wanna see (and own) your big bin of watches

  4. Kerry

    Welcome to my neck of the woods. Rather, I’m in the southern rural suburb of AB, otherwise known as Montana.
    This is a beautiful time to be here!

  5. Brian Faure

    Give pic on Peanut…they grow up so fast.

  6. Andre

    4:40 in the livestream video “on the bike”: That is why you’ll want to ride a “womans” bike. If you have a child seat on the back of the bike it is hard to get on.

  7. Eli

    Looking forward to anything that can be said publicly about changes to the ant+ power spec and who will support it. Any chance you could ask why the ant+ extended display profile isn’t public yet? (public meaning you can download it here: link to thisisant.com)

    • Eli

      To add to what I wonder about the ant+ conference:
      – I wonder if the latest beta firmware for at least the kickr 2017 which has Climb ant+ support means a ant+ standard has changed to allow for this.
      – With SpO2 being integrated in more devices, wonder if the Heart rate ant+ profile be modified to allow an optional data page with this data to allow 3rd party sensors and other devices to support this data. Could be implemented like other data pages where goes in bytes 1-3

    • I checked with Wahoo here at the Symposium. The KICKR CLIMB ANT+ update is taking the grade vs pitch separation that already exists for apps to leverage on Bluetooth Smart, and making it available via ANT+ over FE-C via an ANT private field on FE-C (just like Tacx does for road terrain).

      So no meaningful change for end users at this point in time, mostly just for app developers to leverage it when sending a grade command that’s different than the CLIMB pitch command.

    • Eli

      Thanks. Is this to be able to set the climb at a different angle then the resistance the trainer is giving? (i.e. if the climb at 10% and the zwift is at 50% difficulty the angle of the bike will be 10% while the resistance will be 5%)
      Will this allow erg mode to be used at the same time as changing the angle if the climb? Or is that just a zwift limitation in workout mode where it keeps the bike level and doesn’t track the terrain?

    • Correct, the main use case is to let an app specify either:

      A) 300w on the KICKR & 10% on the CLIMB
      B) 5% on the KICKR, but 10% on the CLIMB

      The limitation you noted is purely a Zwift one.

  8. Richard Littleton

    One of the coldest September’s on record for Alberta this year, with no signs of warming up here soon. Sorry, Ray. Did you pack snowshoes? :)
    Hopefully you still get some good pictures out of it without freezing your ass off too much!

    • I almost packed Yaktrax for running, but decided against it. Usually I find that for fluffier/deeper snow, they’re actually more tricky that just running with shoes on snow (whereas they work really well for ice).

  9. Jan

    Regarding nr. 3: as a next venture you could visit the goat farm, located in the same woods (link to geitenboerderij.nl). Of course, it is even nicer in the spring with the newborns.

  10. Chris Chesebro

    I know you already posted this somewhere but I can’t seem to find it now…

    Which cargo bike did you end up getting?

  11. Martijn

    I was there for the Bosbaan triathlon (sprint distance /w 750m swim). Water was 16,5 degrees which was fine during the swim. My feet were just cold coming out of the water. They were positively frozen when I came off the bike however. It took two laps into the 5k run for my feet to finally regain some heat and not feel like clogs at the end of my legs.

  12. Wally

    That loop has a huge mystery to it.

    Ride it a few times… and you’ll see: wherever you are in the loop. Always a (strong) headwind.
    How?! Why?! Should be impossible!


  13. Eli

    I take it no live stream of your keynote :(